Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

Stop Comparing Yourself to OthersAt one point or another (or, perhaps, very often) we compare ourselves to other people.

People who earn more money, who we think are more successful, who are better looking, or who seemingly have a perfect life. Then we talk down to ourselves wondering why we aren’t like them. Why our lives didn’t turn out perfect.

It’s stupid.

My Self-Comparisons

When I was married I was always envious of those women who seemed to have the perfect partner. Someone who was on the same path as they were and supported them in all they did.

Then when I got divorced I was envious of people who kept their marriages together. Women who seemed liked super moms with their supermen husband. But the funny thing was, the people I was jealous of were the people I read about online. I didn’t know anyone personally who had a superior marriage with perfect kids, a perfect house, and a perfect life.

And, that’s simply because perfect doesn’t exist.

What you read online whether it be blogs, Facebook, or some other form of social media are only half truths. You only get a peek into someone’s life – usually just the best part of someone’s life while all the struggles, fights, and compromises are left out.

So here I was, depressed because I got divorced, not because I made a mistake in getting divorced but because now no one would ever think I was perfect.

Divorce isn’t the only self-comparison I’ve made. I’ve also been envious of those who seem to have the perfect career, who earn tons of money, who have a nice house, and more.

Get Over It

Making negative self-comparisons is self-abuse.

You constantly want what somebody else has without fully understanding their life. Most likely if you knew the full extent of their story there’s no way in hell you’d want to trade places with them.

I feel like I’ve finally come to terms and fully accepted the fact that I’m not perfect and I’m good with that. I have it so much better than a lot of other people. When I don’t like something about my life I change it.

Over the past few months I’ve made a conscious effort to stop comparing myself to others. When someone else is doing awesome I think “good for them” instead of letting it get to me.

And since I’ve stopped making so many self-comparisons I’ve felt so much better about my life. I feel content. Happy with what I have and happy every day I wake up.

It’s hard to stop comparing yourself to other people but it can be done. And, it will make you a much happier person. Here are the things I’ve done to stop comparing myself to other people.

Make Goals

You know when you get super jealous of someone else’s success? Well the thing is, you’re probably just as capable as they are, so why hate on them?

Instead of letting someone else’s success trigger jealousy I’ve been using it to motivate me. I am a firm believer that pretty much anyone can do anything they want to do. They just have to do it.

So I set my goals and I use other people as motivation. I don’t care if I’m not at the same level as them. I’m willing to put in the work and if I don’t, then that’s my fault.

The next time you get jealous or start comparing your success to someone else’s don’t. It’s not a competition. Just find what you like in that person and try to emulate it, let it motivate you.

Delete Your Facebook, Spend Less Time Online

I’ve noticed something. The more time I spend reading blogs the more I lose my voice. I start writing about what other people are writing instead of what I really care about. I think this boils down to subconsciously trying to fit in.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy reading other peoples blogs but I do it on a lower scale.

The same goes for Facebook. Generally speaking there are three groups of people on Facebook. The first group are the ones who only post positive things about their life – vacations, new houses, new cars, etc.

The second group bitch and complain about everything. They have a headache, their boyfriend is a loser, their job sucks, people on welfare are worthless, etc.

Then there are third group (like I was) who just sit back and read all of the status updates people are posting. Toxic.

I deleted my personal Facebook Page months ago and I’m so happy that I did. I can’t tell you enough that I don’t miss Facebook One. Single. Bit.

Celebrate The Success of Others

If you’re constantly comparing yourself to a specific person one great way to stop is to celebrate their success. I know this can be hard. But by saying “good for them” instead of wishing bad thoughts on them or beating up on yourself, you’ll feel a lot better.

Seriously. Try it.

The next time you compare yourself to someone and get jealous accept that they are doing great – not that you are doing bad. And, that you’re just as capable as they are if you are willing to put in the work.

It takes less energy to be happy for someone than it does to hate on them or yourself, AND it will make you feel so much better.

Count Your Blessings

There are things you have in your life than no one else will ever have. You are unique. Take advantage of that. As corny as it sounds there’s never going to be someone exactly like you.

Count your good qualities, the amazing people you have in your life, and think about why other people would envy you. I bet there are more reasons than you think.

Be You – Who Cares What Other People Think?

If you’re happy with your life and the people in it do you really care what other people think?

Cut the drama out of your life. Surround yourself with supportive people. Do something for you. Build your self-confidence.

Just try it. Because you will seriously feel so much better when you stop trying to be someone you’re not.

stop comparing yourself to others

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About Alexa

Alexa Mason is the blogger behind Single Moms Income, a personal finance freelance writer, and wanna-be internet entrepreneur. This is where she shares her journey as a single mother trying to make it big.

Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And I’ve been toying with the idea of deleting Facebook. I was the same as you – not very interactive, but absorbing all the things to try to live up to. The thing is, FB was originally made for 18 – 22 year olds (now it’s open to all age groups), so I feel like I’ve outgrown it. I’ve had it for eight years! Absurd.

    I’m just starting out in my career and I have had the comparison first-job envy. We are all trying to graduate and get “the best job”. My job is a bit unconventional (location, most specifically) but it is treating me well in a very low cost of living area, so I should be happy. Then I hear the inflated salaries of my buddies living in Vancouver, or Calgary and start thinking “hmmm… Maybe I don’t have it so good”, even though I know I do until I compare. Thanks for the reminder.

    • I’m the same way I live in a very low cost area so I would look at these other people making a ton of money and think that I need to do the same, when I really I don’t. When you look at the full picture a lot of the people making a ton of money also live in very high cost areas.

      You can try deleting your Facebook. You won’t lose any friends or anything on your timeline if you decide you want to do Facebook again. Once you log back in it reactivates your account.

  2. Great words today Alexa! When we choose not to compare ourselves with others we have broken free from a deadly trap. I don’t want to live another person’s life…I’m happy with the one God gave to me.

    • Absolutely! It’s just easy to look at one aspect of a persons life and think they’ve got it made when really they don’t. It is a deadly trap.

  3. I needed this! FB, TV, blogs etc all lead me to get mad and think, “why can’t I have that? Why is my hubby a big jerk and hers is thoughtful? How does she find time to run 3 miles and look great and I don’t?” But I am a believer that it is hard to feel envy and discontentment if you focus on being grateful….it’s like it’s impossible to feel both simultaneously. So that’s been my strategy lately!

    • I think that’s an awesome strategy. And, you’re right – it’s hard to feel envy when you focus on being grateful.

  4. As an extrovert, I’m particularly prone to these sort of negative comparisons. I sometimes think that there is an upside (e.g. – trying harder, so that I come out ‘ahead’ when I do these comparisons). But because I focus so much on the times I fail to come out ahead, it’s a net loss.

    Great advice, Alexa.

  5. This is such a great post! Comparing yourself to others is my downfall I have to admit. Stepping back and counting my blessings helps me out when I get down. Thanks again for posting this Alexa.

  6. Thank you, I needed to read this today. Also, I really like your blog, I’ve been reading for little over a month. I am thinking about deleting face book too, ever since I’ve had it on my phone it distracts me whenever I have free time during the day. And I agree that reading others blogs can help, but also can distract from your own voice as a writer. I’m thinking about doing morning gratitude and daily objectives concentrating on my life, desires and what I really want.

  7. Almost everyone feels this way, and we often erroneously think that if we just made more money, lost some weight, had more friends, got a better job, moved into a nicer place, had more outward “success,” found the “perfect” partner (or changed our partner into that “perfect” person), or whatever, than these insecure and unhealthy feelings of inferior/superior comparison would simply go away. Not true. How we can transform our comparison process into an experience of growth, connection and self acceptance and self love (and ultimately let it go) is by dealing with it directly and going to the source — us, and how we relate to ourselves.

  8. You’re really spot on with this mentality. I HATE looking at what people are doing on Facebook because it all feels phony to me. It’s as if they are actors in a commerical, and the director is only showing the good or fun parts of their day. Dig deep enough and you’ll see that they’ve got just as many skeletons as you.

    All you can really judge yourself on is whether or not you achieve the goals you set out to do. That’s it. There was always be people who are richer, smarter, prettier, [whatever] than you. And that’s just part of life. But it doesn’t mean anything less for you. You have the opportunity to make your own accomplishments. The only judgement should be whether or not you actually accomplish what you want to.

  9. Great post, Alexa. We should all strive to do our best and not worry about others. Some people really do have it all but others just look like they do.

  10. Great post, Alexa! I have trouble with this and have always had trouble with this. For some reason I have trouble sharing in other people’s successes, probably because it makes me think about how I may not be as successful as them or may not have had anything great happen in my life lately. In reality there is always going to be someone else more successful than you (at least in your own mind) so you might as well start sharing in their success and being happy for them.

  11. All great points Alexa. I have found myself spending too much time on the computer when I’m at home with my kids and have to remind myself what is really important.

  12. This is always a great lesson. Too many times have I compared myself to others, sometimes not on purpose! That’s just how I think. Now I just need to be more mindful and grateful for what I have.

  13. I love this post. You hit the nail on the head with the types of people on FB. I am like you were — more or less sitting back and taking it all in. Though I have to say that FB doesn’t cause me to compare myself to others as much as “lifestyle” blogs (the ones with perfect homes, perfect husbands and perfect kids). I have to limit my exposure to these types of blogs because I end up feeling bad about my life. You are also right about only seeing a small slice of someone’s life.

    Thanks for sharing this! Good to read a like-minded perspective.

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