Sometimes we look at other people’s lives and start to compare ourselves and feel like we’re not good enough. Here’s how to stop comparing yourself to others.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
“I cannot say this too strongly: Do not compare yourselves to others. Be true to who you are, and continue to learn with all your might.” – Daisaku Ikeda
The truth is, no one has it all figured out, and everyone is struggling in some way. We go on sites like Facebook and see people’s perfect lives, or the filtered photos of Instagram, or the Photoshopped pictures in magazines, and we think that everyone has their lives together except us.
The Truth About Comparing Yourself to Other People
But that’s not true. Here’s the real truth about comparing yourself.
Facebook paints a nice picture of our lives, but most people’s day to day life is pretty mundane. Sometimes it’s sad and sometimes it’s happy, like the times they highlight on social media, but we usually don’t hear about the bad times. So you aren’t actually getting an accurate picture of what people’s lives are really like.
Everyone is on their own journey and goes at their own pace. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. If you’re worried that you’re “behind” or you should be farther along by now because you see other people who are succeeding at what you want to do, don’t worry.
But the real secret?
There is no secret to life. There is no secret to success. It’s all about showing up day after day and putting in the hard work and doing what you love.
You know how you look at other people’s lives and wish that were your life? Someone is doing that about your life. A few years ago I was really depressed and someone I knew said, “I wish I had my life together like you do.” She had no idea how much I was struggling at the time, and I had no idea that other people were looking to me as an inspiration.
The truth is, you never know who you are inspiring. Your first reaction might be, “Ha! No one is inspired by little old me,” but maybe someone looks up to you and admires you and you don’t even realize it.
If you find yourself falling into the trap of comparison-itis, here are a few ways to practice gratitude and stay grounded.
How to Stop the Comparison with Other People
1. First, realize you are on your own unique journey.
There may be people out there who you’re comparing yourself to. Maybe you’re even a little green with envy because they’ve already succeeded at what you want to do. But if other people are succeeding, that just means that it’s possible for you to succeed too. It’s kind of comforting to know that if someone is already succeeding, they’ve already blazed a trail where you want to go.
2. Stay focused on taking regular small steps forward.
Wherever you are on your own journey is perfect. Even if all you can manage is a baby step or two every month, recognize that you are your own person and you make progress at your own pace. Comparing yourself won’t speed you up, it will just discourage you. So keep your eyes on your own paper and keep putting one foot in front of the other. One step at a time, one day at a time.
3. Be grateful for everything you’ve already accomplished.
Maybe you feel like you haven’t accomplished much, especially compared to everyone else with their impressive achievements and obvious successes. But maybe you aren’t giving yourself enough credit! Sometimes it’s less about the apparent victories and more about the internal battles won and overcome. Have you grown as a person since you started on your journey? Have you learned any important lessons, become more grounded, or are a little happier or more fulfilled from trying to follow your dreams?
Everyone Is Just Making it Up as They Go (Don’t Worry)
In the past I’ve talked to people who I thought had it all together (and sometimes I was that person) and realized that deep down, no one has it figured out. Which is liberating and scary at the same time.
The truth is, we’re all just making it up as we go. Some people are just more confident about what they’re doing. That’s all. No one’s been gifted with some special quality that you don’t have. There’s nothing you need outside of yourself to be happy.
It’s in everyone.
There are no secret answers or knowledge to acquire. You don’t have to be born a certain way. Anyone, anywhere, can choose to make the best of the life they’ve been given.
And that means that if you’re just making it up as you go, improv’ing your way through life, then you’re doing just fine. 🙂 In fact, if you’re even thinking about this stuff, you’re probably doing great.
So don’t worry, and don’t compare yourself. What you see on social media isn’t the whole truth – it’s just the pretty parts.
You’re a good person, and I think you’re doing the best you can. How do I know? Because that’s what I’ve seen, time and time again, when you really get to know someone. Everyone is just doing the best they can.
And everyone’s just making it up as they go.
Someone out there is wishing that they had what you have, or that they’d accomplished what you’ve already accomplished. Give yourself a little credit for how far you’ve come in your life!
I promise that you are an amazing person and you have a lot to celebrate and be grateful for – this is your journey, and you are making progress every day. Keep going, don’t give up, and don’t get caught up in the trap of comparing yourself.
You can do this.