When we measure or compare ourselves to someone else, what we’re usually doing is deciding in that moment whether we measure up to some arbitrary standard we set for ourselves. It’s extremely common, and I’m also guilty of getting caught up in playing the comparison game, but I have come to understand that when you compare yourself to others what you are really doing is JUDGING YOURSELF!
- Break the cycle now: Don’t get in the habit of looking to others to define your self-worth. Come up with a mantra or a counter thought to tell yourself in place of making comparisons. For example, instead of thinking that your friend looks better in skinny jeans, you can tell yourself that you are incredible at putting together an outfit. Or, try a mantra. Remind yourself that you’re perfect just the way you are.
- Focus on your strengths, talents, and unique qualities: Get involved in activities or clubs that focus on bringing out your best qualities. It’s okay to try out new activities because your friends are involved, but check in with your self to see if you’re finding joy from doing exactly what they do. If not, try something else on for size.
- Private versus shared: We do an activity in the Girls Unlimited program that brings awareness to the idea that every single one of us “has a story.” Most of us do a pretty good job of hiding parts of our lives that we don’t want others to know about. Feelings of embarrassment, rejection, or shame are often hidden to the rest of the world. Before comparing yourself to someone based on what you see on the outside, keep in mind that everything is not as perfect as you see it. Everyone faces personal obstacles in life.
- Admire instead of envy: Give yourself a break and keep in mind that no one is perfect at everything. Rather than beat yourself up for not being the best at something, admire and compliment others for a special talent they possess. My best friend has a natural ability to create something out of nothing. Although I have always admired her artistic and creative talent, I understand that arts and crafts are not personal strengths of mine. It’s unreasonable to compare her drawings to mine. Instead of feeling badly because she can do something that I can’t, I ask for her help when I need to create something. Also, I know that she appreciates certain qualities in me. We can boost each other by recognizing and appreciating the qualities that make us unique.
- Be your own coach and cheerleader: Think of the role a coach or a cheerleader plays. The coaches we admire are likely to be supportive, encouraging, motivating, and understanding. Also, they use kind words, give us a boost, and make us feel like we’re number one. You can do this for yourself. Visualize your name on that uniform instead of the team’s name. The more confident we feel, the less likely we are to compare ourselves to someone else.
- Be mindful of the media trap: It’s easy to get sucked into the mixed messages we constantly see on social media, advertisements, and television. Usually, a business has something to gain by making you feel that you’re not good enough, and convincing you to buy what they’re selling. Consider why you’re attracted to that product or outfit and purchase it because you like it, not because you think it will change who you are.
Stop playing the comparison game. There are no winners- Cheryl Richardson