Self-comparison is often seen as envious, shameful, or even pretentious. But the truth is that, to some degree, everyone does it. I do, and, well — I guess you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t do it too.
But breathe easy: self-comparison is a completely natural process. Or as Psychology Professor Thomas Mussweiler puts it, comparing ourselves to others is “one of the most basic ways we develop an understanding of who we are, what we’re good at, and what we’re not so good at”. In the end, it’s part of how we form our own identity.
The real problem comes up when this initially natural mechanism starts to affect us in ways that, well… aren’t so healthy. It’s a fine line between normal and not-normal, which makes things even trickier. But when negative feelings prevail, we can tell that something simply is not right.
It all can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and constant negative thoughts, which stop us from developing our strengths and working on our own path.
So here are 5 practical ways to stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your own journey:
1. Filter your Feed
Everyone’s life looks perfect on social media. Don’t make unfair comparisons with the flawless—and partially true—version of others. Unfollow or silence accounts that trigger you, set a time limit for scrolling, and turn off your phone to stay in the (offline) moment.
2. Know your Strengths
Rather than focusing on “not being good enough”, write down three things you admire yourself for. Think of qualities that make you really like yourself. These are unique for everyone. Clearly looking at your strengths helps you appreciate yourself the way you deserve.
3. Make yourself your own reference
We often forget that each person has their own path, their own learnings and accomplishments, and most importantly: their own timing to achieve them. Instead of competing with others, try shifting your perspective and compare yourself with your past self. What were you doing this time last year? Or three years ago? I’m sure you’ve grown. Be proud.
4. Keep a list of wonders
Make a list of all the things that you’re grateful for. There’s no limit, no minimum either. Keep it in your phone’s notes so that you can always look at it and remind yourself of what makes your life wonderful.
5. Focus on yourself
Take time to care for your mind, body, and whole self. It could be something as simple as reading a book you’ve wanted to read for years, or starting the day with a bodycare ritual to the sound of music you love.
Looking for a bodycare ritual to start off with? Check out our collections and choose the feeling you’re craving for.