Since the invention of social media, a lot of things have changed. While it isn’t solely responsible for the way we now measure ourselves against other people, it definitely made it easier to do. Hop onto any social media platform, and you’re likely to see people with expensive outfits, captions raving about their incredible relationships, and generally a lot of “success”. Of course, we have no idea if what we see is true or not, and yet we begin to compare ourselves to it. Enter comparison, an unwelcome guest in our lives. It can disrupt our families, careers, and general happiness by making us believe that someone else is better off than we are. Psychology has shown that people decide their value by seeing how they measure up compared to others. This isn’t always good for us. After all, why compare yourself to someone who has different talents and abilities, as well as a different lifestyle? Here are a few tips to help stop comparison in your life.
Keep Things in Perspective. Human brains tend toward patterns of negative thinking that can hurt our mood or behavior. For example, we may assume the worst, or filter out the good in a situation and pay attention only to the bad, or overgeneralize or jump to conclusions. It’s said that people would care a lot less about what others think about them if they knew how seldom others think about them. And it’s true, everyone has enough to occupy their mind without spending time belittling others. People also have their own insecurities. Pay attention to your thoughts, and question them rather than allowing impressions to run away with you. You’ll likely discover that what you’re fretting over exists only in your mind.
Get to Know Yourself. What do you really like to do? What do you really want from life? Are you making choices about your career, relationships, and pastimes because you want and enjoy them, or because they’ll please or impress someone else? Allow yourself to try new things and wonder, “What would I pursue or enjoy if I wasn’t so worried about being judged?”
Find Your Tribe. Ever notice how nearly everyone has an opinion for your life? How you should live, what you should value, how you should spend your time, what you should purchase, etc.. It can be hard to shut out the noise and focus on making the best decisions for yourself, and your family’s future. Don’t waste time trying to hang on to those who expect you to conform to their wishes and wants. Somewhere out there are people who can identify with you and appreciate you for who you are. Cultivate authenticity and you’ll find those you are meant to be with. A good place to start is to look at the proven results of those you are listening to or who are attempting to influence you. Are those results an example of what you want?
To feel accepted is a nearly universal human desire. We evolved to survive better in groups, where fitting in and having the trust and respect of our peers are measures of success. Wanting to be thought of positively isn’t a bad thing, we all need a little awareness of how others view us to keep balanced and attuned to how we affect others. But too much concern about what people think can lead us to value only what others want from us, rather than what we need and desire.
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