Comparison thinking is just another way of judging ourselves.
Gauging your own success by comparing yourself to others is a no-win game. On one hand, comparison thinking is natural because our minds love to rank, file, and organize, but it’s too easy to get sucked into the depressing pattern of jealousy and competition. It takes effort, but putting an end to comparison thinking is the only way to avoid unnecessary negativity.
6 Ways to Free Yourself from Comparison Thinking
1. Turn the tables.
Since comparison thinking comes naturally to humans, try to channel it in a different direction. Try comparing the new you to the old you. Celebrate the things you’re able to do today that you couldn’t do five years ago. Take pleasure in all the ways you’re a more confident version of yourself.
2. Be proud of other’s successes.
Part of being happy is learning to learning to be happy for others. Comparison thinking breeds jealousy, which, along with fear and hate, are emotions create a downward spiral of negativity. Try to be happy for other people and their successes rather than being jealous–you might be surprised at how content it makes you feel!
3. Look for triggers.
Why are you so quick to compare yourself to others? And I’m not only talking about cyberstalking your frenemies on Facebook and Instagram. More specifically, what are the vulnerabilities that rise to the surface when you look deep within? Are you worried about fitting in, having more money, or career success? Identify the things that trigger negative comparison thinking so you can acknowledge and avoid them.
4. Be kind.
Kindness enriches every part of our lives. If you’re unkind to yourself then you’re likely to be unkind to others. Be proud of where you, your friends, and family are in life and don’t be critical.
5. Give up both sides of comparison thinking.
Comparison thinking typically involves judging ourselves against those who have more than us, rather than those who have less. But it can also involve feeling superior to those who have less. Resist the urge to compare in either direction.
6. Be yourself.
Just because all your friends are having babies doesn’t mean you should do the same. Maybe your life path is different. As we grow older it becomes more difficult not to fall into the mold of what we think we should be doing, even if it’s not a good fit. Remember to stay true to who you are and avoid being who you think you should be.
What’s your best advice for stopping comparison thinking?