Amanda might be more experienced than you. Chris might be stronger than you. Tina might be smarter than you. And Corey more handsome. But if you think for a second that you can’t hold your own in other ways, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Not only will we teach you how to stop comparing yourself to others, we’ll also dive into what you should be doing instead.
The most important thing to remember in life is that everyone is facing a battle of some kind. You might not see it in your interactions with them, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. What the world needs most from you is your kindness. So let’s stop comparing yourself.
Why Comparison is Destructive
Allowing yourself to fall into the comparison game and comparing your world to other people’s lives is counter-productive and destructive. That being said, using people as role models and trying to live up to ideals from other people’s accomplishments can be helpful. In this article however, we’re talking about the comparison trap that leads to negative thoughts, low self confidence, low self worth, and just a massive hit to one’s self esteem.
Comparison is the thief of joy. – Unknown
We all can use comparison to be a better person. It takes a lot of energy to look at one’s own life and say “I could be doing better” compared to role models. That being said, if you’re beating yourself up, or comparison comes packed with envy, jealousy, inferiority, this is the wrong kind of comparison.
Personal growth comes from comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday. It’s a constant competition against yourself to improve and become a better person. Your past self is the only person that can give you practical ways to improve your life and personal growth.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to His or Her Ex
We’ve all done it: comparing yourself to his ex or even new flame. While you’re in the midst of dating people (aka before you find the one) both men and women have an air of desperation to them. I know because I remember it happening to myself very vividly. You think all your failed relationships are a sign that something’s wrong with you. You start getting jealous of exes or new partners wondering if they’re all better and you’re just the butt of the joke. But one day when you do finally find Mr. or Mrs. Right, you’ll understand how all those relationships broke down. You’ll see what makes your right relationship work well.
If you find yourself jealous of other people, you’re only hurting yourself of building the right relationship with your current partner. To build a great foundation, you need to be taking care of yourself: physically, mentally, spiritually. And you need to have enough self-love in you to pass enough of it onto someone else to make the relationship work. When you’re in the right relationship, you won’t compare yourself to others. You’ll be too busy loving yourself, your partner, and everyone around you.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Physically
The whole point of going to the gym is to take care of your physical body. Get in shape. But when you first join, you look nothing like those around you. You might feel like a little blobby thing. While the guy or lady next to you has the body you wish to have. And so either you spend the entire time in your head worrying what people think of you. Or you leave and never come back. There’s always going to be someone who’s more in shape than you or maybe you feel is better looking than you. And playing that comparison game is going to drive you mad!
All you need to really focus on is being better than the person you were yesterday. When you look at someone who has the body you want, the best thing to do is ask them for advice. Imagine how much you can learn from someone if you were curious about them rather than intimidated by them. If you asked them, “how often do you workout? What type of workouts do you do? What type of food do you eat? How do you stop cravings? How do you keep yourself motivated?” You can learn a heck of a lot from them.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Academically
You’re really going to hate this answer. But the real issue here is… you. By comparing yourself to others academically instead of putting your head down and studying, you’re taking yourself further away from achieving success. Imagine if you spent enough time to get out of your head just and channeled that energy into your studies. Re-read a book for a test a second time. Spent an hour on YouTube watching a tutorial on the topic. Hung out with a classmate or two for a couple hours to share ideas and notes to gain other perspectives to draw your own.
Competition can fuel you to make you want to study harder. But it can also deteriorate you, lower your self-esteem, and distract you from what you actually want. Another thing to keep in mind, academics are so short-term. Once you get out in the real world, you forget more than half of what you learned in school. If you’re an average student but you focus on learning as many skills as you can so you can succeed in your career, you can still be successful. Academic success doesn’t guarantee long-term future success. Focus on learning instead of winning… and you’ll win.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
1. Give Yourself Credit
There are billions of people on this planet. Some will go on to do great things. And maybe that someone will be you. You can’t change the past. And some things will be out of your control (like that DNA you’ve been given). But you have your whole present and future ahead of you. You can help those in need. You can smile at strangers. You can spend more time with your friends and family. You have the power to change people’s lives for the better. Heck, you have the power to change your life for the better. If you compare yourself to others, you can work at developing those little quirks you think you lack to level yourself up.
2. Accept Yourself As You Are
That said, you still want to accept yourself as you are. I went to university for neuroscience. By second year, I had failed a mandatory class that I knew there was no chance of me mastering. I studied my butt off in that class and was nowhere near a passing grade. It was devastating. However, that failure led to my current path. And I’m much happier doing this. Maybe you’ll never be a world-class violinist or as great at physics as Einstein, but you can still contribute to society in a meaningful way. And you’re still an important part of the world. Your actions make a difference in the world, even if they don’t seem like they do. When you feel inferior, remember acceptance as an important virtue.
