It is so hard in todays society to be proud of who you are. There is constantly someone who looks better than you, someone who is more successful than you, someone who seems happier than you… I could go on.
Every day we spend our lives comparing ourselves to other people and doubting our own self worth. Let me tell you, it is a waste of time! You never know what is actually going on in somebody else’s life, and you most probably never will but none of that matters.
Now I could sit here and tell you about how all of the supermodels are photoshopped (which most of them are) and that the people that show they are happy often have things that are going on behind the scenes and that the people that you think are successful could well be struggling with other aspects of their lives. But that is besides the point. Why does it matter if the supermodel was photoshopped? If you learn to not compare yourself to them in the first place then it doesn’t matter how you perceive anybody else’s life to be.
You are the important one. You are the one that you have to focus on as you are the only one with the exact gene type that you have (sorry identical twins! – theres two of you!) and you need to use your differences from every other person. There is a reason why everybody is different, we are all unique and shouldn’t feel like we have to fit into a specific category.
The tendency to compare ourselves to others is innate and in our human nature and most of the time we aren’t even aware of the fact that we are comparing ourselves but there are ways to weave our way out of these habits that inevitably only make us unhappy.
One of these is to focus on the good qualities about yourself no matter how small and quirky they may be. Good at braiding your hair – great, can write a 2000 word essay in 30 minutes – great, can play a concerto on the piano – fab, can get out of bed on the days you really don’t want to – amazing. No matter how big or small, list all of the great things about yourself and you’ll soon learn not to have to compare everything else. A personal example of this is my height, I always compared myself and thought I was weird for being so tall until I thought about the small positives that come from it and now I love that I am different! (One of the highlights being you can always find people when you lose them in a club!)
Another really important way to stop comparing ourselves to everything is to learn to be ok with the things in your life that aren’t perfect. Not everything can be perfect – If you learn to love your imperfections then there is nothing left to hate and therefore you have no need to compare yourself to everyone around you. Just like I learned to embrace my height even though I hated it – once you learn to love the things you hate, it is so much easier to stop making comparisons.
It is also important to start looking at life realistically, like a human – I always had expectations of myself that were so high I would have to be superwoman to meet them! Then every time I failed at something I would be down about it and then compare that aspect of my life to everyone else around. For example, I would always see people doing better in exams than me, so I would always stay up until early hours of the morning trying to increase my knowledge and then if I didn’t overtake the others I would be upset about it. When in reality, I could never be as good as some of these people as they were simply more intelligent than me. However, when I lowered my expectations slightly I actually ended up doing better than I ever believed I could – and no longer felt the need to worry about what others achieved. It is all about balance and setting goals that are actually humanly possible. I don’t need to do better than everyone else in exams.
Another thing that helped me to stop making comparisons was a social media detox. Now, don’t get me wrong, like any other – I love my daily instagram scroll and watching all of the funny videos on facebook. But social media is where the majority of my (and I expect yours too) comparisons happen. I see some beauty blogger with a #nomakeup selfie and it just makes you feel awful. I spent a week with no social media and it did me a world of good – I read books and actually went outside and I found that after a week I actually relied on social media a lot less and hence had less opportunities to compare myself to all of the people on there.
One tip that I have is to try and become aware of how often you actually compare yourself to other people. If you are more aware of when you do it then it is easier to change. If you can feel yourself wishing that an aspect of your life was like someone else, try to think of the things I have mentioned. Start counting your blessings and thinking abut all of the good things in your life and it might make you realise that being like that person is actually exactly what you don’t want. Try to embrace the negative things in your life and see them from a different point of view – you’re not weird, you’re quirky. Use that quirk. Be proud of who you are and don’t let those around you stifle that weirdness!
Anyways, I’m off