Last month I started a new blog series about wellness. As I explained in that first post, wellness has become important to me over the last few years and I’m excited to share my journey on my blog. Self-care and related topics can be hard to talk about because we feel vulnerable. We don’t want to feel vulnerable- we want to feel pretty and put together like everyone else. But talking about them is important because they’re very real. Wellness has many layers but let’s start with something we all deal with- comparison.
Comparison isn’t always wanting to be someone else or wanting what someone else has. Personally, I compare my current situation to where I thought I would be at this point in my life. And even though I’m comparing to a version of myself that doesn’t exist, it can be overwhelming. I’m sure you know the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy”. The problem with comparison is that we aren’t living our full purpose when we are focused on someone or something else. Which is why it’s crucial to overcome it. So, how do we get that joy back? How do we stop comparing so we can find our purpose?
For me, changing my thoughts and perspectives is the most effective. These are things I do to help myself overcome comparison:
Tips to Overcome Comparison
Recognize your true feelings: What am I really feeling? Am I frustrated by the way something is going? Do I not feel good enough? It helps to identify these feelings so I can address them properly. For example, when I get frustrated about where I am in life, it’s so easy to look at other people and think that their life is working out perfectly. But, that’s not realistic. So instead, I stop, take a breath and figure out what I can do about what’s frustrating me.
Keep track of your goals: If you don’t have any, make some! Then track them. Knowing exactly what you’re working towards makes it easier to focus on yourself instead of others. For example, a goal of mine is to pay down a specific student loan. I’m not as worried about having the same clothes, shoes and makeup other women have because I’m focusing on paying down a debt. It’s harder to compare to someone who wants different things than you do. Apples to oranges, right?
Control what you can: Like my dad says, worry about what you can control and don’t worry about the rest. This is hard for an overthinker, but it’s such a good point! Decide what you can do to accomplish the goals you have left. And be realistic! Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. I even like to celebrate small achievements so the task doesn’t seem so daunting. Paying down a student loan is a long process but I pat myself on the back when I’m able to make significant progress.
Find a hobby or passion: When you’re not busy making plans- give yourself something to do. Something that brings you joy. Spending your time doing something constructive gives you less time to think about others. Catching up on my favorite shows forces me to think about something else.
Give yourself credit: Recognize how far you’ve come and what goals you’ve accomplished. You’ll realize you’re doing a lot better than you originally thought. I may not have done everything I thought I would, but I’ve accomplished some pretty cool things. Like this blog!
Be happy for others: Even though my friends and I are in different places, I’m still genuinely happy for them. Supporting your friends helps strengthen your relationship and continues building a solid support system. I have no doubt they’ll be happy for you, too and will be there when you need them!
It IS possible to get to a place where you don’t feel affected by comparison. But, it isn’t necessarily a one and done type of thing. I’m not saying that you’ll never compare again or that the same things work for everyone. And I definitely don’t mean to down play anxiety or overthinking. But, changing your thoughts can make a world of difference. Mind over matter, you know? The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. To end with another cliche, practice makes perfect. 🙂
How do you deal with comparison?