How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Welcome to this post on how to stop comparing yourself to others!

Your phone buzzes with plenty of notifications from Instagram. Your friend posted a picture of their vacation and all the amazing things they get to experience, while you were at home, sitting on your bed.

The teacher posted grades online: You got an 88% while your friend got a 96%. Before knowing what your friend got, you were happy with your score, but after knowing about the 96%, you don’t feel the same way anymore.

Whether it be on social media or in real life, we all have those times when we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves feeling inadequate and not enough. When we look at what others have, all we can see is what we don’t have.

Despite how much we try to stop comparing ourselves to others, we end up doing it all the time – sometimes without even realizing it. However, this negative habit of comparing yourself to others ends up harming you and your mental health.

It can cause negative thoughts in your head that are controlling your actions, higher rates of anxiety and depression, as well as overspending.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

It’s important to understand that comparing yourself to others does not create the life you want for yourself; it only makes you frustrated and anxious. By comparing yourself to another person, you are wasting your valuable time and energy on something that’s not going to help you in any way. Instead, this time could have been spent working hard towards achieving your goals and reaching your potential.

Comparing oneself to others is something that a lot of us struggle with, even me. But, if we are willing to recognize its negative impacts and put effort, this game of comparison is something that all of us can end at this very moment.

Remember, it’s YOU against YOU, not anyone else. So, if you want to get out of the comparison cycle that holds you back towards creating a successful life, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 powerful ways to stop comparing yourself to others and instead, start building a better version of yourself:

1. Know and avoid your triggers

The first tip to stop comparing yourself to others is by knowing and avoiding your triggers. Your triggers are the situations that cause a specific reaction.

I would say that the main trigger for the majority of us would be social media. Ask yourself, “What happens to your thoughts and feelings when you scroll through social media?” If social media is your main trigger, scroll down to tip #7!

But, social media is not the only trigger. Be sure to also become aware of who you compare yourself to, and why.

This way, the next time you catch yourself in the same situation, it’ll be easier to control your mind and thoughts.

2. Practice gratitude

Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a highly effective way to stop comparing yourself to others.

When you compare yourself with others, you are basically telling yourself that you’re not good enough or you don’t have enough in life. But, by practicing gratitude, you’ll come to realize that 1. you are enough and 2. you have so much to be thankful for in life.

By practicing gratitude, it’ll be impossible to experience negative emotions.

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to another person, just start thinking about all the things you are thankful for in life.

Check out my past blog on how to practice gratitude as a teenager in 2022!

3. Document your achievements

Document your achievements

Whenever we compare ourselves to others, we compare their strengths with our weaknesses. And, that does nothing but harm our self-esteem.

As a solution, start documenting all your achievements, whether they are big or small. Write down all the things you are proud of, including the tests you aced, the times you helped someone in need, and the time you worked out when you didn’t have the motivation to do so. Be sure to not leave anything out.

In the end, put this list somewhere where you will see it every morning, and hopefully, you’ll be able to stop comparing the worst of yourself with the best of others.

4. Embrace the competition

Sometimes, instead of fighting the completion, it’s better to just embrace it.

If you are just focused on the fact that they are better than you, that doesn’t help you in any way. So, instead of viewing them as threats, make them your allies.

Think about what you can learn from them and how they can help you get to where you want to be in the future.

Build up the courage to ask them for advice and instead of feeling jealous of them, use them as motivation to achieve your goals.

Don’t use them as someone to compare yourself with, use them as someone you can get inspiration from!

5. Unlock the power of contentment

Unlock the power of contentment

Gratitude leads to contentment, which allows you to be in a state of joy and satisfaction no matter what your circumstances. You’re happy with where you are in life and aren’t worried about what other people are doing.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have goals for the future or that you aren’t working toward being a better person tomorrow than you are today. And it definitely doesn’t mean that you’re stagnant or that you’re choosing to sit around and do nothing new, exciting and challenging with your life. It just means that you develop peace about your life and a sincere enjoyment about what you have today without basing all your happiness on what you hope to achieve tomorrow.

6. Celebrate other people

Celebrate other people

It may seem like celebrating other people is not going to help you stop comparing yourself to them, but this strategy is actually extremely beneficial.

Comparing ourselves to other people leads us to being unhappy with their achievements and success. I get it – it can be hard to be happy for others when they are working hard to get what they want; after all, we want the same. But, here’s the thing: Celebrating other people’s success does not lessen yours in any way!!

