If you sometimes think that you are the only one who becomes discouraged or lonely or beat down while comparing yourself with another, be assured you are not alone. Comparing ourselves to others may be the most powerful destroyer of a good day for any one, any age, any lifestyle, any race, any educational or intellectual quotient, or any income bracket. Why do we subject ourselves to this? Can we judge ourselves with a non-critical eye? The following 10 ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others is a practical and applicable exercise that can change your life. Live your best life, starting today!
How to Become All You Were Meant to Be
Perhaps we should eliminate this pastime of purposely destroying our feeling of self-worth. Let’s look at this together. We really don’t have time to rebuild ourselves following every comparative event. Let’s find a healthier way to become all we are meant to be.
Innately, you may be aware that you are one of a kind. You are an individual, there are no two people just alike. You have traits and gifts that no one else has. Yet, when you measure yourself against another person, suddenly you may feel inadequate and even a loser. Your day is ruined. This is an occurrence that is shared universally and needs to be addressed so that we may free ourselves from this great Destroyer of Self Worth.
This is a learned trait. My life has been colored by this comparison factor.
It is not a factor that has no merit: we learn and strive and succeed in order to win first place. That achievement pushes us to do greater things. That is, unless we let ourselves still feel like a failure because we may not have won in the most desired field of endeavor. We may not have attracted the same number of fans as another. Or we think it was a quirk, and we really do not have that ability after all – it may have been an ill-conceived goal.
Can we still be productive, complete, and fulfill purpose without being number one? There are just a few allotted places for number ones. There are tremendous places of opportunities, victories, and leadership for those who excel by giving their best, trying their hardest, and developing character along the way, even if they do not become #1.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
1. List your best traits.
Do you use these to benefit your everyday involvement and the many things in which you are involved? Have you polished these traits, honed the skills to use them, given thanks for them, and designed a way to use them for your advantage and to enhance other lives?
Can you use your skills, perfecting them, without always calling attention to them? Perhaps it would be better to have others laud those abilities rather than toot your own horn. Rest assured, your contributions will eventually be noticed and appreciated. Blowing our own horn detracts from the value of the service, turning it toward you. This is a big step on the way to maturity. Continue on for all 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
2.Keep a Record of your Achievements – For Your Own Use.
When you feel you were overlooked today, not asked to join the best team, skipped over as project leader – recall the times you were the one recognized, the time that your ideas were foremost. This assures us that we are able, that we are competitive, but we may not win each time.
It matters not if it is third grade baseball or corporate high rollers; it hurts when not chosen for the best team, the top managerial role. We may have to go home and rebuild our persona so that we can be ready to walk with head high, using our best for the next test.
3. Unpack Your Grateful spirit.
We take so much for granted. Itemize all the things you have that you earned or won. Family, of course, is our number one grateful ingredient of life for which to be thankful – not earned but a gift.
Realize the educational goals you have achieved, the skills that you have developed, the awards you have won. Be grateful that you have achieved. Determine if you have been lazy or unproductive at times. Were these the reasons that you may not have been promoted?
Be grateful for second opportunities. Be grateful for coaches and bosses who extend themselves to assist you succeed. Be grateful for team players and be one yourself. A grateful and thankful person is always a welcome asset in a group, be it a fun bunch or a challenging work group. That means hiding the jealousy until we can work through it. Compliment the winners. Offer your assistance in the plans. Do not be guilty of subterfuge.
We are often our own worst enemy. Learn to win and to lose with grace. Be an encourager and you are always welcome. Continue on for all 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
4. Social Media is a Great Destroyer.
Limited use of social media can be great, affording us opportunity to be connected and sharing. However, remember that most posts are only made at times when everyone looks happy, successful, and beautiful. Watching alone from our small apartment, in worn jeans, eating a stale sandwich, we are a willing subject for a poor-me, terrific-them, type situation.
Too much time is spent following details of people we hardly know. I have a friend who makes herself lonelier and more miserable counting outings and accomplishments of others – rather than making a life of her own. Are you guilty of this?
So much is fake news – or at least leaving out the non-perfect times.
