“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique, be memorable, be confident, be proud.” – Shannon L. Alder
Comparison is, and always has been, the enemy of self-worth. However, in the world we now live in, where other people are broadcasting the shiniest versions of there lives through multiple channels, comparing yourself to others is easier than ever.
Hard as it is to stop doing this, learning not to compare yourself and to be happy with what you have is an important lesson on the journey of self-acceptance. Once we stop being concerned about what others think of us and how we look to the rest of the world, we have time to focus on our selves. What is it that we really want? What qualities and possessions to we already have that are deserving of our gratitude and celebration? Do the opinions of others really matter or make a difference to how you live your life?
As the saying goes, if you can’t love yourself, how are you gonna love somebody else? Self-love comes from acceptance of your own faults, virtues, gains and losses. Comparing yourself to others is a good way to miss out on all of the good stuff in your life. So, here are a few tips on how to avoid the temptation to yearn for the grass on the other side of the fence.
1. Focus on Your Attributes
A mindful life is all about focusing on the self in order to become a kinder and more positive member of the world’s community. Focusing on what makes you fantastic may seem selfish to begin with, but confidence and happiness is key to leading a fruitful life. These things require a foundation of love for the self to have stability. So, stop looking to the sides and lamenting that others have achieved ‘more’ than you have. What have you achieved? What qualities do you have? Are you happy with where you are based on your own expectations?
Once you have made peace with your own choices, traits and progressions, you will not only feel better in yourself, but you will find it much easier to celebrate and support the achievements of others.
2. Focus on What You Have
We say we shouldn’t rate our success on how much ‘stuff’ we have. That being said, we are all, in some degree, materialistic. We want the house, the car, the holidays, the clothes, the gadgets… whatever your material desire may be. Again, think less about what you don’t have and more on what you do. Others may seem to have what you desire, but you will never have the full picture… the reality of a social media infused world. Show express gratitude for what you do have. A ‘glass half full’ kind of life is infinitely more positive than one that is always focusing on the empty half.
3. Competition Doesn’t Have to Involve Other People
How are you doing? How well are you progressing towards your goals? Can you do better? Competition is not a bad thing. Indeed, competitiveness pushes us to move beyond our limits. But competitiveness should not always be in reference to other people. To compete with the self is a much more useful barometer; you should not rate your success against other people’s limits.
Think about how you have exceeded you own expectations. For example, for myself, I recently gained a job that my 18-year-old self could only have dreamed of. How does your teenage self feel about your achievements? Consider how far you have come and be excited about what expectations of yourself you might have smashed this time next year!
4. Only A Piece of The Picture
As I touched on briefly a minute ago, we rarely see another person’s whole story. They might go on eight holiday’s a year, have a pool in their house and eat out every day, but you don’t know that they are happy. You don’t know if they are satisfied. You may have no idea what their experiences have been. In such a visually stimulated world, where we see only what people want us to see, we often end up comparing ourselves to a kind of fantasy. Others may even be comparing their lives to yours!
5. Kindness to Others
Excessively comparing yourself to others can have side effects on your mood. Jealously and sadness over the things that we are not getting out of your life can cause our interactions with others to sour. Make a conscious effort to be kind and non-judgemental to others, and you may well feel that your attitude becomes more hopeful, more positive. Positivity and support feeds positivity and support.
By Chris Thomson
It’s good to be kind. It makes others feel good, and it makes you feel good. Here are some ideas on that… 8 Everyday Random Acts of Kindness
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