Do you find yourself trying to “keep up with the Joneses”? Do you feel discouraged when you see the people around you succeeding? Or feel inadequate when you compare your house, car, job, or relationship to those of your friends and co-workers? Constantly comparing yourself to others can be a destructive habit, but many people find themselves guilty of this. Instead of giving so much attention to the wealth or success of the people around you, focusing on yourself and your accomplishments can help you be happier with your own accomplishments and give you the motivation and focus to reach new goals.
- If you can’t think something nice, don’t think anything at all. The way that we feel about other people has a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves. It can be tempting to be judgmental of the people at your office or local hangout; we’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to others and finding them lacking. However, the more you judge others, the more you tend to judge yourself. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the people around you, think about the positive. Focus on loving the people around you so that you are more capable of loving yourself. If you see someone having trouble with something, try to help them. Be kind to the people around you. You might notice that your own life seems a little happier.
- Leave heroes to the movies and comic books. It’s generally easy to find people to idolize. Whether it’s a celebrity, the subject of a moving news article, or the employee of the month—when you place people on a pedestal, you can become disconnected with them and their achievements. It can be easy to believe that you are unable of achieving similar accomplishment, and that you share so few of the same attributes. Comparing yourself to these heroes can make you look at your own life with a more critical eye. Instead of thinking of people you admire as idols or heroes, think of them as potential friends or role models. Focus on the attributes that you have in common (even if you’ve never met your role model)
- Realize there is no such thing as “winning.” Life isn’t a race. There is no such thing as first place—and you should be thankful for this. Despite your basis of comparison, you will generally be able to find someone in the world that is better than you at something. This can be hard to accept, but this point is one of the best reasons not to compare yourself to anyone. You shouldn’t be in competition with the people around you. Look at other people’s achievements as goals that you can set for yourself, not as evidence that they have more or less success than you.
- Compare your past to your present. It’s natural to need some metric to compare our life’s success. Our minds are designed to rank and organize everything around us, including achievements. Instead of focusing on how you rank compared to other people, why not look at how you compare to yourself one year ago. What have you accomplished in the last 12 months? What are you doing differently? What have you gained? You might be surprised with all of the achievements that you can list. Realizing how far you have come can help you regain focus and motivation to grow further.