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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others - A Helpful Guide

Tips to overcome the need to compare yourself to others

While comparing yourself to others can cause serious harm to your life, there are some tips you can use in order to avoid this behaviour.

Among these tips, some of the most interesting refer to how to become aware of the negative effects this comparison has on your life, practise gratitude, learn to admire and learn from others or focus on yourself- so you can become a better version of yourself.

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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others - A Helpful Guide

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others - A Helpful Guide

https://www.becomingminimalist.com/compare-less/

becomingminimalist.com

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Key Ideas

The shortcomings of always comparing yourself to others

Individuals have always had the tendency to compare themselves to others. However, this can only have negative effects on our life: it deprives you of joy, it makes you lose precious time that could have been better used otherwise, it results in frustration and hate towards the one you are comparing yourself with and even towards yourself.

Tips to overcome the need to compare yourself to others

While comparing yourself to others can cause serious harm to your life, there are some tips you can use in order to avoid this behaviour.

Among these tips, some of the most interesting refer to how to become aware of the negative effects this comparison has on your life, practise gratitude, learn to admire and learn from others or focus on yourself- so you can become a better version of yourself.

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Comparing ourselves to others

It allows them to drive our behavior.

Sometimes it’s about something genetic/physical (wishing to be taller for example), but more often it’s about something the other person is capable of doing that we wish we could do as well. Sometimes this comparison is motivating and sometimes it’s destructive.

You can be anything

... but you can’t be everything. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re often comparing their best features against our average ones. 

It’s like being right-handed and trying to play an instrument with your left hand.

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Social Comparisons

A social comparison happens when we are measuring ourselves by the success or the failures of others. We all use social comparisons to motivate ourselves.

  • Upward c...
Compete With Yourself

If you find the external upward social comparisons de-motivating, it is a good idea to shift your focus inwards, and compare your past with your present, while keep pushing yourself every week, month and year. Having a written record of your performance creates a tangible comparison chart to work with.

Downward comparisons help us find motivation when we are feeling low, as it gives perspective. They also provide us with an urge to help others in need, igniting our energies to mentor and support those in need.

Move Past Regret
Move Past Regret

Dwelling in regret and despair over the past mistakes and failures isn’t productive. 

Use the same energy to realize and move forward with your dreams. Use your limited brain cycles wise...

The Stigma Of Failure

Don’t let failure ruin your self-esteem, or stop you from achieving your goals. Initial setbacks and mistakes are natural and instructive. 

Almost every great person has experienced failure before achieving extraordinary success.

Our competitive Advantage

We all are unique and have tremendous value. It’s always good to understand and embrace your individuality, instead of curbing it for fitting in the status quo. Our differences are often our competitive advantages.

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Checking the headlines

The news  can bring negativity: our impotence to do anything about most of what we hear can lead to a sense of hopelessness. It saps mental energy and focus.

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Toxic comparison

To break free from the temptation to compare, audit your social media feeds.

If you find yourself thinking about how your life matches up to a friend’s when you’re not on social media, try to shift your perspective. Think about their human traits, vulnerabilities, and things that you have in common. When you change your mindset, you can move from a place of jealousy to a place of empathy. 

2 types of comparisons
  • Downward comparison (comparing ourselves to those less fortunate): It activates the brain’s “lack” network, emphasizing our insecurity and focuses on safeguarding the status quo at the expense of risk and adventure.
  • Upward comparison (comparing ourselves to those we envy): it can excite feelings of envy and low self-esteem.

Both of these types of comparison can be bad for the brain

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Constructive Criticism

It's often the only way we learn about our weaknesses and without it, we can’t improve. When we’re defensive, we run the risk of missing out on this important insight.

Feedback’s not...

Stop Your First Reaction

At the first sign of criticism, before you do anything—stop. Try not to react at all.

Even a few seconds are enough for your brain to process a situation:  you can halt a dismissive facial expression or reactive quip and remind yourself to stay calm.

Remember the Benefits of Getting Feedback

Namely, to improve your skills, work product, and relationships, and to help you meet the expectations that your manager and others have of you.

Also, try to cut back any reaction you're having to the person who is delivering the feedback, even if it's hard to receive criticism from someone you don't fully respect.

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Emotional weight
Emotional weight

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Setting unrealistic expectations

Expectations are our idea of how we think the world should look. This may involve how we should feel, what we should have achieved, and how other people should be treating us.

We could set up expectations that are too high based on arbitrary rules and then become frustrated when we can't meet it.A good rule of thumb is if we are not working diligently toward something, or there is no proof for what we expect, then it may be unrealistic.

Making unfair comparisons

There are advantages to social comparisons, like ensuring that we are reaching certain developmental milestones. But unfair comparisons can cause you to feel inadequate and incompetent.

Online social networks provide a platform for social comparisons. It is important to question the purpose of this kind of contrast. How will comparing yourself to others affect you?

To avoid undervaluing your well-being, make social comparisons that are purposeful and fair.

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Telling Others About Your Pursuit

It can keep you accountable, but it can also lead to a false sense of completeness. One way to avoid sabotaging yourself is to state your goal as a commitment rather than progress towards the finished product.

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Self-sabotaging Behavior

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.

Avoid self-sabotaging
  • Don't let others dictate your behavior. Choose your responses to situations rather than reacting to them.
  • Don't let others dictate your attitude. You can control your attitudes, responses and actions, but little else.
  • Don't let others devalue your sense of self. The act of comparison can lead to internal conflict and lack of self-confidence.
Sneaky Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Fight other sneaky self-sabotaging behaviors by owning your impact. Don't hand over the control of your behaviors, attitudes and sense of self-worth to other people without thinking.

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“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
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Discover Your Values

Being able to achieve a success metric is hard, but knowing which metric to achieve is even more important. Discover what you value and choose your own metrics for success, otherwise, your environment will dictate it for you, which could be unfulfilling for you.

Work towards your own idea of success and don’t let “FOMO” make you feel like a failure because you’re not meeting someone else’s metrics for success.

Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker
“There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”

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Our inner 'demons'

Our inner Demons, or inner voices, make us do irrational, stupid and selfish things, based out of fear.

We hide and distract ourselves from our inner voice, which is nothing but our fear and ...

Our common negative parts

Some of our common 'demons' are:

  • Procrastination
  • Laziness
  • Self-loathing
  • Comparing yourself with your peers, leading to envy
  • Loser mentality.
The downward spiral

Our inner demons lead us to negatively judge ourselves, further leading to avoiding that judgment, and eventually starting the internal self-destruction, if the negative downward spiral is left unchecked.

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