Caught in a comparison cycle?
Scrolling through social media, each photo quickly becomes a measuring stick to your own life.
As you scroll through each photo, thoughts start popping up:
- My body looks nothing like hers.
- I wish I had a job like his.
- Wow their life looks so much more fun than mine.
- At least I am further along than her.
On the one side, comparison leads to feelings of insecurity + jealously. On the other side it can lead to overconfidence and arrogance.
It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, but no matter what, you always lose.
Comparing yourself to others leads to:
- A lack mentality (believing there’s not enough to go around).
- A lack of self-awareness (inability to focus on your own life).
- A diminishing of your blessings (all that you have).
- A focus on the gap between you and your goal, rather than the gain (how far you’ve come).
This inevitably leads to deep dissatisfaction, jealously, guilt, remorse, insecurity, and a negative mindset.
Is Comparison Inevitable?
Here’s the thing, humans are wired to compare. That’s just what we do.
According to psychologist’s Leon Festinger’s social comparison theory, people determine their own social and personal worth based on how they measure up against others. The evidence suggests that comparison is one of the most basic building blocks in the way we humans understand and perceive the world.
So, while you may not be able to quit comparing all together… you can transform your life by shifting your habit of comparison to gentle observing.
Instead of comparing, notice and practice genuinely feeling happy + proud of other people’s successes.
Remember, that just because someone has what you want doesn’t mean it’s not available to you. Their success is a part of you that has not yet developed or a goal that has not manifested.
You can use others’ wins as inspiration and motivation. Let others’ serve as examples of where you want to go and take steps to make it happen.
Because here’s the good news…. when your thoughts and energy are no longer stuck in negative comparison, your dreams, desires, and goals will flow to you much faster.
To jump off the comparison train and keep your focus inward, practice my 5 step process below to shift out of negative comparison.
5 STEPS TO STOP COMPARING
① Acknowledge When You’re Comparing
Comparing yourself may be second nature, so you might not even notice when you’re doing it. Pay attention to break the habit.
② Compliment Them + Compliment Yourself
Celebrate the greatness in others and within yourself. When you see someone succeed, congratulate them. At the same time, remind yourself of one of your own achievements. It feels good to remember that there’s enough greatness to go around.
③ Put It Into Perspective Or Get Rid Of It
Remind yourself that much of what you see is another person’s ‘highlight reel’ or best moments and not their full reality. Everyone experiences struggles and is on their own unique path.
Unfollow what makes you feel bad on social media. You do not have to follow people who make you experience self-doubt.
④ You Can Have It Too
Let other people’s successes fire you up to take action. If they can do it, you can too. That ping of jealously you feel is an indicator to your deep desires.
There’s an abundance of everything you desire, so look around to see what’s possible and swap the jealously for inspiration.
⑤ Forgive Yourself + Move Forward
Remember, comparison is human nature so don’t be hard on yourself when you catch yourself doing it. Walk through the steps above and rise above it. Reconnect to who you are – your individual path, goals, dreams and wishes.
Mantras are helpful tools to reel back in your thoughts before they slide down the endless comparison rabbit hole.
Cease Comparing Mantras ↓
- “It feels better to stay in my own lane.”
- “I am grateful for who I am and who I am becoming.”
- “I am on the best path for me right now.”
- “I am focused on making myself and my life the best it can be.”
- “I will not get lost in other people’s lives.”
- “I can celebrate the good I see in others AND the good I see in myself.”
- “She/He is ______, but so am I.”
Repeating a mantra to yourself will help quiet your mind and, with regular practice, help pull you out of the negative comparison trap and use the natural tendency to compare for good.
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms” – Zen Shin
You have the ability to shift your focus towards thoughts that remind you of your potential and help you bloom, rather than wasting your precious energy on thoughts that steal your power.