We grow up comparing ourselves to other people on a daily basis. Someone better than you in kindergarten, someone does better at school and you constantly hear that from teachers, someone drives a better car at university, someone does better at work, someone did better in your family and so on. And even if we do not want to, we are forced to compare ourselves to other people. Meanwhile, we forget who we really are, we constantly want to be someone else.
Why do you want to be like other people and why do you want to have what they have? Why? Not everyone can always answer that question. Our perception of the perfect life is based on someone else’s life and we lose our identity.
Yes, it is okay if you want to have nice apartments like others, a nice car like others, a healthy body like others, a nice job, a nice family, nice this and that. These are regular physical things most people want. However, at the end of the day, will you actually be happy?
Why you should not compare yourself to other people?
- It will never end and will never get any better
- You gain nothing from it
- You waste your time
- You negatively affect your self-esteem
- It is frustrating
- You focus on wrong things and people
- You feel powerless
- You do not take care of your own goals
Learn to accept yourself
We often compare ourselves to someone because we do not accept ourselves. We always seek something better in others and neglect the fact that self-acceptance is important. Instead of trying to find what others have and you do not, learn how to accept yourself.
You are who you are- a unique person and constant comparison of yourself to others will not make things any better. It is important to come to peace with yourself and accept the fact that you are different from others because there is nothing bad about it.
You have your own strengths and weaknesses and comparing yourself to others makes no sense. Someone people bring value in one thing and you can be the same. You do not have to think that life is hard and it is a competition, even though that is what many people keep saying. You do your thing and the competition will not matter at all.
Journal your thoughts
Journaling is a great way to catch your thoughts. Our thoughts make us feel in a certain way and it might even become a habit. Journaling your thoughts regarding your comparison to others is a great way to understand how to improve.
How often do you compare yourself to others? Why do you compare yourself to these people? What do you think is the reason you keep doing this? Are your thoughts logical? Is there any point to compare yourself to other people?
Writing down your thoughts and ideas will help you to analyze your thinking pattern and fight this terrible habit.
Shift the focus on yourself
Sure, there is nothing wrong with comparing yourself to other people from time to time. However, it is not healthy if you do this constantly and it ends up making you feel negative. When you catch yourself at this moment, you might start feeling guilty, your self-esteem may drop and you might simply start hating yourself because for some reason, in your mind, someone else is better.
Instead of thinking what others have, learn how to shift your focus on yourself. Think about things that you can do for yourself. Even if you think for a while that some person has this and that, instead of drowning in negative thoughts, start planning things for your own good.
Focus on things that will make your life better, what are the things you can achieve and what you can do to help others instead of judging them.
Compare yourself to yourself
Does someone have a better body than you and you envy them, did someone receive better education and have a better job than you? Someone has children or someone has a fancy car?
Someone will always have something a little better than you. There is nothing wrong with that. Then ask yourself- who are you? Are you that person? Did you grow up as they did, did you do things that they did, do you have the same taste in music, cars, reading, food? They are them and you are you! So why compare yourself to them? It makes no sense!
Instead, why not compare yourself to yourself? The only person you should compete with is yourself. Do not compare your achievements to others’. Compare yourself to your past self, the person you were. While you waste your time thinking about how better life others have, they are working hard to make it even better.
If you constantly keep comparing yourself to other people and it keeps affecting you negatively, consider whether you are self-aware. Self-awareness will help you to understand yourself a little better. Understanding why you think this or that way is important.
Maybe you keep comparing yourself to others because you constantly feel guilty you do not do enough? Maybe you are simply jealous, and at the same time, you do not do anything about it?
Stop being perfectionist
No one is perfect. No one and nothing. Be realistic and understand that this is not some fairy tale. It is a reality full of ups and downs. There is black and white, warm and cold, light and dark, easy and difficult. Do you really believe you are the only one who has problems? We all have problems.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses and there is nothing wrong about it. It does not mean you should not strive to get better and improve yourself. However, being too hard on yourself because you are not perfect is not okay.
It is for sure hard, especially if this comes from childhood when we are adapted to thinking that we always should do the best. Perfectionism will always lead you to frustration because it does not exist and you will always get disappointed.
Do not let social media fool you
Nowadays social media is full of pictures that seem to show a perfect life. However not many understand that behind these pictures there is a regular person like you. They also have problems and flaws just like anyone else. Seeing a nice picture where someone seems to run a happy and perfect life might direct you to wrong thinking. That is when we usually start comparing ourselves to these people.
Instead of being inspired many tend to envy these people or take extreme actions to be like them. For instance, fitness models, who seem to have a perfect body. They worked a lot to have that body and they did not get it for granted. Good looks sometimes need some effort and action from our side. Besides, think about it, why would someone start showing off their problems. Everyone wants to show off positivity and something good.
However, many still see it as a negative thing and they end up comparing themselves to these people and feel frustrated. If you see that social media is affecting you too much, try to reduce the time you spend on Facebook or Instagram.
Work on your self-esteem
One of the reasons you are constantly comparing yourself to other people might be low self-esteem. Self-esteem is vital so you can respect and love yourself enough. It is an ability to value yourself the way you are. If you lack self-esteem you will constantly compare yourself to others and it will decrease your self-worth even more.
Self-esteem is developed throughout the whole life and it also can be changed. I have always struggled with self-esteem however when I tried to work on it actually worked out pretty well.
So do not assume just because you have low self-esteem since childhood it cannot be changed. High self-esteem also means that you do not destructively compare yourself to others and you respect yourself too much to do such a thing to yourself. Do you have a good opinion about yourself most of the time? If not maybe there is a change that needs to be made.
Try to see the whole picture
Yes, it is easy to compare yourself to other people. Someone has everything you want, right? Yes, some people got a little luckier than you.
But just because they got lucky does it mean it is stopping you from achieving the same? Does it mean they did not have to work hard? We often see successful people when they are at their highest when they are successful and we have no clue what they had to go through.
Also, we do not understand the pain they had to in order to reach their goals. We often miss out on the whole picture and only see the result, not the effort behind it. Constantly comparing yourself to other people will not help you to reach that goal and success.
With so much negativity in our lives, we often forget to appreciate small moments in our life that make us happy. It is in human nature to notice negative things more often. That is why instead of frustrating yourself and comparing yourself to others all the time, appreciate what you have now.
Even if you think that you do not have everything, it does not mean you have nothing. You have family or friends, you have good treats that make you special, you have your own ways of doing something. After all, you are alive, you can breathe or walk, you have food, water, somewhere to sleep. Yes, just because you have these elementary things does not mean you should not want to have more.
However, do not forget things that you already have while you are chasing your dreams. Very often, when I have a crappy day I try to remind myself what else happened that day that was good. It helps me to stay positive and even if something goes wrong I can remain calm at the end of the day. There many ways to practice gratitude, like journaling or positive affirmations.