- Education and Science
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: 3 Simple Tips
The grass on the other side is just as green as yours...
As human beings, we all have insecurities, no matter how much we seem to have everything "together."
One of the biggest problems with insecurity, of course, is that it eats away at your self-confidence, leading you to look at others' lives and conclude that the grass must be
greener on the other side. This sneaky way of thinking can become a habit, even if you're entirely unaware of it.
You start to notice little things other people have achieved. Subconsciously, it begins to gnaw at your sense of self. You no longer feel entirely comfortable with yourself. Seeing what other people have done makes you feel you a misfit in this big, wide world.
Well, then, stop! (I'll show you how.)
Whether you're thinking of someone who has a fancier car, more education, a bigger house, or more money than you, comparing yourself to others is self-destructive. It sabotages your own sense of purpose and distracts you from the meaningful opportunities that are right in front of you.
Clearing your mind of these thoughts can be difficult, but it can be done if you adopt a different mindset.
Here are a few workable tips.
1. Develop your own talents
Everyone has something he or she is good at, whether it's painting, playing the piano, or writing. The people who become really successful by means of their talent--the type of people so many others envy, praise and idolize--achieved their success by honing their craft and developing a true love for it.
If your mind too often drifts to the accomplishments of others, perhaps it's time to revisit some of your own unique abilities. Even if you don't feel you have an inborn talent, it's never too late to try a new hobby you might like.
Doing this will help you focus on fulfilling creative pursuits--activities that will really "feed your soul", as they say--and give you a burst of self-confidence.
2. Focus on the things that bring you joy
What really makes you happy? Think about it for a minute...maybe even write it down. Is it taking a walk in the park, or watching a good movie?
Perhaps it's hanging out with friends or visiting a museum.
Whatever it is, spend more time doing the things you like to do, simply for the pleasure of doing them.
Taking time to enjoy the simple things in life will show you that there's more to this world than what the next person has achieved. Focusing on the stuff you really like will also prove an important point: that you are a worthy person all on your own, with unique passions and interests. Reinforcing that knowledge will help you value yourself more, rather than use others as measuring sticks.
3. Help somebody
When we're busy focusing on how good other people have it, it's all too easy to forget how fortunate we are. Right at this very moment, regardless of how terrible your situation seems, there's somebody out there who's worse off.
The great thing is, you can use that knowledge not only to snap out of self-pity, but to reinforce your own self-esteem by doing some good on planet Earth.
Make it a point in your life to help someone who's less fortunate than you, whether that means:
- being a tutor to local disadvantaged kids,
- volunteering at a soup kitchen, or
- hosting a garage or bake sale to raise money for charity.
Making a difference this way will prove to you that your presence in the world is meaningful--even necessary--and that it's impossible to be inferior to any other human being.
(Because when you think about it, the whole superiority/inferiority thing among humans is really nonsense, anyway.)
It's very easy for envy to creep up on you, but don't let it. There's too much richness in life to go around for everyone, including you! (Yup, you.) Once you realize that the richness doesn't come from material possessions or achievements--but from an optimistic outlook and a compassionate mindset--you're well on your way to filling your life to the brim with fulfillment and satisfaction.