“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.”
Comparing yourself to others is something we’re all guilty off. Unfortunately, comparison starts at early age. Even as children we begin comparing ourselves to others. Who has more toys, who has better clothes, nicer home, etc. However, comparison doesn’t affect us that much at such a young age, it’s more of an observation. On the other hand, as we get older comparison starts to intensify, it starts to bother us, it plays with our emotions and our thoughts. And no matter our age and accomplishments, we keep on comparing ourselves to others.
Social comparison theory proposed by Leon Festinger states that we determine our own social and personal worth based off of how we see ourselves stacked up against others we view as either better or worse. Therefore we have two common comparisons: upward social comparisons (thinking you’re better than someone else) and downward social comparisons (thinking someone else is better than you). While comparisons can sometimes be helpful in a way you feel motivated to make improvements in your life most of the times they can be detrimental to our well-being.
The rise of social media platforms gives our brain more and more material to process (read: compare) each day and makes it that much harder to fight such a nasty habit. So if you’re feeling like you’re “not good enough”, like you can’t celebrate your successes or you feel the need to prove yourself to others, keep reading to find out why and how to stop comparing yourself to others.
Why You Should Never Compare Yourself To Others
GETTING ROBBED OF PRECIOUS TIME.
Here is an example for you. Let’s say you have naturally pale skin and it’s hard for you to get a tan but you really really want to get a tan. Then someone with a darker tan passes by and you’re like “look at her/him, she/he is so lucky, I want to have a tan like that”. Instantly you start feeling like you’re less worthy, like you’re not as pretty and you decide to stay inside your home most of the summer. You know you’ll be missing out on so many things but you’re so wrapped into comparing yourself that you just don’t care.
Now imagine 3-4 years go by and each summer you feel that way. So for 3-4 years you’ve been staying inside your home for most of the time. You haven’t gone to the beach, you haven’t hung out with your friends as much, you haven’t enjoyed wearing light clothes and feeling the summer breeze on your skin, etc. All because you made yourself believe you shouldn’t because some stranger out there is better than you. The sooner you realize that’s not the case, the better. You’ll miss so many precious moments and lose such valuable time if you keep comparing yourself. Believe me, I’ve been there and I regret it so much.
COMPARING AGAINST INACCURATE INFORMATION.
Here’s a quote on comparison that stuck with me the most:
“The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, you name it, they all have one thing in common and that’s people posting their life highlights. Nobody will post a picture of themselves crying when they had a bad day, or a workout video in which is clear they struggled. So when you come across someone’s feed and all you see is them always looking their best or always being happy and smiley, remember that that is just a fraction of their life. In addition, know that not everything you see on social media is true.
Someone can post a workout video and tell you they just did it when instead they filmed it two days ago and are currently in their bed. Couples can post a happy photo when instead they just argued. Social media is deceiving, you will never be able to know what’s happening behind the camera, how is the person truly feeling and what is true. But you have to remind yourself of that the exact second you start comparing yourself to someone. No one leads a perfect life, no one is perfect and no one should focus on anyone but themselves.
PUTTING EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AT RISK.
Comparing wakes up lousy feelings such as jealousy, envy, depression, low self-esteem and it can also compromise our ability to trust others. Do you really, truly want that for yourself? Do you want to feel like that each day? I know you don’t and don’t you dare tell me “but I don’t have a choice!”. Oh honey, yes you do, you do have a choice. Every day and every second there’s a chance.
Imagine all the energy you have to put into yourself, your life, your dreams you’re putting it into other people’s lives. When you constantly compare yourself to others, you’re wasting all your precious energy. Think about yourself and your health. What good does it do when you’re feeling emotionally drained and mentally exhausted? When you begin to lose your passion for things you love because you think “you’re not good enough” and “you’ll never succeed/have what others have”. Stop comparing yourself dear, because you have nothing to gain but oh so much to lose.
HARDER TO LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF.
In this day and age it can be extremely difficult to love yourself for everything that you are. On the other hand, as difficult as it may be it is by far more important now than ever. The more self-love, self-respect and self-support we generate from within, the more our feelings about ourselves become like a bulletproof vest. When you love yourself nothing can get to you, you feel at peace with yourself, you’re confident and you feel nothing but happiness for others. So if you want to stop comparing yourself but instead learn to love yourself have a read here.
A NEVER ENDING BATTLE.
If comparing is how you assess your worth, you will always be losing. First of all, comparisons are always unfair. You’ll always bring yourself down and you’ll always compare your worst to the best you presume about others. Second, the possible numbers of comparisons are endless. There will always be someone or something else to focus on because you’ll never get to a point where you’re better than others in every way. Once you find your peace with a certain “flaw”/dream, very quickly you’ll find another thing to bring yourself down for and start comparing yourself. It’s just how it goes because believe it or not comparison is a habit. A habit that’s so damn hard to break and a battle that just never ends.
However, you know I always have tips for you guys when it comes to breaking bad habits so let me help ya out!
How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
- USE SOCIAL MEDIA WISELY – first thing you need to do is unfollow all the accounts that make you feel bad in any way and follow accounts that make you feel happy, motivated, grateful, inspired. You’ll notice a big difference within a couple of days and feel like weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Second thing to do is delete all social media apps when things get too much for you. I don’t mean delete forever, but for a few days. Rest you mind, spend your days outside and reset.
- PRACTICE GRATITUDE – if you read my blog post on this topic He-llo! and if you haven’t please do (just click here)! Practice gratitude and see how everything around you changes, notice how the way you act in life changes, how the way you approach situations changes and how you have more love and energy for yourself.
- CELEBRATE YOUR OWN SUCCESSES – hey, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from celebrating your acomplishments! Cherish the goals you smashed and be proud of your own progress.
- FOCUS ON YOURSELF – you have your dreams and others you compare yourself to have their dreams. While they focus solely on theirs you don’t need to do that to. You need to focus on you. So use your free time to brainstorm new visions, explore new places and find out what is your biggest dream then go after it.
- READ MORE ON SELF-COMPARISON – educating yourself on things you struggle with is important. For examply, this article is a must-read for anyone who struggles with self-esteem and self-comparison. It goes in depth, it’s very informative and makes you understand why we do the things we do. Which eventually leads to solving a problem much faster and easier.
Remember that the only person you should compare yourself to is you. Be better than you were yesterday and don’t waste a second of your life wishing you had someone else’s. If you want to talk more about this topic send me an e-mail or reach out to me through the contact form!