In some situations, comparison can be a positive driving force that inspires people to become better versions of themselves. However, more often than not, it causes an individual to become very self-critical and feel as though they are not good enough. Stepping away from comparison is one of those things that is a lot easier said than done, but these are the things I employ in order to kick those negative emotions comparison can cause.
Flip your thoughts.
When you feel that switch in your brain flick towards self destruct/criticism when you start comparing yourself to those around you, act quickly to flip the thoughts. If your mind tells you, you aren’t good enough and you aren’t achieving as much as everybody else, remind yourself of what you are doing, and what you have done. Tell yourself, you are doing your best and that is all that matters. As long as you are working hard, the rest will take care of itself.
Question the thoughts.
If you are struggling to flip the thoughts around, question them. If your brain is telling you that you aren’t good enough, ask it where these beliefs came from? What actual material evidence are they based on? Who decides what is ‘good enough’? What you define as good, is purely based on your ever changing standards. When you achieve what five years ago you deemed as ‘good enough’, it still won’t be, because your bar will have changed. As I said in the previous point, you are doing your best, and that is always good enough, no matter what it looks like on the outside and in comparison to somebody else. It is very easy for our brains to go into overdrive and escalate based on no genuine truth.
You are on your own journey.
Everyone progresses at a different rate, and everyone does different things at different stages of their lives. Everyone will also do different things in their lives and want different things. Therefore, no two people ever have the same journey, life, or destination. Where you are at now, is right for you at this moment in time, not someone else, and it is all part of your unique journey. Would you really want your life to tell the same story as someone else’s? Where would be the excitement and joy in that?
Step away from social media.
For some, the main source of those negative feelings of comparison, is social media. It is such a powerful tool, that does have some very positive qualities to it, but it is also very unnatural and all consuming. It allows us to see what others are doing in their daily lives, something we would never usually have access to. Therefore, this can lead us to feel as though others are leading such exciting glamorous lives, and our own lives are not good enough. If this is the case, be strict enough to recognise it, and take some time away from social media. For you this may mean having a complete detox from it, or it may mean simply putting a daily time limiter on it. After a short time, you will undoubtedly notice yourself feeling happier and more comfortable within your own life and skin.
Be kind to yourself.
Finally, just be kind to yourself. You do not need to be so harsh on yourself for not having achieved certain things in certain time frames. You are smashing life simply by being you. So, be patient, enjoy the journey, and be proud of who you are.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!