TUNE IN: APPLE PODCASTS | SPOTIFY | STITCHER
I used to struggle with comparing myself to others. I spent hours and hours going down the social media rabbit hole, asking myself why I couldn't be as pretty or happy as these girls I saw. It got so bad one day that I googled, “How do I stop comparing myself to others.” And well, let me save you the time – google didn't help. What google gave me were just tips that simply put a bandaid on what the underlying issue was. And yeah, those things might help for a moment, but they weren't going to help me stop comparing long-term.
So is it possible to stop comparing? And why the heck is this affecting so many more people today?
Social media, yes, but what is it about social media? I have 2 thoughts.
- We are comparing ourselves to our peers. It is not just magazine models anymore. Yes, airbrushed magazine models can harm our self-esteem; however, it was a bit easier to bring it back to reality and say… Well, that's a model.
- Along with seeing way too much about all of our peers' lives… We are typically comparing our perceived worst self with somebody’s shown best self—we aren't using our rational brain to differentiate the two.
“If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult since we think them happier than they are.” – Charles de Montesquieu
Here is the four-step foolproof method I use to stop comparing myself to others!
- Pull up a picture of who/what you're comparing yourself to
- Do some research to find out what it took for this person to have the life, the body, the house, the car, etc., that I am envious of, what it takes to maintain having this, and what it would take you to achieve this.
- Physically write out all of the steps you think it took for this person to get to where they are.
- Look at the list and ask yourself, “Would I be happy doing all this to become what they are/ what they have?”
Take that list you just wrote out and circle everything on that list you believe you would be happy doing. And truly be honest with yourself. I mean, whatever it is – again, ask yourself if this would make you happy.
If the answer is no, then you’re comparing apples and oranges. Maybe that life isn’t for you, and that is OKAY! Understanding this helps you to understand the benefits of not comparing. Whether it is someone else’s family life, car, job, home, etc. (the list is endless) that you are envious of – pause and work through the steps above. You might find, too, that this is not the life that would make you the happiest.