Every aspect of life brings with it a new chance to compare yourself to someone else. It could be a high-performing colleague, a classmate with stellar grades, a friend with an ability to look good without effort or a sporting teammate with boundless energy and outstanding athletic potential. It can seem as if everywhere you look, there’s someone who looks that bit better, jumps that bit higher or sounds that bit smarter.
It makes sense: when we want to see how we’re performing in any situation, what do we do? Compare ourselves to other people. It’s a natural reaction, and in some cases, perfectly sensible. However, self-comparison is a dangerous path that can lead to demotivation, unhappiness and a shattered sense of self-confidence. How should you avoid tumbling down that path? By Learning to accept yourself, embrace your talents and understand your shortcomings.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
Learn to Compare Yourself to Yourself
Just about anyone, in any situation, can look around and point out someone who looks better, acts better or performs better than them; it’s a fact of life. If you choose to constantly search for someone to compare yourself to, you’ll always find one person who’s just a bit better than you are. If you work hard enough and outperform them, you won’t feel accomplished; instead, you’ll just look for the next person to compare yourself to.
Instead of comparing yourself to other people, try comparing yourself to… well, yourself! By learning to use yourself as a point of comparison and not other people, you’ll always have an attainable goal to strive for. When you outperform yourself, you’ll feel a genuine sense of accomplishment that isn’t tainted by envy.
Consider What You Can’t See
People tend to present the best sides of themselves to the world while hiding their flaws and imperfections. When you compare yourself to other people, you’re comparing yourself to their “highlights”. It’s natural that you come up short: it isn’t a fair comparison! When you understand this fact, you’ll find it easier to give up the urge to compare and learn to take how other people present themselves “with a grain of salt”.
Lay Off Social Media
People have been comparing themselves to other people for centuries; it’s nothing new. Thanks to social media, however, we’re living in a world where—seemingly—everyone’s achievements and highlights are thrust in our faces every day. Each sunny holiday, sleek new outfit, unforgettable night out and heartwarming new relationship is out there in the open, just a few swipes away on a smartphone. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how people are struggling more with negative self-comparisons than ever before. If social media is impacting your self-confidence, consider limiting your access to it (if not taking a break altogether).
Self-comparisons are a natural thing, but there will always be someone to compare yourself negatively to. For your long-term happiness and wellbeing, try and resist the urge to determine your self-worth by how you stack up against other people. Try to instead enjoy your gifts and talents for their own sake.
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