.“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
One very common and destructive daily habit is to constantly compare your life and yourself to other people and their lives. You compare cars, houses, jobs, shoes, money, relationships, social popularity and so on. And at the end of the day you pummel your self esteem to the ground and you create a lot of negative feelings within. And perhaps also outside of yourself.
So what can you do? How can you get a handle on this habit?
In this article I’ll share what I have done. I’ll start with two habits that I use to replace that destructive habit. Then I’ll move on to a few more general tips that have also helped me.
Compare yourself to yourself.
First, instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself. See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.
This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done. You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.
You can make this habit stick by for instance taking a few minutes each day or just each Sunday (or any day that fits you) to use a journal to write down how you have grown, how much closer you are to your goals now, what you have overcome and learned and so on.
By doing so your thinking will over time shift and your thought patterns will automatically become more focused on comparing you to you rather than to other people.
In my experience, the way you behave and think towards others seems to have a big, big effect on how you behave towards yourself and think about yourself.
Judge and criticize people more and you tend to judge and criticize yourself more (often almost automatically). Be more kind to other people and help them and you tend to be more kind and helpful to yourself.
So focus your mind on helping people and being kind.
Focus on the positive things in yourself and in the people around you. Appreciate what is positive in yourself and others. This way you become more OK with yourself and the people in your world instead of ranking them and yourself and creating differences in your mind.
You are OK and so are they.
Now, a few more tips that can be helpful to move away from that comparison trap:
- Just realize that you can’t win. Just consciously realizing this is helpful. No matter what you do you can pretty much always find someone else in the world that has more than you or are better than you at something. Yes, you may feel good for a while when you get a nicer car than your neighbour. But a week or two later you’ll see someone from the next block with an even finer car than yours.
- Give up both sides of comparing. If you can’t stop doing the negative comparisons then stop doing the comparisons that make you feel good too. Give them both up, at least for a while. If you’re in the habit of comparing to feel better about yourself then it’s hard to just stop at that and to not also start comparing in way that make you feel worse and inferior too. So you may need to step out of that whole comparing habit because the two sides are often connected. Give up the upside to be able to move away from the downside.
And that is basically how I do it, that is how I keep those negative comparisons to a minimum in my life.
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