Did you know that our mindset, abilities and personalities are influenced by the people we are surrounded with? Not only physically, but the accounts that we follow on Instagram and the TV shows we indulge ourselves in every single day set the mark too. Isn’t that crazy? So, when talking about self-esteem, social comparison is the main factor that determines our views. You might think watching the Kardashians won’t impact us, but it does. Honestly, we need to be aware of this human behaviour as it can truly impact the life we live. Luckily, there are some easy strategies that we can adopt to stop comparing ourselves.
Facts of Comparing Ourselves
There are a few things we need to highlight that come from the Positive Psychology research. I will make it quick and easy but it is key to know. Firstly our minds don’t think in terms of absolutes, we think about what is relevant to our reference point. We judge on what is around us, we see things differently or hide our values because of it. There is upward and downward comparison. The upward comparison happens when we start comparing ourselves to people who in our eyes are doing “better”. Sometimes this can bring motivation however we are most likely to look at the negative and the shortfalls. Now you might think that downward comparison will improve our self-esteem but it doesn’t affect us at all. So we need to be mindful of our thinking and apply a filter on our reference points and purposefully bring our attention to what we are comparing ourselves to.
The Effects We Need To Know
Sometimes comparing ourselves can be beneficial. We want to do better and it pushes us to thrive. It can motivate us to bring the change we often need. So when we stay focused on improving ourselves and have the power to keep it positive it can be a true drive. However, there is a thin line before it has a negative effect on us. Comparing ourselves to others can result in low self-esteem and we can put too much pressure on ourselves. We can become competitive and resentful towards others. Let’s all be mindful of the effects and let’s make it work for us.
The Comparison Mindset
We often go into the “I should” mode, playing ourselves down. Now let’s flip this! Quickly think of someone you envy. Why are you envying this person? What is it that makes you feel this way? Name it, make sure you have a clear reason. This reason can often guide you in your purpose. For example, I envy my best friend because she is her own boss and can go to the gym any time, while I have to get up at 6 AM to manage a workout around my 10hour shift. My envy? Her freedom. There you go, I have my purpose, I want to achieve freedom, so bring on Blogging life! Use this envy as a power to be motivated and chase your dreams!
How To Stop Comparing Ourselves
Ok, I am well aware that we won’t delete our Social Media accounts. So what can we do to stay strong against this comparison mode? Let’s start with accepting imperfection. We will never be perfect, we can go on a Personal Growth Journey and I would highly recommend that, yet we will never reach perfection. Accept this and find your peace. Not easy at times and we will have to fight temptation. But we got this! I have chosen for my blog to be imperfect, I don’t use library pictures as I want to stay Authentic. Yes, using stock pictures might make my blog look better, yet imperfection is beauty. This is a deliberate choice I made and I have to keep reminding myself of my values as doubt creeps in during my quest for perfection. Authencity vs Perfection.
1. Focus on your strengths
I know, for some, it is not an easy task to find your strengths but it is key that you know and cherish this! Take some time to really delve into this journey of discovery. You can ask your dear friends what they think are your strengths or look at strength cards to see what resonates with you most. See your true value. In each scenario you can bring something to the table, just look for it. This will motivate you and bring that self-belief you need! Don’t show off, be humble and use them as a power tool.
When you are aware that this might occur you might actually catch yourself doing it. When this happens Stop yourself! By acknowledging that you are comparing yourself, it will make it less powerful and you can move on. Change your thoughts and remind yourself that imperfection is beauty. Bring the following mantras to your attention;
“Never compare my step 1 to someone’s step 1000”
“I might not be good at what this person is doing, but I am good at …, which that person might actually envy.”
“My time will come”
Stop wanting more. Be happy with what you have and focus on Enough. I am enough, I have enough, I have done enough. Practice gratitude and celebrate your own achievements. Every night before you go to bed ensure to write down 3 things you are grateful for and 2 things you are proud of. This will foster your self-esteem and will give a boost of confidence as you realise that you are great!
Be supportive and be genuinely happy for others achievements. Celebrate together and keep the focus on them. We always come back to ourselves, we are pretty self-focused. So challenge yourself by keeping your attention to them! However, as we are so focused on ourselves it is key to be our own best friend. Be kind to yourself too! Ask this question “How would I speak/act to my best friend?” and do the same to yourself!
Let’s Stop Comparing Ourselves
We all use the information of others to shape the way we live our life. Unconsciously mostly, but we can catch ourselves and change the way it will affect us! Use the 4 strategies to overcome this human characteristic and stay true to who you are. Remember that Happiness and Self-care are key strategies to stay focused on yourself. Head over to my library and use the worksheets to discover the Self-care you need and tailor your Happiness action plan.
Comparison Is The Thief Of JoyTheodore Roosevelt