Just because someone else is winning does not mean that you are losing.

So, I encourage you to start congratulating others for achieving their goals, no matter how big or small they are.

While you are celebrating their success, work on your own success at the same time!

By celebrating others’ accomplishments, you will learn how to eliminate the need to compare yourselves to them.

7. Have boundaries on social media

Have boundaries on social media

Social media is almost always what makes us start comparing ourselves to others. By seeing other people post about their “perfect” lives, it can have a major negative impact on our mental health and well-being.

To stop comparing yourselves to others via social media, be sure to:

  • Keep a limit of 15-30 minutes each day
  • Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourselves
  • Turn of your phone when you are with family/friends

If you don’t hear it enough, social media is JUST a highlight real! We see everyone having fun and smiling, but we never ever see the struggles each of those people face on a daily basis. So, remember, what you see on social media is not reality.

If you really want to take it to the next level, try deleting all your social media apps for a month and see how that goes!

8. Remind yourself of your priorities

Remind yourself of your priorities

“You know you’re not a person who values money more than job satisfaction. You KNOW that and yet you still feel like shit when you hear how much more your friend earns. That envy eats away at you even though you would never actually work in that field.” (divethru)

Comparing yourself to others only drifts you away from the goals you are working towards and the priorities you have. So, when you find yourself comparing yourself to others, simply jot down your top 3 priorities in life so you can stay focused and committed!

Then, work so hard on your priorities that you don’t even have time to compare yourself to others!

9. Focus on your strengths

 Focus on your strengths

When you’re working on breaking the habit of comparing yourself to others, it’s tempting to adopt a mantra about the bad habit, like “never compare yourself to others.” This approach actually backfires, for the same reasons dieting backfires – when you tell yourself not to eat sugar, it becomes a forbidden fruit, which makes it all the more attractive. Spare yourself the stress and focus on your strengths and skills instead.

For example, here are three of my strengths:

  1. I am disciplined: When I tell myself I’m going to do something, I get it done and there’s nothing that stops me from achieving it – not even my brain.
  2. I am positive: I always try to look at the bright side. There’s so much in life to be grateful for, and I make an effort to count those things.
  3. I am confident: I am not afraid to take risks and do what I want to do because I’m confident in my abilities.

What are three of your strengths? Comment down below!

10. Compete with yourself

By competing with yourself, I mean the version of yourself in the past. Are you doing better than you were yesterday? Are you doing better than you were a year ago?

The completion of you (now) vs. you (past) is the only competition in the world that matters.

If you’ve grown, even just a little, be extremely proud of yourself because you have won that competition!

For example, a year ago, I would have been watching TV all day and be bored. But now, I’m almost at a milestone of having written 100 blogs!

The Takeaway

Comparing yourself against others benefits no one – it only increases anxiety and negativity. So, as a way to overcome that anxiety and negativity, and instead, focus on the bright side, here are 10 useful ways to learn how to stop comparing yourself to others:

  1. Know and avoid your triggers
  2. Practice gratitude
  3. Document your achievements
  4. Embrace the competition
  5. Unlock the power of contentment
  6. Celebrate other people
  7. Have boundaries on social media
  8. Remind yourself of your priorities
  9. Focus on your strengths
  10. Compete with yourself

For more guidance on how to stop comparing yourself to others and overcome negativity, be sure to check out this book: Master Your Emotions: A Practical Guide to Overcome Negativity and Better Manage Your Feelings (Personal Workbook)

Along with that, I encourage you to watch this TED video: “To overcome challenges, stop comparing yourself to others | Dean Furness”

As mentioned in the introduction, it’s always you against you. So, if you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, do it against the person you were yesterday, last month, and last year. Compare yourself against your past self and evaluate how much you’ve grown and evolved!

Everyone is on their own journey and path, so it’s impossible to compare yourself vs. others. Also, not everyone started their journey at the same time you did – some may be ahead, and some may be behind. Your beginning won’t be the same as someone else’s end.

While it is so easy nowadays to have access and see what everyone is doing, none of that matters. What does matter, however, is that you are doing the best you can and that you are making the most out of your life.

I hope this blog gave you helpful insight as to how you can stop comparing yourself to others so you can overcome negativity and become the best version of yourself. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment down below!

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