"As unhealthy as it is, I can’t seem to stop comparing myself to others. Whether it’s how successful they are, what they look like, or even how many “likes” they get on Facebook. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t seem to help myself. How do I stop?"
They often say "Comparison is the thief of joy." In actuality, it's an act of violence. We choose to believe that we are in lack and that others are living these amazingly abundant, kick-ass lives. But the truth is that we have no clue what’s going on behind their trendy Facebook check-ins and perfectly put together outfits. All we see is what others show the world, which is rarely their truth.
Generally, we put forward only the parts of us that we feel others will validate or think is best. (This is why you never see a Facebook picture of what people look like first thing in the morning!) We continue to propagate a vicious cycle where everyone fears vulnerability, comparing our real lives to the fake lives of others. We even go so far as to internalize “likes” as validation of our unreal life, telling us to “keep up the act.”
And it’s no different in our professional lives. We tend to feel that if one person gets an opportunity, it has removed that possibility for us. Our feelings of lack make us believe that there is only a finite amount of resources to be had. Looking at others who have what we want, we compare our works-in-progress to those who are further along.
But it’s time to stop all the emotional cutting.
Here are 3 tips to stop comparing:
1. Stay Present & Honor Your Journey.
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Everyone had wins and losses that brought them to where they are right now. Make a list of your big wins that you never thought you could achieve (leaving a job you didn't like, creating a website, starting a business, etc.) Whenever you feel self-doubt, go back to that list and see all the amazing things you achieved that you never thought you could.
2. Dare To Be Vulnerable.
People want your authentic self, not your photo-shopped selfies. What is one thing you can share with the world that is your unique and true self? Do it. Be known for being real, not perfect.
3. Use Comparison To Learn.
Realize that the comparison is not about the other person, but a tool to tell you what you want in life. It isn't that you want that person's life, career, etc. Don’t confuse inspiration for jealousy. Why not reach out to the person and tell them you admire them? Ask them to tea and learn more about their journey. You'll be surprised at what you'll find.
How do you stay present and stop comparing? Share your story in the Comments section below!