How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
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If you are like most people, you care too much about what others think of you. Therefore, you likely compare yourself to others - and then worry about how they "judge" you - especially your status in life. Unfortunately, the problem with comparing yourself to others is that your comparisons are often based on negative thoughts and insecurities. For example, you are more likely to compare your position in life to that of someone you perceive as being more successful. They might make more money than you, own a bigger house, or drive a fancier car. However, you are less likely to compare yourself to those who are less fortunate than you: people who make less money than you, live in smaller homes, or drive less expensive cars. In short, a big part of caring about what others think of you comes from making unhealthy comparisons to other people. Here are some important steps you can take to think more about yourself and less about others.
1. Why People Compare Themselves to Others
Unfortunately, most people compare themselves to others from a flawed outlook about their life. That's because many people have an underlying feeling of unworthiness or self-disappointment. For instance, you might not make as much money as you would like. Therefore, you find someone who makes more money than you, and you start comparing yourself to that person. Do you see a problem with that? You found someone who makes more money - not less money - to compare yourself to. Your comparison is rooted in a negative thought: You don't make as much money as you want. However, if you were looking to make a comparison that was grounded in a positive thought, you would find someone less fortunate than yourself to make a comparison with. Then, you would (likely) be grateful for everything that you have.
2. Compare Your Current Self to your Ideal Self
Instead of comparing yourself to others in an unhealthy way, compare your current self to your ideal self. Back to the example of not earning as much money as you would like: there are a number of ways that you could (likely) increase your earnings in the future. For instance, you could start applying to jobs that pay more. You could go back to school to gain more valuable skills and training. Depending on your profession, you might be able to make more money by working for yourself. Basically, you want to look at your life and see how you could improve it in the future.
3. Stop Being Your Number One Critic
As mentioned earlier, people often compare themselves to others because of some type of disappointment in their life. While you can definitely take steps to improve your life, you will never make it perfect. However, if you are a perfectionist, you likely find yourself criticizing many of the things that you do. Therefore, you must stop being so self-critical. Instead, set realistic expectations for yourself - understanding that you will never be perfect. Then, don't beat yourself up when you fall short of a goal.
4. Give Your Self-Esteem a Boost
You will never make healthy comparisons as long as you have low feelings of self-worth. Therefore, if you often find yourself comparing yourself to others - in a negative way - then your self-esteem could likely use a boost. Try this short exercise to boost your self-esteem:
- Find five qualities that you truly like about yourself.
- Think about what makes you like those qualities.
- Think about how others probably like those qualities about you (even if you haven't noticed yet).
If you take that exercise seriously, you will realize that you will learn some really special things about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, you won't worry as much about what others think of you.
5. Boost Your Self-Confidence
One of the biggest reasons that you (likely) compare yourself to others is because you lack self-confidence in your own abilities. When you don't believe in yourself, then you will find a lot of faults. That means you look to others to admire their "perfect" qualities that you desire. The truth is nobody really possesses perfect qualities. Everyone has their own faults and insecurities. However, you need to focus less on your faults and focus more on developing greater self-confidence in yourself. You can find resources online that will offer more tips on boosting your self-confidence.
6. Most People Aren't Really Judging You as Much as You Think
Finally, it's normal to feel like others are watching your every move - especially when you mess up. However, the reality is that most people are so busy and tied up in their own life that they really aren't paying that much attention to you. For example, the person you think who is looking down on you all the time might actually be worried that others are looking down on them. That's because most people - even really successful people - have insecurities. The next time you get stressed worrying about what others are thinking of you, just remind yourself that they are probably too wrapped up in their own life to really care.
In short, if you want to stop worrying what others think about you, then you are going to have to stop comparing yourself to others. That's because when you make unhealthy comparisons, you end up creating further anxieties worrying about the impression you are making. Start comparing your current self to your future self: the person you wish to be in the future. You must also stop being so self-critical when you make mistakes. If you have a lot of insecurities brought on by having low self-esteem, then you need to work on improving your self-worth. Furthermore, you need to boost your self-confidence, so that you believe more in yourself. Lastly, remember that you shouldn't worry about what others are thinking of you - because most people are really just focused on their own life.