Self-Improvement Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
All of us are guilty of this one. We look through our lives and compare them to the lives of other people, most often, the people we believe are doing better than ourselves. It can be difficult to see someone with goals and accomplishments that we currently do not possess and become jealous, allowing our most childish of emotions to come roaring to the surface. But we are not meant to be childish, nor controlled by our emotions. Any path to self-improvement involves mastering your emotional state, allowing you to be in the best possible mindset for success and prosperity.
However, this cannot happen if you are constantly comparing yourself to those around you. The problem with interpersonal comparison is two-fold. First, you are two different people with completely different sets of weaknesses and strengths, so your comparison is flawed from the start. When you compare yourself to others, you are living a lie based upon your false assumptions of reality. It’s not real, so get over it! Second, this practice often makes you nothing but miserable, so why do it?
Your time would be better spent working toward your goals and ambitions, rather than concerning yourself with the lives of others. I have found that there are 10 steps that can help you stop comparing yourself to others.
Change Your Mindset
This is a continuation of my first point. You have to change the very way you perceive the world around you. People are different. Duh. Where you might be strong, someone else might be the exact opposite. By buying into the image your mind presents you when you compare, you are not living in reality as it is, but rather as you would like it to be. First you should ask yourself this one question: why do you want to live in a world that is not really there? In other words, why do you think you gravitate toward ideas that you know will make you unhappy?
If you can answer this question, you will have a great start towards liberating yourself from the treachery of interpersonal comparison. Self-improvement is a prolonged process of personal reflection, contemplating how and why you hold your beliefs. If you compare yourself to others, and you are unhappy, it’s time to ask yourself why you allow this behavior to continue. If you gain an understanding of the function it plays in your life, and how it interacts with your preconceived notions, you can better understand how to change your mindset.
Get That Shit Out!
It’s important to have someone you can trust to confide in. That will allow you to get all that pent up bullshit out of your system. It is vital to not allow these hostile emotions to build upon each other. Do not allow a negative feedback loop to start! If you compare yourself to your friend, and the process of doing so puts you in a bad mood that negatively affects your work and ability to focus on your goals, than it needs to be addressed. Find someone to talk to about the problem you are having.
One of the reasons talk-therapy is so effective is that it gives people the chance to talk through their issues. Often, the answers are already inside you. You just need a chance to process and sift through the negative thoughts aloud for the solutions inside you to emerge. Get it out, and get on with your life.
This can be a real pain in the ass when you think about doing it. The process of going to the gym, and staying there for an hour with a bunch of strangers who all smell as bad as you is not an appealing idea. However, strenuous physical activity has been proven to mitigate depression and decrease stress levels, while increasing energy and overall positivity. Exercise will, at the very least, help you get out some of that pent up anger and frustration you have been carrying around. Once you have released some of the stress, it will be a whole lot easier to focus on what really matters– your goals!
Stop It! DON’T Judge
Another trick that might help you stop comparing yourself to others is having the self-awareness to stop judging other people. Judging other people is yet another form of comparison. If you exercise this muscle, it will grow stronger, not only when rendering verdicts on the behaviors of others, but also when you are seeing how you measure up to someone else’s accomplishments. The philosophy behind this idea goes like this: whatever you focus on grows. You are smothering the fire here. DO NOT add more fuel by being judgmental to toward others as well. Besides, you have enough to focus on already.
Judging others might actually be one of the sources of your comparison problem. If you are harsh with others, how hard are you on yourself? We cannot expect to treat other people that differently than we treat ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, if you start being kind to those around you, kindness for yourself will follow naturally.
Get grateful for everything you have in your life. This is one of the best tricks I know of for healing jealousy. Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and start focusing on what you do. Sounds easy right? Because it is! All of us have something in life to be grateful for, I don’t give a shit who you are. You are reading this. Good. Be grateful you have a device that can connect to the internet to seek out such content. You have a burning desire to become better. Not everyone wants to improve, so be grateful you have been given such a great motivation. Make a list of things both large and small that you are grateful for.
