Life

How To Quit Comparing Yourself To Other People

how to quit comparing yourself to other people

Ahhhh, comparison. We all know that it’s the thief of joy, but that doesn’t stop us scrolling other people’s Insta-feeds when we’re feeling insecure and wondering why our lives aren’t as great as everyone elses, does it?

I’ve been comparing myself to other people my whole life. From putting myself down for being shit at netball when I was a teenager to comparing my career journey to the people I want to uni with, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying that I’m not keeping up with my peers and that I’m going to end up being left behind. The trouble with constant comparison though is that it’s a totally pointless use of energy – you don’t get anything from it, other than coming away feeling a bit rubbish about yourself.

As I’ve gotten older and a little bit wiser, I’ve learnt how to get better at focussing on myself rather than others, and I thought I’d share some tips on how I’ve done that with you all. Because, heck, if I’d spent less of my teenage years and early twenties wrapped up in comparison, I could have got a hell of a lot more done.

Here are my tips on how to quit comparing yourself to other people…

1) Get clear on what you want

I think the biggest thing that has helped me to stop comparing myself to everyone I meet (or y’know, stalk online) is getting clear on what I want out of life. Figuring out my own priorities and goals and dreams has meant that I don’t dissolve into a puddle of self doubt every time someone else does something cool.

For example, I used to spend a lot of time worrying that I should have taken a gap year or that I should spend some time working abroad. I’d see everyone posting photos of beautiful sunsets and would wonder if I should cram all of my belongings into a rucksack and head off on a round the world adventure. But actually, when I thought about it I realised that I’m a homebird at heart, and being able to own my own place and put some roots down was more of a priority for me.

Getting clear on what makes me happy has helped me to not feel like I’m missing out.

2) Stay in your own lane

Once you’re clear on what you want, my next tip is to stay firmly in your own lane. By this, I mean being laser focussed on achieveing your own goal rather than getting sidetracked by everyone else. Sometimes it might feel like you’re not getting anywhere and that everyone else is achieving more than you, and on those days it could be tempting to quit or to change path or to copy what your peers are doing.

Don’t. Stay in your own lane, eyes on the prize and workworkwork towards your own goal. It will pay off eventually, whether that’s next week or next year, and you’ll be so glad you stuck with it and followed your heart.

It can be hard not to get distracted when it seems like other people are seeing lots of success, which is why it’s really important to be clear on what’s important to you and what will bring you the most joy. It might help to make a little list or vision board that you can refer back to help keep you focussed whenever you feel disheartened.

3) Practice gratitude

This is something I’ve been doing a lot more of recently and it has really been working for me. Whenever I start to feel like I’m failing or falling behind, I make a list of all of the things in my life that I’m grateful for. It should include everything that makes you happy, whether that be your lovely family or the fact that you have a job that you don’t hate. Maybe you get to travel regularly or feel grateful that you have enough disposable income to treat yourself to a nice dinner every now and then.

Listing these things out can change your perspective instantly. It’s pretty difficult to feel bad about your life when you’re staring at a list of all of the great things you are lucky enough to have in it.

I find this also works from a body confidence perspective too – focussing on how much I like my smile makes me less fretful about the fact that my hips are never gonna fit in a pair of size 10 jeans…

4) Utilise your jealousy

Jealousy is a bit of a touchy topic, isn’t it? We’re all told that it’s an ugly trait when we’re growing up, but I think if you can harness it correctly it can be a pretty productive emotion, especially when it comes to comparison.

I’m pretty good at knowing what I want and focussing on my own goals thesedays, but every now and then I still get a bit of jealousy or envy creeping in. Rather than feeling guilty and trying to brush those feelings away, I try and analyse it a little bit more and identify what exactly I’m jealous of. It usually runs a bit deeper than it would seem at face value – for example if I feel a bit jealous when I see someone going on holiday, it might not be because I’m desperate to visit that destination, but instead I’m probably just craving a bit of downtime.

Letting myself understand the motives behind my jealousy can help to keep me focussed on what I really want.

Do you suffer from comparison? What are your top tips to stop yourself falling into the comparison trap?

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  • Some brilliant tips; that I try to work on whenever I can. I think noticing it is the best way as well, just noticing that you’re doing it and making a concious decision to not do it anymore.

    Marbl☾☽Moon

    • Thats so true – just being aware that you’re doing it helps x

  • missgetaway

    Loved this and your tips. I’m so bad at this and ALWAYS end up comparing myself to others – so annoying.

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

    • It’s inevitable sometimes I think, but totally rubbish too x

  • This is such a relatable and helpful post, thank you! I’m definitely guilty of comparison, aren’t we all, especially with a high-flying friend group and a talent for procrastinating on Instagram! And that paired with low self-esteem doesn’t bode well!

    I completely agree with all your points – when I know what I want and how to get there I feel a lot less envious and bad about other people’s successes and it’s so much easier to be encouraging and genuinely happy for them! But unfortunately my knowing what I want stops in about a year! I know with all my heart I want to travel but after my year off, I’m a bit lost for inspiration! Gratitude is an excellent point too! I definitely need to practice more of that!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

    • I know what you mean about having a super successful friendship group – it can be tough sometimes even when you’re so proud of them xxx

  • I’m sad to admit that I do this too and end up getting into a comparison spiral sometimes, but your tips sound helpful and useful – can’t wait to try them all. Frankie x

    http://www.joieandthevivre.com

  • Sophie

    LOVED this Sophie! Such a positive and lovely list. Focusing on what you yourself want and love is so important – we’re all different and it’s no good comparing yourself to others when you could be being the best version of you instead!

    I’m going to have to try your other tips – I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for comparison when it comes to success, career, travelling etc. I also started my blog just this weekend and am already allowing myself to feel envious and disheartened when I compare it to other people’s, which is just crazy seeing as those people have worked so hard for so long to make their own success!

    Sophie xxx
    http://www.sopharsogood.com

    • It’s so hard not to compare sometimes, but focussing on your own happiness is a way better use of energy 🙂 x

  • As I’m facing graduation soon (eeek!) I’ve been falling into the comparison trap a lot recently, but this post is fall of lots of great tips on how to beat that! Thanks for sharing xx

    Lynsey || One More Slice

    • Ahhhh, yes, I remember graduation being tricky with everyone going off and doing their own thing! Just try and remember to focus on yourself 🙂 x

  • I love what you;ve said about jealousy – easy to say: “Stop being jealous” but actually, utilising it is so much more powerful. Great post babe, as ever! xx

  • Great post LOVE! You’ve put into words something I’d never realised I’m sort of doing/trying to do.
    The knowing what you want for yourself – YES! I find myself feeling the need to justify how I live/what I do/my own decisions, because working for yourself, enjoying a life fulfilled, and not wanting children, to some people, is too bold for two women. But I don’t compare now, I realise we are all living our v own individual lives! And The “own lane” statement – I like that! I will think like that from now on more!
    Holly xx https://www.mrshollycrocker.com/

    • Exactly – so long as you’re making yourself happy, it really shouldn’t matter! x