“I try not to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself. “ ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov
Once in awhile I come across a quote that stops me in my tracks and makes me say YES.THIS.IS.IT!!
Day after day, I hear people comparing themselves to others.
“ She is 28 years old and already married. I’m not even dating anyone.”
“ He bought a house at 23 and I am still renting at 35.”
“She has 100,000 followers on Instagram and I only have 50,000.”
Why do you compare yourself to others? Why do you think that living your own life is not enough? Why do you believe everyone else has a better life than you do?
As a therapist, I spend many days listening to clients tell me they don’t feel good about themselves. The need to constantly keep up with everyone, brings up feelings of sadness, worry, stress, frustration, anger, anxiety and low self-worth.
Some clients tell me that comparing themselves to others is useful because it keeps them motivated or gives them a baseline of where they should be. When I hear this, I ask them several questions. “ So, if that person you are comparing yourself to loses motivation or is content with their lives, will you be content and stop comparing yourself to them?” “Is your happiness based on their happiness?” Lastly,
"Is comparing yourself to your friend, making you feel better or worse about yourself?"
So when someone asks me how can they stop comparing themselves to others, I give them four tips.
Stay In Your Lane
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Stay in your lane. Concentrate on what you are doing. Run your own race. Walk your own journey. You can’t compare your life to that of your friend, because you are not your friend.
Find Your Happiness
Many times people compare themselves to others thinking that the other person is happy. For all you know, your friend may own a house on a hill, but they are in an unhappy marriage. Or your friend has been dating a guy for six months, but he is abusive or doesn’t want to commit. If you knew this, would you really want your friend’s life?
Enjoy Your Journey
You can’t enjoy your journey if you are too busy looking at someone else’s life and where they are going. You are missing your own journey when you are constantly looking at the journey of others. You may be missing the partner that is right for you, because you are watching your friend and who she is dating. You may miss out on a job promotion because you come to work with a bad attitude because your friend keeps getting promoted and you have not.
Figure Out What You Really Want
Sometimes you want something because your friend has it, when in reality you want something else. Someone I knew thought she wanted a 3-bedroom home with a backyard in the suburbs because her friend bought one. After a discussion, she realized she couldn’t afford a 3-bedroom home, she didn’t even like the suburbs, and the house was too big. She admitted she always dreamed of buying a 2-bedroom condo in the city. For so long, some of you have been trying to live someone else’s dreams, and you don’t even know what you truly want in life.
Comparing yourself to others will not make you feel better. Comparing yourself to yourself will. Look at your own accomplishments and how far you have come. Create your own baseline for what you want to accomplish. When you get to that baseline and you are ready to do more, go for it! If you don’t know your baseline or if you don’t feel good about where you are, it may be time for you to figure it out. If you need to, hire a therapist, a life/business coach, or read some self-help books/articles, to help you figure things out. You are the author of your own book. Stop trying to live someone else’s story.
I am a therapist who helps individuals who are motivated to transform their inner voice of self-doubt and self-criticism into a powerful voice of positive self-talk and self-trust. We help individuals recognize their inner worth, build their self-esteem and speak their truth.