When I was younger, I never cared what everyone else was doing. I had my own agenda and lived by my own rules (well, aside from what my mother told me, of course). I never dared compare myself to someone else, let alone allow their actions to affect my life. But once I grew out of my Princess Jasmine costume (tiara and all), I slowly grew into a self-conscious hermit crab. I found myself losing sight of the girl who once believed that she could begin her own business or write a novel, and instead, became friendly with the girl who was looking at others’ lives, comparing her hustle to their highlight reel. I was stuck—and no matter how much I tried to crawl out of the dark hole, I would somehow fall flat on my face and slide right back in. And because I’d allowed myself to be sucked into a vortex of excuses and shame, well, that’s when I knew I needed to make a change.
I became tired of living in fear. The thought of failing overtook my drive for success and I was no longer trying to be the best version of myself. So, I decided that instead of waiting for someone to fix my problems, I found the strength to learn to love my life again. While this wasn’t (and still isn’t) an overnight success, here are a few ways that have helped me stop comparing myself to others and learn to enjoy my life.
1. Be aware.
The simple act of becoming aware of your actions does wonders for your psyche. You become more conscious and realize how you speak to yourself. Take note of how often you compare yourself and stop it in its tracks. Constantly comparing yourself to others is a losing battle—and it will continue to feast on your spirit if you permit it to.
2. Learn to love yourself again.
Sometimes people compare themselves to others because they lose sight of who they are and what they want out of life. They no longer trust the path they’re on and jump ship. However, having a healthy relationship with yourself will deter all these negative thoughts. When you learn to love yourself again, you begin to realize your self-worth and everything you have to offer.
3. Remind yourself: You always have a choice.
When you look at someone’s accomplishments, it can be easy to feel defeated. But remember: That person made a lot of choices to get to where they are. Don’t let your thoughts or comparisons paralyze you from creating the life you want. You have so much to offer to the world, and the last thing you want to do is silent these hopes and dreams. When you feel down, focus on your situation and goals and push yourself to continue to move forward.
4. Reevaluate your goals.
One good thing that comes out of comparing yourself to other people is gaining the new perspective that you want something more for your life. But instead of just wishing for your life to change, it’s best to take this time to reevaluate your goals. Yes, you may want to live this other life, but figure how you can achieve it. Connect for an informational interview, figure out what you want to change and actually do it. The more you pursue, the more in control you may feel.
5. Celebrate your uniqueness.
Loving yourself is not a one-time act. It’s something you should practice every day. Don’t be afraid to embrace your quirks or differences. You’re meant to find your voice and share your gifts and talents with others. Just because someone does something one way doesn’t mean your way is wrong. Everyone has their own path and the last thing you want to do is stay in the shadow of another.
6. Be OK with imperfection.
Let’s be real: It’s perfectly OK to be imperfect. You’re supposed to try and fail… and then fail again. This process will help you grow and allow you to become comfortable with the idea of not succeeding. And just because someone else seems like they have their stuff together, well, they may not. Even Beyoncé had to learn how to pick herself back up—and if she can do it, so can you.
7. Learn to celebrate others.
When you learn to celebrate others’ accomplishments, you’ll genuinely be happier with your own life. We’re meant to encourage others and shower each other with love. We’re faced with challenges on a daily basis and it’s our responsibility to celebrate good when it arises, whether it’s our success or not. Enjoying and celebrating the life of another is the best way to enjoy your own life.
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