From our very first memories in life, I'm sure each of us can remember the habit of comparing ourselves to someone else. Whether it was a girl in 4th grade saying that she likes your friend more because he is cuter than you or if you had a sibling that performed better in school or sports, we all have certain scenarios that occurred to us. It has been shown that the younger you are, the more you compare, and it is human nature to compare ourselves to others. Unfortunately, it only becomes reinforced over time, and it's likely no surprise that social media has really amplified those comparison games - both personally and professionally. However, there is a pathway out! Here are a few ides to limit the comparison habit:
Track your achievements
Keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly accomplishments whether they are professional or personal. Seeing what you’ve accomplished will help you focus on your progress and not the progress of others. The more you focus on your own progress, you will begin to lose interest in what others are doing.
You can either track them in a written journal, video journal, photo journal, or any other way you find it effective to track it. Regardless of the tracker you choose, it's important that you only compare yourself to yourself in order for you to track your own progress. If you get off track, then it's easier to get back on track knowing and seeing your previous accomplishments. If you have significant improvement, then you can build confidence in seeing and knowing how far you have come.
Define which goals are yours
If you are pursuing a business or lifestyle that is similar to what you have seen on television or social media, then those goals may not be truly yours. They may be someone else’s goals that you have adopted.
Many people do not realize how much of their dreams are not their own. Sometimes dreams and goals are created by demanding parents, influential community, celebrities, and social media.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if your goals are yours or that of others:
Where did this goal or desire come from?
Am I built for this and does it fit with what I'm good at and enjoy?
When did I first want to accomplish this goal?
Who did I speak with or who did I see doing this?
What happens after I accomplish this goal?
Am I doing this for myself or for someone else?
Have protective measures for social media
Understand the triggers that cause you to compare yourself to others and limit your exposure to those things. Social media has become a trap so we have to be careful to set guardrails to prevent it from overtaking our thinking. Remember that what you see on social media is everyone else's outside that you are comparing to your inside.
Be mindful of who are you comparing yourself to, and whoever it might be, it's imperative to limit your exposure to that platform in order to focus on yourself.
Ask yourself “why?”
When you are tempted to compare yourself to others, it's important to find the root cause of what is making you feel inadequate. If you see a friend having success and have trouble being truly supportive, then ask yourself, “why is this affecting me?” From there, don't blame your friend for their success and link your happiness to finding and following your own true passions.
The same can be done when it comes to your business and seeing other businesses that promote their own success. If you are profitable in your business and are otherwise happy with what you are doing and making, then ask yourself why you feel the need to match the perceived success of people you may not even know.
Remember that things are not always what they seem
When you are looking at the world around you, and especially, on social media, it is important to remember that much of it is organized to get your attention and elicit an emotion. Simple things are often presented in an exaggerated and elaborate way. It's sometimes done that way in order to make those things seem better and more meaningful than they are.
As entrepreneurs and human beings we must understand the difference between competition and comparison. A healthy level of competition can drive innovation and drive us to be better people. However, when we engage in unhealthy comparisons, we increase the chances of lowering our own happiness and self-worth.