Why can’t you stop comparing yourself to others? We live in a digital world where these screens are just constantly in our face. I’m sure there are positives as well as negative of this technologic age, but this isn’t about that.
This is about those Instagram girls you see with tiny waists and enormous hips. This is about those photos of someone eating the most photogenic bowl of oatmeal in a sparkling white kitchen. It’s about those photos of someone sunbathing in a tropical island “living their best life”.
We see these while we’re sitting in a cubicle at a mediocre job, laying in bed in a tiny studio apartment, in the car stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and when we’re just at our most vulnerable state.
When we see these, all we can see is what we don’t have. So how do you stop comparing yourself to others?
“Don’t measure your progress using someone else’s ruler.”
1. Become Aware
“The first step is acceptance.” How often do you hear that? In order to accept, you need to be aware. It’s so easy for us to act without thinking, but it’s important to remain mindful on the harm we are doing to our own mental health.
Without awareness, you will continue to have these toxic thoughts that only hurt you. Once you become of aware, you can take action to stop. You have the choice to change how you feel, you just need to make the decision.
2. Write Down or Recite Your Best Qualities
Self-love, even when you’re the most vulnerable, is so important, and I believe everyone should take the time to admire their strengths. It’s so simple to put yourself down when all you see or think about are your flaws. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect. If you have the time, jot down five things you love about yourself. If you don’t have time, recite them out loud.
I see gorgeous women on Instagram with amazing houses and perfect bodies every single day. It’s so easy to compare yourself. I don’t look like that. Why don’t I look like that? So I jot down five of my best qualities:
- I find joy and laughter in the little things.
- It’s easy for me to get motivated and make goals for myself.
- I am very kind.
- I make a mean hot cocoa.
- Despite having crippling anxiety, I keep persevering to live a happy life.
See? Now that these thoughts are up front and center in my mind, I am no longer focusing on the negative.
3. What Are You Grateful For?
Sometimes it’s hard to see your best qualities when you’re already in such a negative head space. You fill your head with these comparative thoughts and it’s hard to crawl out of this rabbit hole of self-loathing you’ve created. Something I have done when this happens it just write down five things that I’m grateful for. This helps you look at the things you take for granted. I use a bullet journal for everything and this is a constant page in my journal.
Think about important things: friends, family, love, home, warmth. These are things that we forget not everyone has. It could even be little things that make you happy.
- I am grateful for our warm bed.
- Homemade meals are a nightly routine.
- I can buy myself small gifts for fun.
- Hot showers are a normal occurrence.
- I wake up in the morning and I love where I am in my life.
It’s easy to list things. It’s difficult to really think about them. You need to force yourself to look at what you wrote down and give it some thought.
4. Realize that Your Comparison is a Fantasy
In the age of social media, this is a tough one to practice. You see these photos and you picture this person having an absolutely amazing life all day every day. They must always look amazing and smile at everything. I bet their house always looks this clean and put together.
“Stop comparing your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.”
We only see the best part of someone’s life on social media. We don’t see them with no makeup and frizzy hair. There won’t be photos of them crying while they deal with their depression. We certainly won’t see a photo of their messy house. There are so many people who use their accounts to escape from their realities and receive the validation from strangers that their life is, indeed, amazing. It’s important that we, as viewers, realize that most of the time the person we see isn’t their entire self.
It’s more common now than ever before to see more genuine people on Instagram, but I believe that can make it more difficult to spot out the fantasy with the reality.
5. Use Others as Motivation, Not Jealousy
Instead of feeling envious when you see a super fit person on Instagram working out, use this as motivation to get yourself up and moving. This person didn’t just wake up and look like that. They put in hard work, and I can guarantee that they were in your exact shoes scrolling through their news feed, feeling envious of others.
The difference is, they made a decision to change their path and that’s what you need to do to. Don’t dream about success, work for it. Use others and what you admire about them as motivation to better yourself and those around you. If you see someone doing something you want to do, make that a goal and do it. Stop wishing and take action. You are in control and you make the choice to lead your own life.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else does or what they have. You are the one that matters.
6. Surround Yourself with Positivity
What’s that old saying? “Birds of a feather flock together.”? A negative mindset will constantly attract negative thoughts. You have control of what you think and feel. If you are constantly seeing images of people and can’t help but compare yourself, why not try looking up more genuine people? Sometimes all you need is a small dose of reality to ground your thoughts and remain positive.
There’s so many hashtags on Instagram that focus on the realities instead of all of the unrealistic images that make you feel inferior. #Bodypositivity, #selflove, #bodypositive are personally some of my favorite. I recommend reading Love Yourself like Your Life Depends on it for that extra boost of self love!
You can join Facebook groups on specific topics that you enjoy and make you happy. Connect with people who have a similar mindset and you’ll soon start to feel like you are supported and belong. Sometimes you just need to realize that you are enough exactly how you are.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Be patient with yourself. Be kind with yourself. We are all flawed and perfection is a fantasy. This is your journey. Your story is so unique and it deserves to be. Embrace your individuality, convert negative thoughts to positive ones, and use others as motivation to better yourself if that’s your goal.
What are your thoughts about comparison?
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