Is comparison stealing your happiness? Have you ever gone to a friend’s new home and then looked at yours and wanted more? Did you ever run into someone you went to high school with and got to talking about your lives and afterwards felt like you haven’t accomplished near as much as you thought? Comparison is the thief of happiness. Instead of celebrating our own accomplishments, comparing is a way we judge our success on what others have. That little green monster of envy is real!
Social media has become one of the top tools that people use to compare themselves to others. I know that I am personally guilty of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and wishing that I had some of the things that have been posted by others. But when you think about it, do these Instagram models and even your old best friend from middle school really have these perfect lives? The answer is no. Social media is a way to show the highlight reel of your life. Of course, people are not going to post their struggles and downfalls. They are going to make their lives look lavish and exciting. Here are 3 easy steps to help you to stop comparing:
Step 1: Make a Mental Note When You Compare Yourself to Others
For many of us, myself included, controlling and changing how we think can be one of the most difficult tasks to achieve. Just the simple act of acknowledgement can be enough to break you out of a habit. The key is to become more self-aware which will help in changing behaviors.
We can apply the same approach to negative comparisons. When you feel upset because you’re not at someone else’s level, make a note of it, give yourself a quick telling off over your thoughts aren’t helpful, then get on with your day. After all, being productive rather than feeling sorry for yourself is always a better alternative.
Step 2: Recognize Everyone is Unique
Everyone is different. We come from different backgrounds, had different childhoods, grew up in different areas, went to different schools, chose different careers, and enjoy different things. You get what I’m saying! I am not going to be the same as my neighbor just like you are not going to be the same as your co-worker.
With that being said, there is little point in trying to compare yourself with other people, especially in areas that are not comparable to begin with. That includes areas such as your life, your goals, your values, your height, your weight, your race, your body, your looks/beauty, your finances, and so on.
Also, recognize that everyone’s life is unique. Comparing yourself or your life with others’ has no value because each of us has our own unique life path that is ours to create and follow. There is no timeframe on when you should feel fully fulfilled in life or when you should have everything in your life put together. Also, there is no need to feel compelled to live a life that is just like someone else’s, because you are different from that person. Embrace your uniqueness in order to find your happiness!
Step 3: Focus on Being the Best Version of Yourself
It is okay to look at what someone else has, want it and then set goals for yourself to achieve those things. That is an example of positive comparison. Just make sure that you are doing it for your own personal growth, not to be a replica. Feel free to let yourself be inspired by others, but don’t lose yourself in the fascination.
Figure out what is best for you and what will truly make you happy. Then go for it! Ultimately, your biggest and only source of competition in life is yourself. Don’t waste your life striving to be someone else. Life is too short to lose your happiness to comparison!
Sometimes, we fall into the trap of being jealous of someone else’s success instead of celebrating it. This doesn’t make us bad people, but does mean we could put too much stock in comparing ourselves with others. This makes us feel unsatisfied with our own lives. Learning how to stop focusing on what others have and seeing the beauty in our own lives will allow you to be happy with who you are and be proud of what you have accomplished.
Learn more by watching this video by another Healing Hearts of Indy counselor. . . You Are What You Consume