Why are we always so hard on ourselves? And why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to there constantly? In the recent week, I thought a lot about this topic and realized, that comparing yourself to others is the easiest way to feel unhappy and frustrated. You have to differentiate between admiration and envy. We often mix these two feelings, although they are so different.
To admire something triggers something positive in ourselves and in the best case, it motivates us to work on ourselves. Envy, however, has often a negative impact on our life and lead us to the same question over and over again ,,Why not me?“. Often we are jealous of someone`s life, without realizing`, that we have completely other dreams deep inside. Last week, I read an interesting article on Edition F, which was all about true and false dreams. There is this one quote from this article, which I can’t get out of my head: „Everyone is at each moment in the exact situation in which he wants to be“. Of course, there are exceptions and circumstances, but it’s about the principle to distinguish your real dreams from false dreams someone else has.
As mentioned above, to compare yourself with others is the best way to be unhappy. Mostly we compare ourselves to people who are in a very different situation than we are and generally live a different life, with a completely different background. Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.
In the recent week, I have often compared myself to others. It lead me to many questions and due to all of the nagging and negative energy, I totally forgot to be grateful for what I have. Grateful for being healthy, to have a supporting family, to wake up next to the love of my life every single day, to combine my passion with a job, to be my own boss, to live in an apartment, where I feel so save and happy, being able to travel and having people around, who care about me. These are all things we often take for granted and don’t appreciate enough. There are is so much to be grateful for in our lives. We are the only person who can change our life. We are responsible for our own happiness and success and if we believe in ourselves, we can make things happen, that we thought were impossible. We can change our lives, if we are unhappy. The trick is to find out the reasons why we are unhappy and how we can improve our situation. You can have someone else as your role model and be inspired, as long as this admiration is 100% positive. Stick to your own dreams, no matter what other people think about it and no matter what other peoples dreams are. Today, I have 12 tips for you on how to stop comparing yourself to others and start believing in your own dreams.
1. Find inspiration without comparison
As described above, the line between inspiration and comparison is very thin. Be inspired by others, but don’t compare yourself to them. Inspiration is something positive, something that should enrich your life. Inspiration should lead you to pursue your dreams and goals, it should motivate you in a healthy and positive way. Cut out the things in your life which make you compare your bad qualities to someone else’s success. Cut out everything that triggers demotivation.
2. Remind yourself again and again to your achievements
This point is super important and I surely have to work on that one myself. To remember your own success is often difficult when you are in a negative and desperate situation. But especially in moments like this, it is so important to keep in mind what we have already achieved and how many small and big successes you have already mastered.
We forget moments of happiness too quickly, however, we still remember all the bad things. This is exactly what you have to work on. Turn this habit upside down and remember all the positive stuff that happened. An easy exercise that may help you is a success-and-happiness-jar. Just write all your small and big accomplishments on a post-it and collect all of them in a jar. Whenever you’re having a lousy day, feel frustrated and unhappy, useless and unmotivated, just read the post-its from your jar and see all the great things you achieved. That could be a positive feedback from a customer, a great job someone offered to you, positive criticism from readers, friends or family, a difficult task that you have mastered, a project you have successfully implanted etc.. You can also write down your major milestone and hang it on your wall. It is so important to never forget where you started from. As the chart below shows, success is not a straight road upwards, but a long hard road with many ups and downs. Believe in yourself and stay strong.
3. Practice being gratitude every day
Too often we forget to be grateful for all the beautiful things in our lives. The constant urge of being better and better every day prevents us from appreciating what is not for granted. Try to remember what you are grateful for every day. A gratitude diary is a great exercise that I just started myself. Just grab a blank notebook and write down 3 things for which you are grateful for today every day. It can be simple things like fresh and healthy food, a walk in the park, a nice conversation with a friend or a good idea that you had that day. The diary will help you to appreciate all the little things that make your life so beautiful and happy, that we sometimes don’t realize. And always remember: Feeling gratitude is one of the most important things to find you inner peace.
