Throughout life, you may have experienced not being good enough, strong enough, good-looking enough, hard-working enough, disciplined enough, rich enough, tall enough, or perhaps quick enough. But don’t worry. You don’t have to be any of those things. You are you, and you are precisely how you should be when you stop comparing yourself to others.
Yes, I know, it’s always much easier said than done. Just like with every other lesson in this life.
It’s just that most of us have learned that to figure out who we are, what we can do, how we look, how much we earn, etc., we need to look at the people around us.
The problem with comparing yourself to other people is how easily you can find some who aren’t how you are. As a race, we are diverse, and depending on the eyes that see, you can always find someone better or worse, prettier or uglier, richer or poorer. Just like you can find people who are more successful or less successful that what you think you are.
If you are very “good,” you’ve already learned to focus only on those who are better, stronger, more hard-working, taller, faster, etc. In other words, you have learned to sift those out who don’t fit into the way you see yourself, and when you do this, you cheat yourself.
You don’t see everything that is, you see only what you focus on, and to stop this, I’ll give you five things here that you can do to stop comparing yourself to others:
1. Focus on your own progress
Regardless how much you want something else than what you have, you have what you have. That doesn’t mean you can’t get, be, or achieve more, so move your focus inward and start comparing you to yourself.
Are you happier than you were before? Are you smarter than you were 10 years ago? Are you a better reader today than you were as a child? Do you live in a bigger house, a cheaper place, or have you achieved some of the things you dreamt of before?
You might want to write it down and focus on your starting point when you want to evaluate yourself in the future.
2. Recognize your biases
Most people have the (unfortunate) tendency to compare their own weaknesses to other people’s strengths. Make sure you don’t make that mistake, because if you do this, you will NEVER be good enough.
Next time you do this, stop for a moment and remind yourself that you are good enough the way you are, and that you are where you are. Believe me. Life is not as black and white as you may be making it look. I guarantee you that those you are comparing yourself to are seeing some things in your life or in your personality they wish they had.
3. Admit to being envious
There is nothing wrong with being envious. Even though you may have learned that envy is an ugly thing, be honest with yourself and admit that you are jealous of others if they have, are, or do things you want.
It can be quite liberating, and if you even tell them that you think they are lucky because they _____ (insert whatever you are jealous of here), you will often find that they’ll tell you the things they envy about you - Things you may not even have noticed, because your focus was elsewhere entirely.
4. Accept that you’re unique
If you want to stop comparing yourself with others, you’ll have to accept sooner or later that there is no one just like you. You are unique. Everybody has different character traits, abilities, and premises for doing the things they do. So do you.
Accept that you are where you are, and that you are who you are. That is SO liberating, and it makes it easier to stop comparing yourself with others.
5. Stop being hard on yourself
You know it in your heart of hearts: You are way too hard on yourself, and you should let go of some of all that perfectionism you carry around. The problem is that it’s an endless spiral. For most people, it only gets worse over the years, so admit that this is the way it is and stop it. Shift your focus and notice instead the things you get done, the things you are good at, and where you are successful.
When you do this, you turn your focus inward on yourself. The truth is that we all have our burdens to bear, we have gifts to share, and lessons to learn. Therefore, focus on doing the best you can with what you’ve got. Then everything will turn out alright....