Why do we cripple ourselves by comparing? Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself… I’m totally guilty of it. “Man, I wish I had Jenah Yamamoto’s washboard stomach,” I say to myself as I’m sitting here eating a ham sandwich.
I think the idea that “we want what we can’t have” is kind of a fallacy - it should be that we want what we don’t have. Because with the right amount of willpower and determination, we CAN have what we want. The problem is, rather than taking the time to realize our own worth, our own strengths, and our own accomplishments, we’re spending an increasing amount of time knocking ourselves down for not being like others.
But where does it end? The ways in which we can compare ourselves to others is endless - from the way we look to where we are in our careers, what we own to whether or not we’re in a relationship. What we perceive to be someone else’s reality is often unrealistic because we only see the results and not the process or the effort that got them there; allowing ourselves to buy into the illusion that someone else’s success came easy.
As editor of Becoming Minimalist Joshua Becker put it, “we typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others.”
So let’s flip the script - rather than dedicating a bulk of our time and energy to watching and wishing we were more like others, put your blinders on and put that time and energy back into yourself. Want to be more fit? Stop scrolling “fitspo” on Instagram or Pinterest. Hit the gym. Eat better. Jealous of that girl who seems to be traveling every other week? Look up flights and hotel deals and book yourself a getaway. In this day and age, anything is attainable. All that’s required is our participation.
Here are a few ways to stop comparing yourself to others, and begin to realize that you truly are enough.
The same way we need to purge the toxins in our body once in a while, the same needs to be done in other aspects of our life. Whether it’s something small like staying off Instagram for a few weeks, to distancing ourselves from relationships and situations that are quietly eating away at our well being, or reconsidering staying in a job that leaves us feeling uninspired and unfulfilled day after day. What do you need - and what needs to be done away with - in order for you to live the life you’ve always wanted?
Celebrate you; what you have, what makes you different, what you’ve achieved, the hurdles you’ve overcome, even the kick*ss meal you made for dinner. Acknowledging and being thankful for what we have and what we’ve accomplished - both big and small - is such an important practice of self-love. And the more we love ourselves, you’ll see that those feelings of inadequacy or insecurity will begin to just melt away.
Stay in your lane.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, focus on the person who matters - the only one who you can control - which is you. Be too busy watering yours to notice if theirs is greener.
Don’t be bitter, be inspired.
When we’re not feeling great about ourselves, it’s easy to look at someone accomplished and scoff at their success. But instead of putting others down to feel better about/make excuses for yourself, try and see it from a different perspective. What can you learn from this person? What have they done differently that might help you get to where you want to be? Enemies, burned bridges, bad blood - all of this is detrimental in the long run. But camaraderie and a little healthy competition? Embrace it and it will take you far.
Photography by: Stefan Kohli