3. Compliment Others
Our insecurities cause us to do and say stupid things. When comparing yourself to others, you begin to feel smaller. More insecure. More fragile and sad. The best way to prevent yourself getting sucked into a negative vortex is to focus your energies on complimenting others. When you see something admirable in a person, tell them. It’ll help you create an identity as a kind person. And with time people will begin to notice the positive traits about you too.
By being kind first, people will likely warm up to you overtime. Eventually, you’ll start hearing positive things about you being echoed to you by colleagues. And it’ll help you understand what your own worth and impact is. So instead of comparing yourself to others, compliment them and focus on being a good person.
4. Focus on Self-Improvement
If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others, it’s time to focus on self-improvement. You’ll never succeed if your entire mindset or mental health revolves around everyone else’s success. Take some time to read some books. No, they don’t have to be self-help books. Maybe you read something to learn a new skill. Or you read a book about a topic you know nothing about. You never know when those reads will come in handy.
Self-improvement can also include finding time to meditate, exercise, and mindful eating. Focus on being better than the person you were yesterday. No need to compete with co-workers, classmates, siblings, or anyone else. Their success is out of your control. What you can control is your own success. How far you go. How much you push. What effort you put in. And how long you persevere. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on making yourself better than you’ve ever been. Become the person you aspire to be rather than some knock-off of another person.
5. Express Gratitude for What You Have
There’s so many things you have that people might envy you. If you have legs that work, there are people out there rolling around in their wheelchairs, taking the longest path in the world to the damn elevator who wished they could get places as fast as you. If you can dance awkwardly, there’s literally someone at that party staring at you jealous of how free you can be around other people. If you have access to clean water, there are people in the world who are using complicated systems to clean their urine so they can stay hydrated. Why on earth are you comparing yourself to others?
Life’s not always easy. But man, you probably have a ton of things going for you that make others compare themselves to you. Try the Loving Kindness for Gratitude meditation to express gratitude to someone who’s helped you or inspired you. And to be grateful for what you already have. Don’t take those little things for granted. And trust me, you’ve got a lot of things going for you.
6. Don’t Give In to Fear
You probably compare yourself to others when you’re scared. You’re scared of losing everything you’ve worked hard for, you’re scared of failing, and you’re scared of realizing that you don’t have what it takes. Or that you aren’t special. Someone else’s success isn’t a negative reflection of you. It’s a positive reflection of their talents, hard work, and perseverance. You’ve got all those things too.
You want to be successful? No problem. But you must put the work in to be better. You’ve got to be kinder to others, you’ve got to work longer hours, and you’ve got to build stronger relationships. Read more books. Meditate more often. Don’t slip down because your fears are taking over your brain. You’ve got what it takes– you just have to push a little bit longer.
7. Believe in Yourself
It’s time to stop comparing yourself and start believing in yourself. Imagine how big of an impact you could have if you believe in yourself. When you compare yourself to others, what you’re really saying is ‘everyone else is better than me.’ That’s not true. You’re not better or worse than anyone else. You’re just different. And different is good. Different allows for new ideas. It helps others solve problems and it completes the world. You’ve got to stop putting yourself down.
By believing in yourself, you can live life having an amazing impact. You can create a legacy that lasts for generations. You can be the success you wish to be. But if you let those negative thoughts cloud your thinking, you’ll never see the world for what it could be. You’ll be too busy hiding behind your “arch-rivals” success. Focus on being part of a team. Help others win and you’ll win too. Support other people’s successes and you’ll grow on your own. All it takes is for you to know that you’re unstoppable and can achieve anything to make the world a better place. So, you’ve got to at least try.
8. Compare Yourself to Yourself
In the real world, it’s not you against the world. Like we said earlier, it’s you against yourself. Rather than trying to be better than your family or your best friend or your coworker, try to be better than yesterday you. Heck, try to be better than two hours ago you. Maybe you’ve been feeling angry or jealous of someone and it’s taking more away from you than it gains you. Do you really want to keep living that way? Isn’t it time to get what you deserve.
Take the time to read books about a topic that interests you. Find time each day to meditate and let things go. Put an emphasis on your health by eating nutritious food and exercising each day. Spend time on a hobby to distract you from any distress, mental challenges, or difficulties you’re encountering. By shifting your focus, it’ll help you stop comparing yourself to others. Put the focus on something you can control: your actions, your thoughts, and your words.
Please stop comparing yourself to others. You shine bright in your own way. You don’t have to try to be like or beat everyone else. Focus on being better than you were yesterday. Take small steps to beat yesterday you. Smile more. Help others. Study longer. Work smarter. Strengthen relationships. Be the person you aspire to be instead of the clone of who you think someone else is.