A few key tips on how to stop comparing yourself to others.
Noticing that you've began to compare yourself to others
I can remember when I began running track in high school. I used to always compare myself to my best friend Michelle who was always beat me and got first place. She had this natural gift of speed. I remember she didn’t even know it at first. I actually helped her find this hidden talent by asking her to join me on the track team so we could hang out together more. On the first day of practice, she shocked the heck out of everyone when she ran faster than any girl on the team, including mine. I was so jealous of her because I had to work twice as hard just to place second in every race. All the while she didn’t even need to practice as she always won first place. I think this was the first time I really noticed that comparing yourself to someone is toxic. I was thirteen years old.
I look back now and I realize that because of how toxic comparison is I started caring less about pushing myself during track practice. I started telling myself things like “I’ll never be naturally gifted like Michelle” or “who cares about getting first place I already know she will get it, she always does”. I had compared myself to her and accepted defeat without having even tried. That was the absolute worst thing I could have done. But I was thirteen, I didn’t know then what I know now.
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"Comparison is the thief of joy".
Fast forward to the present day, I’m a grown woman now and much wiser than I was back then to the negativity of comparison. Life has become filled with billions of ways to compare ourselves on social media. Oh my goodness, the dreaded Instagram comparison is a huge problem for anyone with access to the internet, I’m sure. People compare it all. They compare their selfies, they compare travel and of course, they compare relationship moments. I mean come on it’s nearly impossible for most to avoid comparing themsleves to others on social media.
But no one always stays the richest person in the world or the most beautiful. No one stays the smartest or the most popular. The spot at the “top” is always up for grabs. It’s ever-changing. So telling yourself you can’t do something because someone else has that spot is simply illogical. I know because I used to tell myself that exact same thing. I would compare myself to others and fail before I even began because of the self-doubt that comparison created.
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If we all keep comparing our lives on social media we will never be satisfied. Because we only live one life, our own. No matter how much you try to be someone else ironically all you will ever be is “like” them. You can never “be” them. That’s literally humanly impossible. So you will never be satisfied and, who wants to live like that, right?
A healthy approach to comparison is to instead use it as inspiration or Guidance to look within. Because when we look at other people’s seemingly amazing lives on places like Instagram or Tik Tok and we think it’s unattainable. Well, It is actually unattainable! You can never and will never be someone else (remember we went over that already?). You will always be you, wonderfully unique you, and once you realized this everything changes.
The most ironic part that no one tells you is the second you stop comparing yourself to others, you are then able to fall more in love with yourself and your talents and capabilities and you can become a person who inspires others to make a new path for the unique version of themselves that you once couldn’t see in yourself at one point too. Isn’t life funny like that sometimes? Almost comical how we all can learn from one another in such wonderful ways if we just switch the perspective just a smidge.
This post was about how to stop comparing ourselves to others.