How often do you compare yourself to other people? If you’re constantly telling yourself that other people are prettier, more successful or “better” than you, it’s pretty rough on your self- esteem and can have far reaching consequences for your wellbeing.
These negative comparisons are something that lots of us do on a very regular basis and it’s also one of the big reasons why we struggle so much with the idea of self-love. When you’re constantly comparing yourself unfavourably to other people, it’s really hard to appreciate yourself and see yourself in a positive light. Here’s why it can be so unhealthy to compare yourself to anyone else and how you can move away from doing it.
It’s not a fair comparison
When we compare ourselves to other people, we tend to think the worst of ourselves while playing up the best in them. And that’s hardly a fair comparison! It’s easy to forget that outside appearances can be very deceptive, and in all truth, you’re probably only seeing what other people want you to see and not the actual reality of their life. Just like you, they have good and bad days and plenty of flaws that you can’t see from the outside looking in. Remember - no one is perfect!
We’re all unique
There’s another super important reason why it’s not helpful to compare yourself to other people. You’re completely unique and there’s no else like you out there. This is why it’s a waste of energy and very unproductive to try to compare yourself to other people. Their path is going to be different to yours, after all. Just because they’re having some success in their life, don’t assume that it means you’re failing in any way.
You’re on a different journey and one that isn’t going to be a direct comparison to anyone else’s. Recognizing this can be a game changer for helping yourself to not compare yourself negatively to other people.
Compare yourself to yourself
If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, use yourself as the benchmark. Trying to be the best version of yourself and to be as healthy as you can from a physical and emotional point-of-view is much more productive and you’re a lot more likely to practice self-love if you go into it with this perspective. Celebrate your personal progress towards these type of goals and make other people irrelevant. This is your personal and individual journey and while some people may have a role to play in supporting and inspiring that, it’s super important to make sure that no one else is the end goal. It’s all about becoming a better version of yourself, not someone else!
Try thinking of life as a journey and not as a competition with other people. This can be hard when you’re surrounded by and bombarded with advertisements telling you that your life would be super amazing (just like the person in the ad) if you buy a certain product or behave in a particular way but taking a step back and recognizing that this isn’t going to be the case can change your whole perspective.
Instead of competing with other people in your mind, switch your focus to yourself and what makes you unique. Self-love isn’t something you’re likely to achieve overnight but making it a goal and commitment to accept and value who you are is a super important first step.
Gratitude is quickly becoming a recognized form of self-care and there’s very good reason for this. Taking the time to incorporate gratitude into your life and make it a regular habit encourages you to be more appreciative of the good things in your life, especially the finer details that are easy to gloss over. Gratitude has also been heavily linked to positive thinking and optimism about health and wellbeing so there’s a lot to be said for this practice!
One of the easiest ways to be more grateful involves listing a few things every day that you were thankful for. From a self-care and self-love perspective, you can extend this to things that specifically involve your skills and good qualities so that you become more thankful and appreciative of who you are and what you bring to the table. Over time, it can become second nature to focus in on your good points and prioritize them.