If you’ve ever been curious on how to stop comparing yourself to others, then this post is definitely for you. The other day, I was about to braid my daughter’s hair when she said “Mommy, I want you to do my hair just like Jane Doe”. Her comment literally got me laughing out loud. But I must say, I was so shocked that at such an early age, she had already started comparing herself to other people. As a person who works so hard at not comparing myself to others, her comment took me back to moments, as a child and an adult, when I compared myself to others . We all compare ourselves to other people. Most of the time, we don’t even realize it when we are comparing ourselves to others. It’s so hard not to compare when most of us are raised to do just that. From when our parents tell us things like “You need to behave. Can’t you see how well behaved other kids are?” to our peers at school making us feel inferior because we are different from them, our society breeds comparison in every way. But I have come to realize as Theodore Roosevelt so eloquently said “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Every time we compare ourselves to others, we rob ourselves of utter joy. Comparing ourselves to others does us no favors, rather it strips us of valuable time better spent loving our lives and being happy. I have found that we only compare ourselves to others when we don’t feel worthy or good enough. I am here to tell you that your worthiness isn’t based on other people’s perceptions of you but your own perceptions of yourself. To be happy, we need to love our lives today and not tomorrow. As the old saying goes “Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have”. I intend on doing my best to nurture my children in a comparison free zone household. But to do so, here are the 5 lessons I plan on teaching them on ‘how to stop comparing yourself to other people”:
3) Spend more time creating : We are all creators, made in the likeness of God’s image. So we need to spend less time comparing ourselves to others and more time creating and advancing ourselves further in life. Why? Because comparison is the death of creativity. Always do you. Use your talents, learn a new skill, create with your hands or produce with your brain. Other people’s journeys don’t hinder or affect yours. So be an artist of life.
4) Limit your time on the Internet: This is a big one for all of us. The internet and social media are such amazing tools, but only when used correctly. Thanks to the accessibility and connectivity the internet gives us, we find ourselves constantly comparing our lives to others, especially strangers. But the truth is, people only display what they want you to see of their lives. Therefore, the information you are comparing against isn’t at all the complete picture. So don’t live your life on the Internet. Spend more time outside, actually living in the real moment. There is beauty and life out there, so don’t miss out on it.
5) Compete with yourself and not with others: If you must compete with somebody, compete with yourself. Other people’s journeys are irrelevant to yours. Your path is completely different from anyone else, so run your own race. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself, and not the best version of someone else.