Every now and then you find yourself going through a phase where you get sucked into a bad habit of comparing yourself to others. You’ll look at their jobs, careers, their fancy instagram posts and their celebratory success posts on facebook. You catch yourself thinking, “Why am I not doing that?” – and then quickly remember that you don’t even want to do what they’re doing.
Sometimes I fall into this trap too. It’s easy to do when everywhere you look people are telling you about their latest success or exciting adventure. It’s like you’re constantly being teased to do something else! Now don’t get me wrong here. I like social media and I agree that it should be used as a force for good. People should be posting about things they’re proud of or happy about – it’s their every right to share! But you as the audience have to remind yourself to approach these posts with a bit of perspective. You have to stop comparing yourself to others and start focusing on your own path.
The trick is to become more aware of when you’re doing these comparisons – and acknowledging them. Suppressing them or beating yourself up for making comparisons will only make it worse. Once you’ve acknowledged that this is something that you’re doing, it’s time to play with these five strategies.
1. Connect with your real self – and love it.
You are exactly who you are meant to be. You are perfect and amazing just the way you are. No one on this planet has ever been exactly like you, and no one in the future will ever be exactly like you. You are completely unique just as you are, and your beliefs, abilities and passions are there to form the unique you. Don’t let anyone else make you think otherwise. Don’t get tempted by who other people are, or how you think you’d like to be more like them. Focus on who you are, because no one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you. Connect with yourself and love yourself – that’s when the magic happens.
2. Say to yourself, “I am exactly where I am meant to be” – and believe it.
Often we try to push ourselves to places where we’re not quite ready to be. I definitely do that to myself and I have to constantly remind myself of exactly this phrase. The universe knows exactly what you can handle and your intuition is subconsciously telling you that too – so trust that. Don’t think about where you aren’t yet or what you haven’t achieved yet. Become mindful of where you are right now and appreciate every bit of it.
3. Get a clear vision of where you want to go.
The clearer you are about where you want to go, the easier it is to let go of comparisons. You’ll be less affected by other people’s tempting success stories because you’ll know what they’re doing is not a part of the vision you have for yourself. You’ll see their successes, celebrate them with them, and remind yourself of the next milestone you’re looking to reach in your life. Not their milestone. Your milestone.
4. Limit your time on social media (especially when you’re feeling low).
Social media makes social comparisons dangerously easy and if you’re feeling particularly stressed, tired or low, you’ll be even more vulnerable to making these comparisons in a bad way. Remind yourself that social media shows a very limited view of what’s going on in people’s lives – not their challenges but their successes, not their frustrations but their aspirations. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking their lives are perfect and that you’re doing something wrong because you haven’t got a hundred posts about your latest successes on your facebook wall.