One of the most confidence shattering things we can do is compare our lives to that of other people. Most of us know not to believe everything we see on social media and deep down we are aware that the world of social media and reality don’t always correlate, yet we can’t help ourselves and compare anyway. Whether the comparison is with people in our lives or celebrities on social media, the act of evaluating our lives against someone else’s can negatively affect our confidence if our lives are perceived to ‘come up short’.
To win the war in our heads and change the internal dialogue of ‘you are not enough’, ‘you should have achieved more by now’ or ‘you will never achieve what they have’, there are steps you can take to help you view your life through a more compassionate ‘lens’.
Move the Focus from Other People to Gaining Insight into Yourself
The time and energy you invest in comparing yourself to other people only affects you and the people in your life.
“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions”. Will Smith
Whether it’s your neighbour, colleague or Kim Kardashian that is the focus of comparison, they are unaffected by your feelings of envy or even dislike; you bear the brunt of your own criticism and negativity.
Rather, turn your focus inwards and be aware of comparative thoughts when they come to you:
- Ask yourself whether you have underlying feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem that you need to work on?
- Look at ways to improve your state of mind, well-being and happiness
- Focus on what you want to achieve, write down your goals and actionable steps you can take today, in a week, month, 3 months etc
- Track your progress
- Review your progress, remembering that the only comparison should be with yourself, against where you used to be. Do this at regular intervals to identify your progress over time.
Change Your Perception
Change your view of how you look at your life and stop diminishing your successes by comparing yourself to other people.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
In the act of comparison, we often only see the things that we haven’t achieved and overlook the successes that we have had in our lives. Like the job we applied for thinking that we were unqualified and secured, the times we were under pressure at work and delivered, the car we saved up for and bought and so on. Understand that in the scope of your world, these are successes.
- Make a list of your achievements and review them regularly; this will help you maintain a balanced perspective by showing you that you are not a failure
- Use the list to remind yourself of what you are capable of, build your confidence and reframe your ‘self-talk’ to be a voice of encouragement
“…the world is abundant and what they are getting isn’t coming out of ‘yours’”, Gary Vaynerchuk
Don’t begrudge people their success, instead be happy for people when they succeed and be excited about what’s in store for you. The world is abundant and people who are successful are not depleting what you could have but rather are examples of what can be achieved.