I’m going to kick off this post with some food for thought, a quote by Theodore Roosevelt… “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When’s the last time you compared yourself to someone? It very well might have been recently, and that’s okay if it is.
I’m writing this post because I think comparison can get the best of us all sometimes, and we can all fall victim to it at times. We have constant access to social media feeds and other’s highlight reels, other’s bodies, and other’s successes. How could we not feel low sometimes, or feel like “why can’t I be more like X?”
Not only are there other people to compare ourselves to, but there’s comparison to our own selves. Looking at old photos, thinking of past times — it can get to your head and drive you mad. “I was so successful doing X a year ago. I was so skinny three years ago.” So, how do we work to stop doing it? I have a few ideas (with the help of some experts), and am hoping this can help us all to stop comparing in some way:
- Avoid mindless scrolling on social media. I think we can all use breaks from social media for our mental health, and this might be one way to stop comparing ourselves so much. When we mindlessly scroll, we’re opening ourselves up to comparison — that bikini shot, that cute couple, whatever it is — it could throw you off your path and make you think more negative things about yourself and your life. Don’t let it — I’m really trying to limit my social media use, because I’ve noticed it can totally affect my mental health without even realizing it.
- Remind yourself that people’s highlight reels shouldn’t be compared to your daily life. This is something I think about a lot — we’re all constantly exposed to people’s highlight reels of life, but we know the daily struggles we’re going through everyday. It’s not a fair comparison to subconsciously compare ourselves to people’s highlights, because everyone is going through stuff — we just don’t know about it all. This is a good reminder to just stop ourselves when we start going down the rabbit hole of comparison (and I think breaks from social media can help this, too).
- Encourage and boost others. In my opinion, people don’t need to be seen as “competition” in our lives — and the more we encourage others and boost their own confidence, the better we may end up feeling about ourselves. I love the recent movement of women supporting women, and I think it totally applies here. Instead of seeing a woman in her bikini looking incredible and thinking “Ah, I wish I had that body,” maybe instead say “Wow she looks great!” This is something I’m working on doing, because my body and my own journey shouldn’t be compared to others, it is my own and it is special. It shouldn’t be compared to another person’s success, it should be my own path — a path where I’m allowed to celebrate others’ successes, in addition to my own.
I hope these short ideas helped in some sort of way, and I also hope you come out of this blog post ready to stop comparing in 2020! We got this.
Sources: Psychology Today