I used to struggle with comparison. Night after night, I would slide into bed and google ‘how do I stop comparing myself to others.' Google didn't help, but I found something that did. The problem with comparison is that we typically compare our worst self with somebody's best self. We KNOW that Instagram is a highlight reel, but sometimes when we're in it – it is super easy to forget.
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
Today, I will provide you with my four-step fool-proof method for hopping off this comparison train once and for all!
01. Pull up a picture
.. of the person, you are comparing yourself to. If it is their body, find a body shot. Maybe it is their home; get a picture of their home. If it is their lifestyle, get a few pictures of what they get to do that you want to do. Make sure the image is up on your phone, and you are looking at it before moving on to step two.
02. Ask yourself
“What did it take for this person to have the life, the body, the house, the car, etc., that I am envious of?”
If you have been following this person for some time, odds are you probably know a lot about their life. Trying to read through the lines of the highlight reel, think about everything this person does to get what you want.
- How many hours are they spending a day in the gym?
- Or, how many hours are they spending at work?
- How many hours are they spending traveling?
- Or, how many nights do they spend away from home?
Think about all of it.
I used to be guilty of hating influencers. I used to say, “their lives are so easy; all they do is take a picture and get money…” Ha, SO WRONG! When I did a little research, I realized how much time, energy, and effort goes into every post of influencers and content creators. This would be a perfect example of how my comparison clouded my vision of this person's life.
03. Physically write it out
… all the steps you think it took for this person to get to where they are. It is one thing to think about; it is another to write it down and SEE IT physically. When we have this written out on paper, it is easier to look at everything separate from a pretty picture. Also, writing this out helps for step four! Don't BS this part; take some time, and get it all out.
04. Get clear
Ask yourself, “Would I be happy doing all of this to become what they are/ what they have?”
We know that you could follow the exact steps they took and still not be where they are – which is why this is such an important question. We will always be chasing if we are just focused on the outcome. However, if we can fall in love with the process, the outcome eventually becomes a bonus rather than a make-it-or-break-it.
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. Would you be satisfied saying no to dessert more than yes? Maybe you would be comfortable sitting behind a computer all day creating content. Would you be happy spending 3-4X a week behind a camera filming or shooting? Maybe you would be happy working more hours at the office than you are.
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! I used to compare myself to girls with perfect bodies on Instagram all the time… I mean, who doesn't? But, when I wrote down all of the things it typically takes to get a body like that, I realized those were things that wouldn't make me happy, and therefore comparing myself to that was just a waste of energy!
Now every time I see a girl with a super lean ripped body on insta, and I start to compare – I remind myself that life is not for me. I am a happier person eating dessert, allowing my boyfriend to make dinner for me without controlling what he does, and not counting every calorie I eat than having that body. Therefore, that is not the body for me. AND THAT IS OKAY!
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.