Comparison not only steals our joy, it prevents us from fully living our lives. Here are five powerful tips to stop the comparison game immediately!
We’ve all been there – wishing we had what someone else has and thinking that if we did it would make our lives better. When we are in a state of comparison we are envying and seeking someone else’s life, rather than our own. Comparison not only steals our joy, it prevents us from fully living our lives. It’s time to stop the comparison game and take back your joy.
When we think of comparison, we think of comparing ourselves to others. However, one of the most frequent and damaging comparisons that we make is often left out. And that’s comparing your current self to a previous version of you. Whether it be comparing your post-baby body to your pre-baby body or your current relationship to a past relationship. We need to be aware of these comparisons. So as you read through these tips, be mindful of how you are not only comparing yourself to others but also comparing yourself to a past version of yourself.
With that said, there is healthy self-comparison and unhealthy self-comparison. Healthy self-comparison looks like waking up each day and striving to be a better version of ourselves and in order to measure that there is a form of comparison that takes place. However, unhealthy self-comparison looks like comparing where we are at now with where we used to be.
If you’re a regular around here, you’ve heard my story about how I felt like I lost myself in motherhood. If you’re new, welcome! So happy you are here. Get up to speed here.
There were many factors that went into feeling like I lost myself in motherhood. But, here’s the realization I’ve came to recently. The statement of “I lost myself in motherhood.” comes from a place of comparison. I am comparing my current self to my previous self. I am comparing my current season of life to a previous season of life. Don’t get me wrong, the transition into motherhood is real and I am not diminishing the struggles. However, I believe the less we can compare our “previous life” and embrace our “current life” the more joy we can have through the transition and the struggles.
So, listen up! Especially if you’re a mama. You are not where you used to be. You’re where you are now. That body that ran a half marathon, while it just housed a baby for 40 weeks, labored it into this world and may have been it’s exclusive source of nutrition for the first six months. Mama, give your body some grace. Instead of mourning what it used to be, celebrate all it has accomplished. The best thing about being where you are now, is you are in control of how you view your now and how you choose to move forward. It’s on you!
Was there a time in your life that you were in better physical shape? Was there a season in your life where you felt more connected with your spouse, you were a better friend or sister, or contributed to your community more? You are not where you used to be. You’re where you are now. And, YOU are in control of how you view your now and how you choose to move forward.
The only thing we should be comparing is the person we are today with the person we were yesterday. Not the person we are today with the person we were a month ago, a year ago, or five years ago. Who we are today versus who we were yesterday. That’s all.
It’s time to stop the comparison game and take back your joy with these five powerful tips:
1. FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS
When we are in a state of comparison, we are comparing others strengths to our weaknesses. We are hyper focused on someone’s highlight reel and we are comparing it with our behind the scenes – it’s an unfair comparison. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses.
I am not good at math. Let me tell you a story. My five year younger sister had to tutor me through an introductory University math class which she later told me was basic high school math. If I had spent my time comparing my weakness to her strength I would have felt terrible about myself. Instead, I learned from her and was truly grateful for her help. She focused on her strengths and went on to be an accountant and I am still learning from her today. Wouldn’t it be silly if I compared my ability to complete a tax return to her ability to complete a tax return?
It does not do us any good to focus on our weaknesses. Stop spending your time wishing you were better at something. Stop focusing on what you are not good at and start focusing on what you are good at. Focus on your strengths!
2. DEFINE YOUR VERSION OF SUCCESS & HAPPINESS
Success looks different to everyone, but if you aren’t clear on what success looks like to you then you will fall victim to society’s version of success. Somewhere along the way society decided to measure success based on clothes, cars, homes, money, beauty, likes and followers. External factors like these are rarely a good measure. Your self-worth is not determined by your net-worth.
Ask yourself, what does success & happiness look like for me. When doing this think about physical, financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual success, as well as what truly makes you happy. Get clear on your version of success and happiness because the only definition of success and happiness that should matter to you is your own definition. Now is the time to stop the comparison game by creating a crystal clear version of what success means to you so you can stop basing the success of your life off someone else’s definition.
3. FOCUS ON PERSONAL GROWTH
You’ve heard the saying, “The grass is greener where you water it.”, right? Well, that’s what I’m talking about here. When we compare ourselves to others, we are placing the focus on the wrong person. We are wasting our precious energy focusing on other people’s lives when we should be focusing on our own. Stop the comparison game by being so focused on improving yourself that you don’t have the time or energy to compare.
Since committing to my personal growth I have experienced a significant shift in how comparison presents itself in my life. When I am so focused on my own growth I have a lot less time to focus on others, which has manifested as a lot less comparison.
If you are unhappy with where you are at today, remind yourself this is only one chapter of your story and you are in control of writing the rest. Where you are today does not define you. What really matters is your mindset, your attitude and where you’re going. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be that YOU are in control of one life – yours. It all starts with you!
4. TURN COMPARISON INTO INSPIRATION
When we are in comparison mode we are comparing our behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. And when we see other’s success, we often forget the hours of work that have gone into achieving that success. Instead of allowing others successes to get you down, look at them as a source of inspiration for what you could be, do and have in your life. And, while you’re learning from them and being inspired… cheer them on! Abundance, not scarcity. Shift your mindset!
5. BE GRATEFUL
Did you know when you feel grateful it is impossible to feel any other negative emotion at the same time? So when you find yourself starting to compare I want you to stop the comparison game immediately by identifying 3-5 things you are grateful for. In fact, let’s practice right now. What are 3-5 things you are grateful for? As you list each one in your head, take the time to truly feel the gratitude. By the time you get to the end of your list (or before) you should have a beaming smile on your face. Better yet, start a daily gratitude practice. You don’t need anything fancy, just a piece of paper, a pen and five minutes. Each morning write down 5 things you are grateful for. The benefits of gratitude are life changing!
There you have it – 5 powerful steps to help you stop the comparison game immediately. Comparing ourselves with others not only steals our joy, it prevents us from fully living our lives. Every minute you spend comparing your life to someone else’s is a minute lost on creating your own life.
Focus on YOU. You got this!
Let me know in the comments, which tip helped you stop the comparison game in its tracks?