Discover contentment and confidence
In today’s day and age of social media and the Internet, it’s almost impossible not to know what your network is doing, saying and purchasing at any given moment. It’s easy for a sense of “keeping up with the Joneses” to set in, leaving your sense of contentment in the hands of other people. On some level you might realize it’s best not to compare yourself to the curated online presence of your friends online, yet old habits die hard when you’ve fallen for a mindset like this. To understand how to stop comparing yourself to others, it’s crucial that you embrace your own unique strengths as a basis for self-acceptance.
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Examples of comparing yourself to others
One of the reasons it’s so challenging to learn how to stop comparing yourself to others is that humans are social creatures. At each stage of life, we must also compete against each other for survival – for an education, meaningful career opportunities and fulfilling relationships. If we’re not careful, our focus slips outward, and we look to others’ progress to gauge our own. Given our evolutionary predisposition, the tendency to compare ourselves to others can sneak into almost any situation.
Believing other people have all the luck
The belief that you’re unlucky is an insidious belief. Whenever you suffer an injustice, there’s always someone out there who didn’t suffer the same misfortune, which leaves room for speculation that everyone else is luckier than you. If you’re not careful, believing your life is cursed overshadows your own skills and talents, undermining your sense of self-direction. Mastering how to not compare yourself to others means putting incidences of bad luck in perspective so you’re able to leverage your resources effectively.
Believing other people are more successful
The belief that you’re subpar to everyone else often finds its roots innocently enough – in the fact that there are people who are outwardly more successful than almost everyone (think Bill Gates). While it’s true that rockstars stand out for a reason – not everyone has the skill set necessary to be a rockstar – the reality is far more nuanced regarding your own personal capacity for success. Everyone has struggles. Bill Gates himself says that success can actually hamper growth, since success seduces even smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
How to stop comparing yourself to others
Embrace imperfection as the norm
Social media lets us curate our lives to present a veneer of perfection. We begin to define our own success by how well others think we’re doing. Learning how to not compare yourself to others starts with acknowledging the fact that no one is perfect. No matter how polished someone appears on your news feed, the reality is that no profile is an accurate reflection of an individual’s actual success. Do not compare yourself to others – there is no need to.
Build your internal compass
Asking how to stop comparing yourself to others starts with finding your true identity. Instead of finding guidance and inspiration from other people, look inside. Your internal compass is your antidote to a self-esteem built upon externally sourced values or perceptions. Benjamin Franklin was an exemplar here. He reportedly kept tally of how many personal goals he met each day (most of his goals were related to temperance and self-control). He also set daily goals for doing good deeds that day. By divesting himself of others’ standards and expectations, Ben Franklin was able to build an impactful, meaningful life.
Create real significance
If you’re struggling with how to not compare yourself to others, your struggles may be rooted in the desire for significance. Significance is one of the 6 Human Needs that influence every thought, feeling and behavior we have. When the need for significance is not being met, it’s easy to look to others for meaning.
The truth is you must do the work to find and build significance into your life. Embrace positive ways to find meaning, like giving back through volunteering or donating to a charity. As you work to build a meaningful life aligned with your values, you’ll discover a greater sense of contentment.
Focus on your unique strengths
When you’re working on breaking the habit of comparing yourself to others, it’s tempting to adopt a mantra about the bad habit, like “never compare yourself to others.” This approach actually backfires, for the same reasons dieting backfires – when you tell yourself not to eat sugar, it becomes a forbidden fruit, which makes it all the more attractive. Spare yourself the stress and focus on your strengths and skills instead.
Congratulate others for their successes
Empathy is a powerful tool for mastering how to stop comparing yourself to others. As you work on developing your self-confidence, you’re able to enjoy others’ successes without being threatened by them. By celebrating others’ accomplishments, you eliminate the need to compare yourself to them.
Finally ready to stop comparing yourself to others?
Discover how to find your own unique confidence with Tony Robbins’ Limiting Beliefs E-Book.