Do not let that world color your real existence. Make friends, join groups, volunteer, be involved in the real world. Meet people who will inspire you to grow in grace and genteelness. Be with people who make you laugh and not take yourself so seriously all of the time. Be with people who have high thoughts and aspirations, people who want to include you in worthwhile projects and great fun times. Step into life and live rather than bemoaning your weak points. Make someone else’s day better today! Continue on for all 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
5. Find Your Natural Gifts
Perhaps we should determine our natural gifts and tendencies before choosing a profession, group of friends or goal setting. Determining who we are and finding a slot that offers us more opportunity, because of our innate gifts, can make our life smoother and more productive.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Physically
As a high school student who had double promoted twice and thereby was two years younger than classmates, I found myself less physically developed than the other girls, causing me to feel less attractive, less competitive in most sports, and considered “brainy.” This particular school valued sports and looks over brains. I found myself, in retrospect, concentrating on studies in lone times while developing an acceptable and appreciated sense of humor when in the crowd in order to compensate. Not that I made the best choice, but am using this to illustrate the self-preservation instinct, makes a point. How better could I have handled the need to belong? What about you?
Continue on for all 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
6. Success is Addictive
Success denotes energy, leadership, affability, and, not surprisingly, although untrue, a perfect life. Do we realize how much time and effort that person expended in order to measure up for that promotion? Or how much time is spent away from family in order to meet the demands of that type of leadership? Are we ready to fully commit to a job to that extent?
Perhaps when we compare in those ways, we see ourselves being at least an equal with others in the lifestyles that we have chosen. Success in a job is measured by the amount of satisfaction realized while producing an outcome that is useful and doing it to the best of our ability.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Financially
Let’s look with pride at our current position. Determine steps we are willing to take to rise on the organizational chart. Evaluate effort and payoff; and then pat ourselves on the back for doing a good job with our choice or as chosen. Individual rather than comparative assessment is more likely to be productive.
7. Learn to enjoy your friends’ success.
A complex and difficult move. How do we handle? How do I truly rejoice in someone else’s success – especially if I was in line for that promotion? It takes maturity and inner strength to handle this well. Loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Because my husband and I chose professions that, while fulfilling, were not in the high-salaried range, I learned to enjoy living like the wealthy when I was guests of my wealthier friends. I found it fun to see how much they could accomplish as well as accumulate. I feel no jealousy. Strangely, those who have evoked my jealousy are those who live in the same income neighborhood but seem to be able to make the same income produce more stuff. So, we mortals always have this same phenomenon of not measuring up from the third grade baseball team to the beauty of the Home for the Aged. We have to laugh at ourselves. Decide what really matters. Continue on for all 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
8. So What Ruins Your Day When Comparing Yourself With Others?
Interestingly, we find that some people compare themselves to others and feel inferior in areas that we would never consider important. And the opposite is true. Comparing our comparison grid?
For instance, what is a pretty girl? Blonde or dark? Short or tall? Soft or chisel featured? Soft spoken or assertive? In truth, people are attracted to someone by their demeanor, their attentiveness to one’s conversation and involvement therein, the kindness in their manner, the way they say and remember your name, the eye contact, the gift of presence they offer.
Let us grade ourselves on how we measure up to these desirable traits that we all can attain.
We then develop ourselves and who we are as individuals and need not worry about comparing with others. There is always room for improvement for all of us on that spectrum. Continue on for all 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
9. Look in the Mirror – Actually and Figuratively
Do you like what you see? Spend time on creating the best you in every way rather than in critically assessing how you measure up to someone with whom you interact regularly. Take your best traits and add patience and kindness to them and watch a superior person begin to emerge.
Avoid toxic people. Avoid people who are always critical and those who tear down others.
Avoid gossip and badmouthing. Why would you try to emulate someone whose persona annoys you?
Be the best YOU that you can be.
Fill your life with appreciation and joy and helpfulness to others. A change takes place and you will be seen differently through others eyes. No longer will you appear as furtively trying to outdo another. No longer will you constantly be feeling a lesser person by comparing to others. That new and enhanced YOU may be just what is needed. You can’t change others. Change yourself.
10. You have heard it said that God looks at the heart of man.
God sees who we really are inside. What does God require of us? “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Does this match the list of traits that you are thinking you must have to be a success? The wealthiest property owner and the poorest laborer can each meet these requirements. Can you and I?
Before we get caught up in measuring ourself against others or molding ourselves after a success story, let us be sure the basics of the previous verse have resonated and taken firm lodging in our lives. The most important things are to be known as honest, putting in the work for which you are being paid, being helpful to others, being fair as well as walking humbly in God’s sight.
Whatever your goals, whatever your aspirations, whatever your gifts: we are all called to dedicate them to sharing God’s love and mercy to all mankind. Can we do this in a humble and loving manner?
May God use me in whatever way I am able to serve until He takes me to be with him. Help me to love others and measure myself by what God’s plan is for me: rather than measuring myself against others.
For God is loving and wants the best for me and the best for you. He does not condemn his own, but forgives and lifts us up.
I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13