LIFE

Learn How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

It’s happened to all of us. Maybe you’re reading a magazine, or you’re having a friendly chat with a neighbor, when suddenly, it hits you: this person is so much better than you are.

Maybe they’ve got a natural talent. Maybe they achieved a goal of yours at a younger age. Maybe they just seem to have a nicer, more exciting life. And it can make you feel pretty down on yourself.

No one likes feeling bad about themselves, but sometimes it really does seem like everyone is doing better than you are.

But hold on a second. Is that really the case, or are you just getting caught in a cycle of unfairly comparing yourself to other people?

If you find that you have a habit of using other people to measure your own success, maybe it’s time to break that habit!

It’ll take some tweaking of your thought patterns and habits, but just like boosting your inner creativity, it’s totally worth it!

Instead of constantly feeling inadequate, you’ll be able to appreciate what you can do, and discover that your abilities are probably already pretty impressive.

Read on to discover the tips to finally stop that little voice from telling you that you’re not as good as other people!

1. Remember Your Own Successes

1. Remember Your Own Successes
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Looking at other people’s accomplishments is a good way to forget about your own.

Sure, you might not have millions of dollars and you might not be famous — but are fame and fortune the only things that qualify as accomplishments?

Really think about what you’ve done, what you’ve overcome, and how you’ve impacted others’ lives. Those are accomplishments. Don’t forget them.

2. Ask Yourself Why You Compare

2. Ask Yourself Why You Compare
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Are you constantly thinking you’re not good enough? Do you worry a lot about not looking like an expert at all times? Do you feel threatened by someone else’s ability?

If you feel this way, it might be time to think about why you feel this way, and start training yourself out of it.

If you only think about yourself in relation to other people, you’re not going to be very fulfilled.

3. Reconsider Your Goals

3. Reconsider Your Goals
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If your idea of being successful is driving a fancy car and having lots of stuff, maybe it’s time to reevaluate.

Focusing on what other people have in terms of the material is a great way to foster jealousy.

But you do have to have goals. So why not strive for the less tangible — like love, compassion, generosity, and friendship?

4. Stop Competing

4. Stop Competing
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Despite what some say, life isn’t a competition with winners and losers. We’re all in this together, so stop thinking of other people as your competition.

If you see someone who’s at a higher skill level in your ceramics class, or who scored more points on your bowling league, don’t think you have to “beat” them.

Instead, compliment them! Be happy for them and use their success as inspiration. Ask for tips.

By putting yourself in a team mindset rather than a competitive one, you’ll be happier with yourself.

5. Reexamine Your Idols

5. Reexamine Your Idols
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Maybe you look up to a favorite celebrity, or perhaps the neighbor up the street who seems to have really “made it.”

And maybe you think you’ll never be the awesome people that they are.

But in reality, your idols — even the world-famous ones — are just people!

They have flaws, they’ve messed up, and they’re probably really, really bad at something.

Instead of thinking of people as superheroes, remember that they’re human, just like you, and that your amazing idea of them is most likely your own fantasy.

6. Realize How Comparisons Make You Feel

6. Realize How Comparisons Make You Feel
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When you compare yourself to someone else, whether it’s a celebrity or someone you know, think about how comparing yourself to them affects you.

Does it inspire you to work harder, push your limits, and try new things?

Or does it end with you wallowing in “I’ll never be good enough?”

If it’s a lot of the latter, you might want to rethink how you compare yourself to others.

7. Interrupt The Cycle

7. Interrupt The Cycle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Like with anything, it’s easy to fall into the cycle of comparing yourself (unfairly) to someone else, and then suddenly it’s all you can think about.

When this starts happening, nip it in the bud rather than let yourself sink into it. Get up, go for a walk, change your scenery.

It will clear your head and help you train yourself out of sliding into those spirals.

8. Have Gratitude For What You Do Have

8. Have Gratitude For What You Do Have
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

You probably have way more than you think you do, both material and immaterial.

If you’re feeling like you don’t have enough, try writing down everything you do have that makes you happy.

It could be a cozy home, a partner or friend, a good sense of humor, or a talent for making a really good cheesecake.

Write them all down, small and large, and see how much you really have going for you.

9. If You Have To Compete, Compete With Yourself

9. If You Have To Compete, Compete With Yourself
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Some people just like competition. Maybe you’re one of them.

But when you’re comparing yourself to anyone and everyone, it’s an aimless competition in which you’re the only participant.

Instead, try squaring off against yourself.

Push yourself to run faster, to write a better poem, and to learn and grow based on your own past — not someone else’s.

10. Be Nice To Yourself!

10. Be Nice To Yourself!
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Even if you’re trying to be better than your last accomplishment, be gentle with yourself.

Your accomplishments don’t have to be ever-increasing. Sometimes you won’t do so well. And that’s okay.

If you didn’t meet your exercise goal today, or if you were too tired to work on your latest project, it’s okay.

Beating yourself up will just make you feel worse.

So the next time you’re feeling inadequate, or you find yourself wondering why you didn’t become a world-famous neurosurgeon at the age of 12, remember these tips and let those negative feelings go. You’ll be much happier, and you’ll come to appreciate all the qualities that make you special.

SHARE this advice with your friends, and then get together and talk about how awesome you all are!