Comparing yourself to others all the time is a mark of low self-esteem.
“Theirs is bigger, louder and prettier than mine, and I want what they have.”
This statement is so common that it’s scary. We may not be vocal when we feel this way, but we sure do think about it till we can’t sleep at night. We think about what others have every single day, and we covet those things. It’s called comparison, and it’s a poison waiting to take you out.
But it’s time to stop this unhealthy habit.
So, we compare things. We compare jobs, relationships, and looks, and we do this because we always feel short ended. If only we could improve our this and that, we would be okay, perfected and ready to move on to bigger things. But that’s just it, after improving one thing, we find another, and this leads to an endless struggle of comparisons.
And not only does this waste precious time, but comparing yourself to others is ludicrous. For one, most people make a simple mistake that leads to low self-esteem, while striving to have something that a friend or loved one has, even a stranger. This mistake is comparing your own weaknesses to the strengths of others, which is already an unequal situation.
So just stop!
Yes, this is a bad thing. To compare yourself to others is to constantly be in turmoil and self-depreciation. But you can stop this cycle, once you’ve gotten to the place where you believe it to be detrimental. There are many ways to see this unhealthy habit for what it is and stop it in its tracks.
1. Change your focus
Instead of focusing on comparisons between yourself and others, try comparing you with you. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but it’s healthy. What I mean is comparing what you’ve done with what you are doing or will do in the future. What have you accomplished? What are your goals?
Focusing on a comparison such as this diverts attention from others and their business, which you shouldn’t be concerned with in the first place. This process also promotes growth and deep fulfillment.
2. Recognize the Source
As with most anything else in life, the source must be pinpointed for the problem to be eliminated. Ask yourself a few questions: Why are you so concerned with being like others? What do they have that you do not? As you face these truths about yourself, you will be analyzing your self-esteem, which is the root of the problem.
If your self-esteem is low, then others will seem more accomplished, more beautiful and much more kind than you. This is not true, and in order to come to this realization, you must know why you doubt. It could be past trauma or a failed relationship. Let’s face it, it could be several things.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Practice being thankful
One of the reasons we compare ourselves to others is because we want what we do not have. But keep in mind, those others also lack things that you may have. The best practice is the practice of being grateful for what you have, and not be coveting toward others. This feeling fuels comparison and usually leaves you feeling empty most of the time.
4. Always be kind
Comparisons come from the way we feel about ourselves -namely when we have a negative self-image. How we feel about ourselves, in turn, comes from how we treat others. Do you see the cycle here? Treating others with kindness will greatly improve our self-image and this reduces our need to compare.
5. Put things into perspective
Sometimes you might not realize why you feel competitive with others. Suddenly, you notice how you are always comparing one thing to another with numerous people. One way to put these things into perspective is to write down your thoughts.
Keeping a journal of your thoughts will help you sort through both your negative and positive feelings. Not only will this reveal the truth about your insecurities, but it will also serve as therapy for your comparison addiction. Writing things down always helps you gain clarity on most any issue.
6. Take control of your life
One sure way to stop comparing yourself to others is to take control of your life’s decisions. Don’t just sit around and wish you had something that someone else has. You must do something about it. To achieve similar goals in your life, you must put forward similar efforts as those who are successful. Wishing and hoping for what someone else has will only make you bitter in the long run.
“Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine!”
– Jennie Finch
Yes! Take back control!
So just stop doing that. There’s no point in comparing yourself to others. It makes you forget the real reason why you do what you do. Comparisons get your sidetracked, angry and self-esteem drops as well, so this unhealthy habit must go!
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
– Lao Tzu
I hope these words have inspired you to appreciate yourself and have a healthy appreciation for others as well. Keep striving toward your goals and dreams, and whenever you feel like comparing yourself to others, just remember that everyone has their imperfections.
Somewhere, someone, may be comparing themselves to you as well. Just a thought…
Photo credits: Can Stock Photo
This article was originally created and published by Visual Meditation. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution (active link to this article) and author bio.