Comparison is the thief of joy, yet we all do it all the time. It is something we have come to believe is a normal part of life, but what is it really doing to our lives?
We see it in tv shows, movies, and in the media. We are taught to compare ourselves to others and it has only gotten worse with social media. Everyone is on social media posting the best things happening in their lives and never sharing the difficult or hard things that are going on. So we believe our lives are less than because our lives are not always sunshine and roses like what we see on social media.
When we compare ourselves to others we are not getting the whole story. We don’t know the intimate details of the lives of the people we follow on social media or see on tv or in the movies. The fact is that we are not comparing apples to apples we are comparing apples to birds.
We do not know the life experiences of those we compare ourselves to so we do ourselves a huge disservice. We have no idea how long it took someone to get where they are, we have no idea what they went through to accomplish the things they have, and we have no idea if they are actually as happy as they seem to us. So really we have nothing to compare to because we really have no idea.
Why do we compare ourselves to others? Because we are constantly shown we are not good enough. We are bombarded with messages and images telling us what we need to fix and all the ways we do not measure up. We are taught to compare ourselves and see how we measure up to those around us and even people we don’t know. Because it is so prevalent in our society we come to believe it is normal and continue to compare ourselves to others despite its negative effects on our lives.
How do we put an end to comparison? We have to first become aware of all the ways we compare ourselves to others so we can take action to stop it.
Here are a few things that will help
- Stop making assumptions. Stop assuming that the woman or man with the “perfect” body is happier than you or somehow has something that you don’t. The truth is you have no idea what her life is like or what her insecurities are.
- Be compassionate. Develop compassion for yourself, stop being so hard on yourself and beating yourself up for every mistake and miss step you take.
- Challenge your beliefs about yourself. Where did they come from, are they serving your higher good? See the ridiculousness in your thoughts and learn to laugh at them.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Spend time and foster relationships with people who see and want the best for you.
- Practice gratitude. Start listing at the end of each day the good things that happened and that you are grateful for.
- Celebrate all people. Look for the beauty and talents in all the people in your life. Instead of seeing their strengths as a threat to you see them as complementary and a contribution to the world. When we are able to celebrate others we are able to change the way we relate and change the narrative about the types of relationships we have!
Begin doing these things and you slowly be able to breakup with comparison and you will find yourself in a much happier place! When we are free of comparison we are free to be ourselves which is where true freedom and expression lies.