In a world that says it values individualism, it is interesting to notice how much we compare ourselves, our lives, our bodies, our dreams to other peoples. Comparison is something we are surrounded by from a young age. We compare grades, height, and shoes. Comparison is not inherently bad, but it can turn toxic. When we start defining our worth or putting ourselves down, because we feel like we do not match someone else, is when we know we have to change something.
One of the most important things I have learnt over the last year is that we are all on our own journey. No one’s path is the same. When we compare ourselves to others, we are only looking at one aspect, in most cases we don’t know their whole story. That is why comparison does not work. Each of our stories is different, so why do we think we are going to have the same outcome?
When you stop comparing yourself to everyone around you, you start to step into who you are. That is what the world needs, for you to be your true self. For you to create authentic ideas! The world needs your individual point of view.
Comparing yourself does not make you better, it just makes you feel like you are not good enough. When you use someone else’s life as a pinnacle, you are also telling yourself that your greatest achievement can only be what they did. What if instead, you tried to better yourself? What if, every day you woke up and tried to be better than the day before? What if, every day you focused on yourself? You see, comparison does not do anything except encourage you to focus on others.
So, let go, let go of other people. Bring the focus back to yourself. Be your best, every day. Be the person you are meant to be instead of trying to be someone else.
Here are 8 things to do instead of comparing yourself to others
This is the number one thing you can do. Fall in love with who you are, physically and mentally. Admire yourself. Live in a way that this is not hard to do. That pedestal that you sometimes put other people on, put yourself up there instead. Be your own best friend. You will realise that if you can love yourself, you do not need to be anyone else.
We all make mistakes; we all do things we regret. Holding on to these mistakes is what traps us. Free yourself. You have the lock and key. Do not hide away.
3Stop Chasing Perfection
There is no such thing as perfection, and I think that is because there is no one size that fits all. Stop chasing something that does not exist or holds no meaning.
4Live As You Want To
Do not be afraid if what you want is different from the people around you. Step into your dreams, own them. Do not let anyone tell you they are wrong. Live differently. Live freely. Live to make yourself happy.
5Realise you don’t need anyone’s approval but your own
My parents always remind me that the only person I need to please is myself. When I first dropped out of college, I was so worried about what other people would think of me. When it came down to it though, I realised that people do not think about me as much as I think they do. People are busy with their own lives, as they should be. You are not their responsibility, and you do not need their approval.
6Change Your Mindset
Instead of comparing, look at someone else for inspiration. There is a big difference. Let their story excite and drive you.
You might not have everything you want right now, but if you have what you need that is enough. Make it enough. Be grateful for all that you have and all that brought you to where you are today.
8 Be Yourself
“Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken” - Oscar Wilde
This is one of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotes. It reminds me that I am unique, and my skill set and offerings are unique. Instead of trying to be someone else I need to just focus on being myself. Comparison leads to me being upset when I realise, I am not the person I am comparing myself with. Here is the thing, why am I even trying to be someone else?
I don’t want to be Oprah, she has already done her work. People already know her. I want to be me. I want to help people in my way. I want to be known by my name, not someone else’s.
Stop comparing yourself with others. Instead focus on who you are, on being better than you were yesterday. Work on your strengths, hone in on your skills. Be you. That is who the world needs. That is who you were born to discover.
[The writer is a Muscat-based student, certified yoga instructor, empowerment coach and host of the podcast ‘LIVE INSPIRED’. firstname.lastname@example.org]