Before I started therapy, I obsessively compared myself to others all the time. Subconsciously, I allocated a status to every person I spoke to and in most cases I saw myself as inferior to them. This is called inferiority complex and it was the driving force of my anxiety and depression, deeply rooted from my childhood experiences of constantly being abused for not being good enough.
I’ve noticed that people compare themselves against others regularly which is devastating. Mark Twain was right: “Comparison is the death of joy.”
Here are my 4 ways to help you stop comparing yourself to others:
- Only compete against yourself
Comparing yourself against others is unfair because we are all completely different. We have different skills, strengths and weaknesses. We are all at different stages in our journey of life. In the same way you wouldn’t compare a lion to a bird, it doesn’t make sense to compare yourself against everyone else. Each are special in their own way. Therefore, you should only aim to beat your previous best.
- Limit social media usage
People only show off the best parts of their lives on social media. When you’re bombarded with everyone’s selfies of them having a great time out, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that their life is better than yours. Realistically, selfies are often forced and not at all an accurate representation of someone’s quality of life.
- Avoid putting other people on a pedestal
Some people appear to be very successful in all aspects of their lives. They seem unstoppable and everything always seems to go their way. However, it’s important to realise that we all have weaknesses, regardless of our success. A colleague could be excellent at their job at work, but this very person who you envy, could be on the brink of divorce with their spouse at home. You just never know the whole picture.
- Realise that there is only one of you in this universe
Nobody can think the way that you do. Nobody has experienced all the pain and joys in life as you have. Nobody knows all of the things that you know. You’re an original copy. You don’t have to be amazing like him/her, you can be amazing like you.