4. Be aware of your strengths
We tend to rather know our weaknesses as our strengths. Accept your weaknesses and get over them. There will always be things in which we are not as good as someone else. This is human. Get yourself together and focus on your strength. Try to see them, use them and be proud of them. Focusing on your strength does not mean that you ignore your weaknesses. It means, to find things and areas where you can rise and grow. Do me the favor and ask your family and friends about your strength. I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised by what others see in you what you might not even recognize yet. Progress means making the effort to make your life extraordinary.
5. Strive for process, not for perfection
Nothing is perfect, even if it sometimes seems like that from the outside. There is no perfect life, no perfect family, no perfect career. You should focus on the process, not on perfection. Learn from your mistakes and use them. Every one of us has imperfections, that`s what makes us human and unique. Be ok with not being perfect and realize that imperfection is what makes you who you are. Growing is so much more fun than being perfect all the time. If you want to compare, then compare yourself with the previous you. Look at the process and try to see everything with a positive perspective.
6. Use social media in a positive way
Social media has a big impact on our lives and thoughts. Follow people who inspire you and who have a positive effect on you. If you want to exercise more, follow fitness pages. If you wish to eat healthier then follow healthy eating accounts. If it’s your dream to travel the world, follow travel profiles. Eliminate everyone who has a negative impact on your motivation. It will only cost you time and nerves and makes you unhappy. Just last week, I radically cleaned out my social media feeds. It feels so good! At the moment, I’m looking for more inspirational accounts on the topics entrepreneurship, fitness, travel and vegan lifestyle. Any tips?
And always remember: People on Social media (including myself) only share a very little part of their lives on Instagram. It’s not all of the story, it’s just a little picture-perfect moment with a lot of filters and retouch. Don’t take social media to serious and start focusing more on yourself.
7. Accept yourself
,,The worst loneliness is to hate yourself. “, once said Mark Twain. Self-acceptance is a topic that gets far too little attention. We are rather upset of our weaknesses instead of accepting them and working on them. In the matter of fact, you can be as upset about the reality as much as you like, but it won’t change a thing.
Accept yourself and your weaknesses, also accept the things you can NOT change and try to distinguish these things clearly. Only if you accept yourself, with all the edges that you have, only then you can start to change things on which you have the power to change.
8. Be Confident
If you constantly compare yourself with others, it will have an impact on your self-confidence. You feel small, vulnerable, not smart enough, or perhaps not attractive enough. You will radiate those negative feelings to the outside and seem insecure to others. Free yourself from these thoughts and believe in you and your unique path. Be confident and think positive. Bring the positivity out there!
9. Realize that you are unique
There is only one you on this planet. You are unique, your experiences are unique and your thoughts are unique. There will always be someone who is larger, thinner, richer and more successful than you. Do not try to be someone else and start to realize that you are a special person, a unique person. You are awesome!
10. Learn from the success of others
You can compare yourself to others, but you have to keep out the emotions. Try not to take everything so personal. It if is a skill, that the person you are comparing with is great in, which you want to learn to, do it. Learn from the success of others and find a person, that is an inspiration or role model in a great and positive way. In the best case, it will help you to be more productive, to be more motivated and brings you closer to achieving your goals.
11. Go offline more often
As a full-time blogger, I really have to stick to this point more often. I’m online all day long. When brushing my teeth, during breakfast, in the metro… always. Especially when I’m bored, I scroll through my Instagram and Facebook Feed. Our subconscious mind has to handle so many impressions every day, that it’s sometimes quite overwhelming. Every day social media bombs us with thousands of pictures, news, emotions, success stories and beautiful lives of others, that we often forget to hold on to our own goals and strive for them. Just try to go offline more often, or follow fewer people. Take a healthy distance to social media and be aware, that social media is not real life.
12. surround yourself with people who lift you higher
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers, and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those, who see the greatness within you, even when you do not see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee
Be strong and courageous enough to say goodbye to the people from your life that pull you down, hurt you and make you feel bad and unhappy. Take care of people who care about you, who listen to you, who give you constructive criticism, who give you feedback, who encourage you and make you happy.