How to Stop Comparing: Studio 5
Comparing ourselves to other people; it’s something we all are guilty of (particularly women). Whether it has to do with looks, money, talents, relationships, or belongings, many women perceive themselves as less than someone else who seems to have a better life. In a society that so often ranks us, it’s no surprise that this is so common! But at what cost? Comparing ourselves to others can eat away at our happiness and lead to more anxiety and lower self-esteem, but thankfully it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 5 strategies to avoid the comparison trap:
1) Change Your Lens
Instead of viewing yourself as less than or better than someone else, change your frame of reference to eliminate the mindset of competition between you and others. We’re all on the same plane, we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and we don’t need to rank ourselves. It’s okay if someone gets more done than you or succeeds in an area where you don’t. You have your own unique gifts. Changing your lens can help you see things more clearly and stop comparing.
2) Celebrate “What Is”
Sometimes we compare ourselves not with other people, but with what we had envisioned or hoped for our own lives. Many women experience the painful realization that their expectations have not been met. Try to grieve the loss of these expectations, but then celebrate what is right in your life. For example, perhaps a relationship did not work out as you had hoped, but you instead find yourself in a fulfilling career. Celebrating what you do have can bring great happiness.
3) Clarify Your Values
When we compare ourselves with others, it’s easy to forget that what we value may differ from what someone else values. Our personal values dictate how we spend our time, money, and energy. For example, a woman who seems to always look very polished and put together may value physical beauty over someone who doesn’t feel the need to invest a significant amount of time to do the same. And that is okay! If you value something, fully engage in it! But if something is not as important to you, don’t feel inferior to others who put more stock in it.
4) Celebrate Others’ Strengths
It can be easy to feel jealous or envious of other people’s good fortunes. Social media can portray a picture of how beautiful, successful, and happy other people are. Seek to celebrate your friends’ successes and joys instead of feeling intimidated or saddened by them. Remember also that someone else’s happiness doesn’t detract from your own. There is enough to go around!
If you find that you struggle with comparing yourself to others and want to be the best YOU that you can, check out my book “The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.”
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.