Have you ever spent hours frantically scrolling through social media, to end up on your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s profile, and wonder “Why am not as successful?”, “why don’t I have what they have?” “Why don’t I look as happy?”, “What’s wrong with me?”, “Am I not good enough?”. 🌋🛑
Then comes the disbelief of what just happened! You ask yourself “how have I just wasted hours, stuck in other people’s lives?” “Am I envying someone I don’t even know?” You put your phone away swearing off Instagram forever just to pick up it up a few hours later and the cycle begins again.
👉🏾If you have answered yes to these questions – welcome to the comparison club! Comparison is a common behaviour, there are a lot of us doing it and the numbers are increasing. In fact, humans have been comparing themselves to each other since the dawn of time. According to the social comparison theory, the human brain is wired to compare our self to members of the species as it was a primitive way of keeping ourselves safe. Fast forward to nowadays where thanks to social media, these comparisons are happening at an unprecedented scale and rate.
The bad news is that comparison will rob you of your precious time but most importantly, your joy. It can create feelings of discouragement, despair, and shame, not to mention it does nothing for your mental health, emotional health, career, and personal growth. Also, comparison is almost always unfair. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re often comparing their best features against our average ones, and it becomes a recipe for unhappiness.
⭐The good news is there are concrete ways to stop comparing yourself to others, according to the therapist Marisa Peer, these methods will allow you to grow personally and professionally 🌄.
They allow you to: 1. Make faster progress on your goals - by no longer allowing comparison to distract your focus and drains your energy
To feel fulfilled - by knowing that you are unique, you are on your own path, and you are enough
Improve your relationships - When you stop using other people’s success or lifestyle as a measuring stick, you can build a better, more authentic connection
How can you stop comparing yourself?
🌱 Become aware that you are doing it and your triggers: Start noticing your thoughts and the situations that cause you to play the comparison game. Once you know your triggers you will be able to control them.
🌱 Avoid your triggers: If your trigger is social media, try avoiding mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds as much as possible. Start using social media purposefully, specifically choosing what you will look at and keeping it to a minimum. If your trigger is a friend that brags too much, consider making some changes in your friend circle.
🌱 Keep a journal: Note down your thoughts, particularly when you are trapped in the comparison spiral. Once those thoughts are on a page, you have the power to observe them, decipher where they are coming from and decide whether or not they were true or just a result of you feeling inadequate.
🌱Name your ego/inner critic: You know that harsh voice inside of you that keeps telling you that you are not good enough? It is your ego or inner critic that was created to protect you from your reality. The idea is not to shut it down but to name it, which gives it less power. Once you do this, start having a conversation with him/her, let him/her know that you understand what they are trying to do and that everything will be okay.
🌱Remind yourself of your wins and what makes you unique: Shine the spotlight on your own achievements! Toot your own horn for a hot minute (or more). Let’s bring the focus back to you and all the hard work you’ve done to get to where you are.
🌱Use comparison as motivation: Rather than rank people as better or worse than you, think about what you can learn from others. Ask yourself who do you admire and what kind of comparisons might actually be healthy for you? 🌱Practice gratitude: There is so much power in being grateful, even of the little things.
What methods have worked for you to stop comparing yourself to others?
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