You know how it goes. You wake up feeling good, you’re determined to have a good day, then you see or hear or think something that drags you right down.
This is exactly the vicious cycle that happens when you compare yourself to others.
And we all do. You’re not alone. If you find yourself looking at where you are in comparison to friends. Or comparing your body to someone online. Or the things you have or where you are in your career – or anything. We all do it. And it’s never intentional.
We don’t wake up thinking – I know, I’m going to drag myself through the dirt this morning by making myself feel inadequate. We just don’t. Instead, our minds just kind of take over and subconsciously throw those comparisons at us.
It’s exhausting. And because it’s exhausting, we all deserve to make it stop right now.
One of the best ways to break a habit is to understand it. So, for starters, let’s take a look at exactly why we do this.
We all want to feel inspired, don’t we? We want to aspire to something and have dreams. But in doing that, in researching and looking for the things we want, there can be that little reminder that we just don’t have it yet.
And try as we might, sometimes that just feels too overwhelming. So we start to scrutinize ourselves. We beat ourselves up and put ourselves down because we’re not there yet. Or we (foolishly) tell ourselves we never be.
Yet, as we do so, we’re handing over control. When you compare, you release the control over your emotions, feelings, and even your life, to another. When really, we may not even be comparing ourselves to reality.
So let’s think about this for a second. Because to help you stop or minimize comparing yourself to others, you have to understand that your comparisons could even be false.
Most of the time, you compare another person’s end or to your beginning. Or even their middle! Their weight loss journey, career plan, financial plan, home life, relationship – whatever it is. If you want what they have, the chances are that they’re further along the path than you are.
So why be hard on yourself when you just haven’t reached that point yet? Because you will when the timing is right for you.
But not only that, most of the time, you’re comparing yourself to an idea of somebody else. An idea of what you think they have or are.
A lot of the time, the things we see on social media aren’t real. They’re curated images. People put their best selves online and it’s easy to admire that, feel jealous, or like you don’t measure up.
So we compare ourselves to our own perception of their reality and it may be completely made up. And this applies to people and situations in real life too. We don’t always see the full story.
And, ultimately, we’re wasting our energy on their lives rather than focusing on our own.
If we were all to stop the comparisons and turn that energy inwards, we’d be able to start progressing in life and achieving those things we’ve always wanted.
Now you know why it happens, it might help you to understand how it affects your mind and body. There are so many reasons why you need to try and break the habit and consciously stop comparisons. Let’s take a look at them.
This point just cannot be emphasized enough. Comparison will destroy your confidence. It’ll make you feel inadequate – and for what reason? Why should you ever feel unworthy next to anybody else?
So stop and think about it for a second. Notice what comparison is doing to you – how it’s making you feel. Is it healthy? Hell no!
Becoming aware of it and noticing exactly what it’s doing to your self-esteem can help you to take back control.
If anything resonates with you, let it be this. You have to do EVERYTHING in your power to protect your mental health at all times. At any cost!
If you know that doing this is hurting you and holding you back, it’s time to actively stop. Instead, focus on all of the good things in your life.
Sit for a moment and practice gratitude. Maybe head out and get some fresh air if you feel like it’s weighing you down.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to cut the cycle by changing your thought patterns. Even physically moving can help you to do this and preserve your mental health.
It’s all too easy to find yourself lost in thought. We all do it. But spending your time panicking about the past or worrying about the future is only ever going to do your harm.
Instead of comparing and getting yourself all worked up, bring yourself back into the present. Because it’s only ever in the present moment that you can truly enjoy your life. And that’s what you deserve to do.
If it’s hard and the thoughts are consuming you, take out your journal. Sit and write down your thoughts. It might help you to make sense of your feelings this way. And you might be able to see just how silly comparing yourself to others actually is!
All too often, we’re just far too hard on ourselves. It’s sad. We deserve better.
If we want others to treat us well, we have got to start treating ourselves so much better. So it’s time for you to start being kinder to yourself.
Focus on the good. Look to your successes, think about all the things that are great about you. Not only does this bring you back into reality, but it also makes you feel pretty good too.
And to round this up, we’re going to go back to the idea of energy. Because if you’re focusing on anyone else or looking at their lives, you’re not adding anything to your own!
But this is what we want you to be doing, right?
We want you to be putting energy into yourself and your own life. So it’s time to start focusing on YOU.
It’s time to succeed at being you! This means putting energy into lifting yourself up, into building your own confidence. Focusing on your goals and dreams and desires – and actually making them happen.
It’s okay if you compare yourself sometimes – but only ever to yourself. Make sure that you become better today than you were yesterday!
You are all that matters. Who you truly are and all that you can be. Taking on this mindset will completely change your life.
Comparing yourself is such a sticky cycle to get stuck in. And once you’re in the loop, it feels impossible to climb out of. But it’s not.
By focusing on yourself, turning all of your attention inwards, and really start to focus on what matters most to you, you start to win. Becoming a better you, feeling better today than you did yesterday, living life on your terms – that’s what matters.
Life isn’t about measuring up, it’s about finding happiness, contentment, and joy your own way.
Do you find yourself comparing too much? How do you distance yourself? Share your ideas with the SOCIÉTÉ community in the comments below.