It will be very difficult to continue being negative when you actually realize the extent of your blessings. If you want to take gratitude a step further, after you have made the list, reflect back upon a time when you were especially proud, or experiencing strong emotions. Read over the list while you go through that emotional process in your head. And there you have it! You have just emotionalized your gratitude list.
This will give you something powerful to call upon when you feel the urge to compare yourself to others. It will help see you though those moments of temptation, allowing you to remain focused on your task.
Its Your Choice
Guess what? You choose to compare yourself to other people! That’s right, this too, is your fault. No one made you try to connect the dots of accomplishment between you and whoever you are envious of–it’s all on you!
I am not just trying to be an asshole. Self-improvement requires brutal self-honesty. It is only when we have an accurate picture of who we are that real change can occur. The fact that it is a choice to compare yourself to others means that you can change this habit just like any other. Become aware of when you are making comparisons to those around you. At first, just notice what you’re doing–don’t blame yourself or get frustrated just simply know what is going on. Next, get grateful.
Think of that list you made and focus on it instead of what you do not have. Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time, and you can choose what you want to give your attention to. So choose an empowering thought, an idea that will make you strong, and not detract from your mental state.
Take ownership of the fact that you compare yourself to others. This is your problem, not anyone else’s. Getting mad at the object of your jealousy is a stupid fucking idea! It does nothing for you except waste your time and energy on things you cannot control. This is a huge part of self-improvement: mastering who you are, and taking complete responsibility for your own actions. Most concepts in the area of self-development have this at their very core! Taking complete ownership of your life is a REQUIREMENT, point blank. If you cannot acknowledge your own actions, there is no hope for any sort of change to occur.
Choose A Direction
Find whatever it is you are passionate about. The process of discovering what you really want from life will give you direction. When you have an overarching idea of where you want to go, the future might just seem a bit better. In short, having a road map toward where you want to get will give you the hope necessary to overcome your desire to compare yourself to those around you. When you know where you are heading, life looks a lot better. Drifting around through a void of nothingness makes it almost impossible for you not to latch onto what others have done ,in hopes that you might get there as well. However, if you do not have a plan, and the future does not seem clear, you cannot take any definitive steps toward your destination.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-improvement involves taking care of you, so that you have the energy and time to see your goals through to the end. In some ways, self-care ties into the idea of self-hatred. If you do not take care of you, it is not likely that you will be driven enough to get past your negative habits. Ask yourself if you really like being miserable or are you just too lazy to get going on your dreams? Maybe, it’s the second point. After all, it is far easier to compare and judge others than it is to build something worthwhile you can call your own.
It’s simple–you want what someone else has, but do not want to expend the time and effort to go and get it yourself. If this is your issue, I challenge you to get off your ass and make something of yourself. There is nothing that says you cannot obtain the same level of success as anyone else. Self-improvement is not a limited resource. It is abundant, waiting for you to claim it with the blood, sweat and tears of your own effort. In the process of making ourselves into the best possible version of what we can be, it is difficult not to measure yourself against the progress of someone else. It’s just going to happen.
This does not mean that it is not our job to fight against this temptation. Interpersonal comparison is a negative habit. Like smoking, if you spend too much time engaged in this behavior, it will consume you, ripping all the positivity from your soul and replacing it with a strong sense of apathy. It is essential that you measure your progress against yourself. You are fighting the “you” you were yesterday. How can I get better? What must I do in order to get more work done today?
The Battle Is Inside
The battle is one within, trying to beat back the worst elements of our nature so that the positive aspects of ourselves can shine through. Personal development does not mean how can I be better than my neighbor. It is a personal process that will vary for everyone. And who are you to criticize the path someone else has picked as their way of making it in the world?
This is not your job, nor will it ever be. Attempting to compare your journey with someone else’s will not get you anywhere. Find what makes you happy, and forget about what others are doing. I promise you will be better off if only you focus on you!
All the time spent on things that bring you nothing but pain will be redirected toward where you really want to go. This is the goal–improving the quality of your life. Each day make an effort to do a little more. Reach a little further for that dream, and remember the victory lies within the struggle!