We are all different yet we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. It’s human nature, and while learning from others is an important part of critical decision making, if it is used to reinforce an unrealistic or negative self-image it can be an unhealthy habit to get into.
I was going to writing an article about the comparison trap for entrepreneurs and then I saw this one and thought it was worth sharing. It’s not just focused on entrepreneurs but has some good points. The point I would add is quit worrying about what everyone else is doing and do what raises your energy.
Enjoy and let me know your thoughts.
- Recognize that comparing yourself to others is a bad habit. Culture often projects flawless skin, big eyes, full lips, small nose, pure white teeth, smooth and shiny hair, curvy body, and designer clothes for women and they portray them as being happy. They portray tall men with flawless skin, six packs, and designer clothes with lots of women, and they define that that is what makes a man happy. Culture is extremely successful in being able to brainwash people into believing they should look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain someone, when in reality every single one of us is different. What culture does is categorize people and they want you to believe that you have fewer rights to be happy because you do not fit an idealistic lifestyle. That’s why lots of men and women resort to plastic surgery, hide away from society, and grow up thinking that there’s something wrong with them. Comparing yourself to others, especially celebrities, is a fine way to throw your self-esteem down the drain as there will always be those who are ‘better’ than you, and those who are ‘worse’ than you. In the end you will most likely end up wishing you were different with thoughts of worthlessness. It takes you nowhere, wastes a lot of time, and puts you in a psychologically terrible place.
- Realize that everybody is different, because we are.People are born to be different; no two of us are the same. We have different mindsets, we interpret things differently, we have different experiences, we feel different emotions. Even identical twins are different from each other. We all will always have room for improvement; nobody is flawless, whether it is on the outside or on the inside. As much as some people may want to believe otherwise, nobody is perfect.It would be wise to stop letting people get to you, and be open-minded and aware of what you are doing to others. Something you can do is start thinking how different they are from you.
- Stop being afraid to be yourself.Whatever size, color, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Nobody but you has the right to dictate what you do, what you think, and what you believe in. There is only one you; nobody has more rights over another person to live. Everybody comes into the world the same way; we all age, feel, analyze, and eventually die, so nobody is more special than another. We are all different. If you’ve forgotten who you are, find yourself again.
- Forgive and learn. Learn to recognize that holding a grudge only ties you down from what you really want out of life. Untie the knot and set yourself free. Better yet, analyze and learn what actually hurt you, and prevent it from happening again in the future.
- Understand that not everything is possible.You might have heard the saying, ‘nothing is impossible’. In reality that’s only denialism and false hope. You can’t fly, change the weather, time-travel, change the past, live forever, make someone else change unless they are willing to, fit in with everybody, or be somebody else. There are many more things that cannot happen in reality. Be yourself and appreciate where you are now.
- Learn to deal with change and embrace it.
- Whatever makes you happy, whatever floats your boat. If you feel you need self-improvement and have set yourself an attainable goal, go for it. If you believe that you really need change, do it now. Be sure that you’re doing it because it will make you happier, rather than impressing somebody else. For example, stop swearing if it makes you feel better. Learn to meditate. Start helping others. Learn a new skill. Improve your reading speed. Learn how to write poetically, work towards a better grade, be nicer to someone, try to be more outgoing, train yourself to run faster, learn how to wear makeup better, find clothes that will fit your frame, be a better wikiHow contributor, work harder towards that promotion, learn to better manage your time, change your habit of being a perfectionist, etc. Do it because you feel good about it, not because you feel bad about yourself. This is your life.
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. You have needs, too. Take care of yourself. If you have a tendency to bend over backwards for others, read How to Stop Being a People Pleaser and How to Overcome Martyr Syndrome.
- Make some mutual friends.
- It’s better to be the original you than to be a copy of somebody else.
- Learn to be patient and accepting with others. This can take a lot of training to do, but in the long run it will be beneficial for everyone.
- Realize that some methods can work for many others but not for you. When this happens, don’t quit. Keep searching.
- Learn from your experience.
- If you don’t have a solid way yet, find a way to let out your anger, frustrations, disappointments and concerns, a way that you can depend on – such as keeping a journal, making a blog, making music, talking or writing about it with someone you trust.
- It’s better to do it now than think back sometime in the future and ask yourself, “what if?”. It’s better to get hurt then recover from it than having to accept that you lived a very dull life, realizing that you were the one who held you back.
- You can never be too old to dream, and it’s never too late to achieve your dream, one way or another.
- Some things can be done and changed overnight; other things cannot be. Habits for example, can be extremely difficult to drop. Don’t be discouraged. Comparing yourself to others is a bad habit a lot of people have. It can take some time to change. Don’t give up. Think about it this way; if you don’t ever give up, you can’t ever fail.
- If you’ve ever felt like giving up on life but came back from the thought, it’s because you have hope in you. Hold onto that hope. Always have hope in whatever you do, wherever you are.
- Beating yourself is a waste of time, energy, and self-esteem.
- Don’t allow other people to compare you with others, either.
- Don’t encourage others if you don’t want to hear it. Don’t make fun of yourself; others may start thinking it’s acceptable to make fun of you.
- Don’t accumulate unnecessary pressure. Let others do their part too. If they don’t, make them. If they won’t, just let it be. If you have too many responsibilities, chances are you won’t be able to accomplish what you really want to, or even need to.
- While comparing yourselves to others in excess is generally unfavorable while also conducive to paranoid behavior and depression, keep in mind it is important to still remain competitive in some measure to be successful. But do it from a fun, joyful place and know that there is enough for everyone.
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