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Why comparing yourself to others doesn’t work

Everyone’s been guilty of comparing themselves to others at some point in their lives.

In fact, let’s be honest you’ve probably already done it today. You’ve looked at your social media feed and wondered what it’d be like to be someone else.

Comparing yourself on social media

This can be a quick thought like when you see Kylie Jenner’s designer bag collection and realise it can pay your university fees maybe 50 times over. Kylie if you’re reading this please get in touch for my PayPal! Or it can be something which causes you to spend all your time in bed listening to your sad songs playlist and wondering why the whole universe is against you (been there). Looking at other peoples lives is much easier now with social media at out fingertips. It can be hard to resist constant comparisons. The thing is, you could argue it is human nature and part of everyday life. It is though a bad habit to fall into as it doesn’t help you to achieve the accomplishments you want.

There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t fall into the comparison game and start to compare yourself to others. I’m going to try to list a few with as few cliches as I can (no promises).

Comparisons are unrealistic

Every person has a different journey and different goals they want to achieve in life. No two people are the same. There goes that no-cliches thing! We have different upbringings, different relationships, different interests and different capabilities. Not all of this is shared with you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. It makes no sense for you to compare yourself to someone else when there are so many things that make you different to anyone else! Besides anything else, it’s not a fair comparison when you aren’t seeing the whole picture. In some cases, comparison can even lead to low self esteem and feeling increased anxiety.

What to do instead:

Get to know YOU. It’s pretty much the easiest, yet most important, thing you have to do. Understand that you will get the best results when you know where your own strengths, weaknesses and interests lie.

Be aware that not everything is what it seems. Everyone chooses which version of themselves they put out on the Internet. Just like you don’t post all the bad things that happen to you, other people also don’t! Start to focus on your accomplishments and your skills not those of another person.

Why not start to track your own progress through a work diary? Turn the focus on to you and not those around you. Read HERE our article on how to start tracking your progress through a work diary.

Comparing yourself - learn about you!

Comparing yourself to others

It doesn’t take you any further and will only make you feel bad. There’s a difference between having a role model that sets an example for what kind of person you want to be and obsessing over wanting to be where someone else is. The first one can motivate you and lead to feeling positive. The second one will make you waste time doing that I’m-sad-leave-me-alone-the-universe-hates-me thing when you could be active in pursuing your goals.

Comparing yourself - be kind to yourself

Lastly, think about your success!

The only person you should compare yourself to is your past self. You should look at where you were and how far you have come. Once you’ve set your goals you should look at the progress you, not others, have made and keep climbing up that guide you’ve made for yourself.

What to do:

Write down a list of your accomplishments. Note down all the things you have achieved, no matter how small they may seem at first because you have put in the work to make them happen. Look at all the skills you have learnt along the way! Reflect on these and realise that you are capable of making the list longer! Make sure you take time to look after yourself and balance your work schedule. Take a look at our blog post HERE for top tips.

Comparing yourself - enjoy your successes

Telling a person not to compare themselves with others is easier said than done. Comparison is a habit not exclusively for young people. Put in the effort now and banish this habit and focus on yourself. It’s so easy to look at another person and feel envy or resentment – it’s human! But we can’t let it stop us from living up to our potential, place the focus on you and achieving your goals. Why not take a look at this article we found about setting educational goals?

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