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Beat the comparison game.

It can be hard to ignore the comparison that others have to you. Even if you don’t feel like you are, it can still make you feel like you are. I was obsessed with the lives of people who were successful and wealthy. I spent a lot of time scrolling through their lives and I always felt like I should be doing more to improve myself. Believe me! I know how it feels, when it leaves me feeling not so great about myself. And you probably would have as well. Ever since I was a teen, I've tried to stop comparing myself to others. Through social media, I have been able to connect with other people and measure up against them in an unbiased manner. This has been very challenging and I'm glad that I did it.

There's a biological reason why people tend to compare themselves to others. It's a process that helps us develop a better understanding of ourselves. Most of the time, we make this calculation while watching other people’s lives. It can be toxic, especially when it comes to mental health. The comparison trap can have negative effects on your body and mind such as Negative and anxious thoughts that are hard to come out of, Higher rates of anxiety and depression, Overspending in effort to keep up with the celebrities.

Studies have shown that people who spend a lot of time on social media feel worse about themselves. It's also linked to financial distress. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a little luxury, as long as it fits in with your budget. However, when you go overboard on buying things that you know you can't live without, it ends up taking over your life. It’s natural for people to compare themselves to others. According to Leon Festinger, Ph.D., social comparison theory explains how people tend to evaluate their success in various areas of life. You probably feel like you belong to a group of people who are similar to you, but in reality, they may not be exactly like you. For instance, some celebrities may be able to influence you without you actually knowing them.

Same applies when you watch a Netflix series, it might feel like you are part of the characters. If you spend time reading about certain people, it might feel like you belong to their group. Regardless of who we consider to be our peers, we tend to be satisfied with ourselves when we believe that we are in the top third of our group. But, How can we feel good about ourselves when we compare ourselves to others?

In this article, we’ll explain why it can be so hard to stop constantly comparing ourselves to others. We’ll also give you five simple strategies that will help you conquer this complex.

  1. Focus on actions, not outcomes: You might want to reach a certain weight, or maybe run a mile in under 6 minutes. These kinds of goals seem meaningful to many people. For some, these goals are achievable. For others, however, setting unrealistic goals can be very discouraging. It can make us feel like failure even when we reach our goals. Instead of focusing on reaching goals, try taking actions that will help you reach those goals. If you want to lose fat, you might set goals like including lean proteins at every meal, getting five servings of produce each day, and exercising for 30 minutes a week. A goal-oriented mindset helps you focus on your goals and not on how much you have yet to accomplish. While focusing on actions may seem natural to some, it can be challenging to mentally shift your focus away from goals and intentions.

  2. Put things in perspective: We tend to compare ourselves to others based on how we feel about ourselves. This means that we’re not only criticizing ourselves but also assuming that someone else is doing well. We tend to be very harsh on ourselves when we feel down. This can leave us feeling discouraged, and it can lead to us starting to compare ourselves to others. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of how our bodies look. Follow this simple and easy daily journal practice. Each day, write down three things that make you grateful, one thing that makes you excited, and one thing that makes you proud. Doing this list often can help boost your mental state, and it can transform how you treat others. It can also help you see where you've come from.

  3. Eliminate your comparison triggers: If envy rears its ugly head, it can be very detrimental to your self-esteem. Learn about how envy works and why it can be so harmful to you. Are there any activities or places in your life that are designed to help you get healthy? It could be that time of year when you feel guilty about not being able to keep up with a diet or exercise routine. Put your trigger for self-comparison on hold. This step can give you enough space to think about what you really want.

  4. Transform your social networks: Not every moment of social media is a reflection of reality. There are also many moments that are just a highlight reel full of happy posts that people share with the world. But, just as with every other social media platform, there are also moments that are not always real. We’re living our lives just to keep up with everyone else’s. This is not only damaging our mental health, it also robs us of our financial security. Follow someone with millions of viewers and ask yourself if each of his/her followers brings joy to their life. You can start following people who are passionate about anything that you do. When I work with clients, I often hear that their social media presence is contributing to their growth instead of hindering it.

  5. Seek/Build meaningful connections: It makes us reluctant to support those who work hard to get where they are. This prevents us from celebrating the accomplishments of those who have worked hard to get there. When a friend tells you about a new job, be happy for them. If someone else is buying a home, be happy for them. Instead of being afraid to envy people, try to see them as allies rather than a threat. Instead of feeling jealous, approach them and ask them for advice. Instead of focusing on how you are doing, celebrate the successes of those around you. Being able to share our struggles and stories can be a powerful way to connect with other people. You are the real you. Open up to those around you. Instead of focusing on how bad things are, build a support system that enables you to overcome them. Your attention is directed towards those who love you and help you love yourself.

And besties! That’s when you’ve beaten the comparison game for good.

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