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Your journey is your own
One thing I remind myself and others when I’m discussing how to stop the comparison game is that we’re all on our journey. Cliché yes! But that doesn’t make it any less true. In fact, remembering and acknowledging the fact that our lives are all different is a great tool in changing how to stop comparing yourself to others.
This was a gentle reminder my mum made to me. It’s extremely useful when you get stuck comparing yourself to others’ success. I had a chat with my mum about my work compared to others my mum had to gently remind me that my path had been different. As a carer for my brother (you can hear about my story here) my life and the time I had available to me were different than this person.
Did that make me worse or this person better? No. It just made us different. This is key in learning how to stop comparison and jealousy especially when it comes to comparing yourself to others’ success. When we’re all different, it makes it almost impossible to compare.
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Life is made up of seasons
Some great advice I got that helped me to stop the comparison game was by Jim Rohn. He talked about how, like in nature, we too go through seasons in life. We all have periods of challenge (Winter), loss and change (Autumn), growth (Spring) and happiness and achievement (Summer). Any time I was facing a particularly difficult time in my life, I reminded myself that it was a necessary season in my life.
Only a year ago at 28, I’d lost my brother to cancer. I’d also let go of many key relationships in my life including my best friend of 20 years and my boyfriend of 6. I remember saying to myself “this is the worst my life could get”. I felt like I was at the rock hard bottom of 28. On top of that, everywhere I looked it seemed people were getting married, having children and moving forward with their lives yet I was stuck in the worst parts of grief, with no job and what felt like, no future prospects.
Consistently reminding myself that I was in a Winter part of my life helped me stop the comparison game and continue to move forward into Autumn and what I currently feel like is Spring. Anytime you struggle with comparing yourself to others remember that we all go through seasons at different times.
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Define what you truly want, decide who you’re going to be
The times where I’ve struggled most when it came to comparing others’ success to my own was when I didn’t know what I wanted in my life or didn’t know who I truly was yet.
When we don’t have an idea of what we want or who we are we tend to depend on what other people are doing to determine this for us. It’s easy to get caught up comparing yourself to others when our social media is feeding us images of what society confirms success should look like.
Our wants and identity easily get caught up with others and suddenly we find ourselves trying to get things that make us miserable and be someone we don’t truly feel like we should be.
A key way to stop comparing yourself to others is to take the time to figure out:
- What you really want
- Who you want to be
Comparing yourself to others’ success is easy when we have no idea of the above. But when we do, we understand that we cannot compare to what others happen because what we want and need will always be different.
For example, if someone has a great office job that they genuinely love, that does not mean that if we get the same job we will feel the same. That person is a success because they know what they want and who they want to be. That’s where real success lies.
When we discover this then it becomes easy to stop the comparison game because we realize the only race we’re in is the one we choose to be in. Once we know what we truly want and who we want to be, we strive for those things knowing it’s an individual long game. We know how to stop comparing ourselves to others because we understand that we way we all achieve success and happiness in life is different.
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Clean up your social media
Comparing yourself to others is so easy in this day and age. We have accessibility to everyone’s life through the lens of Instagram, Facebook, etc.
As we all know, comparing yourself to others on social media is dangerous because it never is what it looks like. A great way to stop the comparison game and get out of the habit of comparing yourself to others’ success is to clean up the ‘gram!
Clean up your feeds on all your accounts where need be. For me, this meant unfollowing people that I was constantly comparing myself too. It was a great way to manage my mindset. I finally stopped getting caught up in what everyone else was doing and feeling behind and miserable.
It’s all a matter of perspective
The comparison game is a tough mental game more than anything else. When comparing yourself to others, it’s easy to make comments like “everybody my age is married” or “everybody my age has more money than me”. It’s best to keep in mind that these are all perspectives. How much money is more? Everyone would give a different answer. Is everyone that is married happily? Sadly no. We compare ourselves to these situations and people because we think if they have found true happiness and we haven’t. This is all a perspective.
Not everyone is married and not everyone is making more money. The self comparison game is one of focus. When you get into the habit of comparing yourself to others’ success we tend to over-focus on their situation and come up with ideas in our mind about it.
Step back and remind yourself that this is just a perspective. There are many people in the world who earn less or who aren’t married and are happy. It’s who we choose to focus on that gets us!
So choose to focus on yourself! And remember, it’s all a matter of perspective.
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Have faith in yourself and the path you choose
Choose to have faith in yourself and the path you choose. This is the biggest tip I can give when it comes to comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others’ success is usually because we feel we’ve missed out or don’t have enough faith that we’re on the right path. We look to others and think we need to be doing the same thing as them.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Take yourself out of the self comparison game by making the empowering decision to have faith in yourself and the path you have chosen. Remember all the points above and be confident that you know what’s best for you. Don’t look at someone else’s happiness and think you’re not going to be happy because you haven’t done the same things.
We are different and our lives are different for a reason. Embrace it and stop comparing yourself to others.