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Why We Need To Stop Comparing Ourselves To Others

Why We Need To Stop Comparing Ourselves To Others

Aimee Walsh

There’s a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ that highlights the dangers and negative effects comparing ourselves to others can have on our lives.

We all compare ourselves to others, and sometimes we even do it unconsciously. But constantly comparing ourselves to friends and others can have huge negative effects on our confidence, our self-esteem and our self-worth.

It is definitely something that comes with age, and as you grow older you realise that everybody is different, and even the people that we may think have perfect lives definitely do not. It’s completely natural to compare our looks, achievements, jobs and pretty much everything else to those around us, but this is a recipe for disaster and can lead to feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with our lives.

The Instagram Trap

It’s no doubt that social media plays a pivotal role in how we compare ourselves and our lives to others, and why wouldn’t it? Most of what we see on social media is portraying the best of people and their lives, but we rarely see what goes on behind closed doors.

We all know those people that constantly post gorgeous selfies, holidays and perfect relationships, but are they posting the days when they wake up with a pimple, after they’ve had an argument with someone or when they haven’t got out of bed for the day? Probably not, and believe me it happens to everyone.

Social media, especially Instagram is flooded with people boasting, and of course this is going to make you, me and everyone else jealous and compare ourselves and our lives to that, but it’s not real.

Social media tends to paint very rosy pictures of people’s lives and it can be very overwhelming constantly seeing everyone’s amazing new jobs, houses, holidays and clothes, but just remember that it’s only showing the highlight reel and not the entire reality.

We’re all different

We’re all different, and we need to learn to embrace our differences. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but there will always be someone that you may think is thinner, prettier, wealthier and more accomplished than you.
I’m sorry!

But it’s cool, because if you look at what you do have and the qualities you do possess, it’s more than enough for you to be happy and proud of. If we are constantly comparing ourselves to someone else, we will never find happiness or be fulfilled with what we have. We all have different body types, different goals, different personalities and different lives, because if we were all the same it would be boring.

Be proud of your achievements

I am the first to put my hand up and say that I am guilty of this, and even found myself saying “I have actually achieved nothing with my life” whilst talking to a friend a while ago (it was one of those days). But when you look at the big picture, of course we all have achievements that we should be proud of. Sometimes we even forget all of the things we have achieved, because we’re so focused on what others have achieved that is deemed better than ours. For example, you might have achieved a degree, but your friend got a masters. This doesn’t mean your achievement should be looked over and not celebrated.

Focus on you

There are tons of stuff in our lives we would all like to improve and make better, maybe you want to get fitter, get a better job, get better grades or be a better friend, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself.

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The way to do this is not by comparing yourself to others, but just focus on yourself. I know I am sounding preachy, but these are important things I wish someone had told me when I was a teenager. Focus on yourself and your goals, and don’t even mind what anyone else is doing because it’s your life you’ve to live and not theirs. There is no point in putting energy into caring what someone else is doing, because ultimately it will have no effect on your life.

It definitely it not something that will happen overnight, but acknowledging when we are comparing ourselves to others and asking “Why can’t that be me?” and shutting it down with realising what we do have and what we should be grateful for is a great tool to have. It will take time and effort to break the habit that most of us have had for a long time, but it will be worth it in the end. Instead of trying to emulate others, learning to accept who we are and what we have can be difficult, but is really important for happiness.

Are you going to try make a more conscious effort to stop comparing yourself to others?

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