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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

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One of the most difficult things to do is to stop comparing yourself to others, but it is also one of the most important things to do in order to build self-esteem. Cutting off that comparison is such a freeing feeling because you can finally be comfortable in your own skin and happy as the person you are.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve and looking to others for inspiration, but there is a fine line between looking up to others and cutting yourself down as a result. The latter can cause major unnecessary stress and heartache, and letting go of the constant comparisons is a huge key to breaking free of all that and being truly happy and at home with yourself. It is a completely natural stress reliever.

Emma Stone

So how do we do that? How do we simply stop comparing ourselves to other people? It is definitely not easy, but it is 100% worth it.

1. Focus on you. What everyone else is doing is irrelevant. Find what makes you happy and do it. Whether you’re looking at magazines and envying the girl’s body, or envying someone else’s skills, it serves literally zero purpose. Take the time that you would spend fixating on everything that those people have that you don’t have and spend it doing whatever it is that makes you happy.

2. Let the envy show you what you want. Jealousy is not a pretty emotion, but it is good for one thing: it shows you what you want. Think about it. You only compare yourself to people who have what you want to have. If nothing else, it points you in the direction that you want to go. Take that and put your effort into achieving that, whether it is music, fitness, a certain career, sports, or anything in between.

3. Let the success of others fuel you. Now that you know what you want, allow the success of others to show you all that you, as a human being, are capable of achieving, rather than seeing it as all that you haven’t achieved. One person’s success is not another person’s failure. If someone is a great singer, that doesn’t make you a bad singer. By being happy for another person, (even if you have to fake it at first) you are sending your brain the message that it is a good thing when other people get what they want and what they work for. It tells you that if you work for something, then you can achieve greatness as well. And when you do inevitably achieve that greatness, won’t you rather have people look up to you as an aspiration than as a reason for self-disgust?


4. Talk to the person that you are comparing yourself to. If it is possible, make conversation with that person. We are constantly comparing the highlight reels of others to our “behind the scenes.” When you put a personality to the face, it takes away that illusion of perfection and shows you that they, too have a “behind the scenes.” They become a real person in your mind rather than some robot who has what you want. You can even ask the person for tips to achieve what you want.

5. Become informed.
Going off of the previous tip, get as informed as possible on the goal you wish to achieve. Information breeds confidence and it will only increase the odds of your success.

6. Every time you compare yourself to another person, say 3 great things about yourself.
This one sounds cheesy, but it works wonders. If you find yourself saying, “Her hair is so much sleeker than mine,” stop right there and think, “I have an amazing smile. I love my generosity. My eyes are beautiful.” If you do this every single time you find yourself comparing you to others, I guarantee you your confidence will flourish and you will eventually stop looking to others because you will be your own source of inspiration.

7. Be the best you.
You know why? Because everybody else is taken. Emma Stone said it best in an acceptance speech: “What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden, and it’s not. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.” Truer words have not been said. You are you, and that is beautiful. This world is such a magnificent place because everyone is so incredibly unique. If you can find it in you to detach yourself from the outside world and work on being the best you that you can possibly be, then you will become capable of achieving things that you never thought possible.  You should also read How to stop Judging others.

“Make impossible your favorite word. Welcome the challenge, because when you bring your heart and your mind to your intention, there’s nothing that you can’t accomplish.” – Jillian Michaels.

Erin O'Brien
Erin O'Brien
University of Tampa

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