Going online yesterday, I saw about 10 things that would have upset a past version of me. I saw a high flying coaching selling service from a guy who could get you on page 1 of Google, another from someone telling me how I could triple my followers in 3 weeks, yet another from someone saying how many speaking gigs I could land, another from someone ‘killing’ it in the life coaching industry and many others besides. These were all killers for self comparison and certainly not good for self esteem.
‘Why aren’t I as good as them?’
‘I need to do a lot better’
‘My stuff is rubbish’
As a result, it’s very easy to start comparing yourself to other people. It’s easy to say DO NOT do this but you are probably thinking that’s easier said than done. Well… anything is easier said than done, but like the rest of the self esteem muscle (which I talked about last week) or life generally, it all requires practice.
I’m now actually in a coaching group on how to build a coaching business. Now… the people in my peer support group are further along the line and more experienced than me. What I do though, is to use their ideas to help me go forward rather than directly comparing myself to them. I only compare me to myself; I appreciate myself as my own hero every day. This didn’t used to be the case.
Why do we compare ourselves to others?
Do you find yourself saying ‘I compare myself to everyone’?. It comes back to the brain. In its negative default, the brain is always looking out for dangers. The problem is that this negative default makes us constantly compare ourselves to others and therefore become less happy with our lives. We may feel that we have to compare ourselves to others to make sure that we fit into society to survive.
This is not just a challenge for women, but also a challenge for self esteem for men or for your own confidence.
As a result, our mission is to train the brain to be happy. As the cliched quote goes: ‘happiness comes from within’: this is very true. Therefore, make sure that you are looking inside yourself to find happiness, rather than looking to find it in others. This requires constant action but worth it.
Ok Jonny but how?… well, as usual, here are some personal strategies that I have used for this particular challenge to stop myself being compared to others.
1. Reduce social media hours
As mentioned at the start, social media is overloaded with information and people’s activities. Social media is the worst place to go if you want to stop comparing yourself to others. At the same time, it is great for networking, growing your own business (if you have one) or making contact with people. Looking at it too much is only going to cause negative feelings for us.
As it’s something to which we can become addicted, trying to cut it out completely is not going to work. Instead figure out the best times to avoid it and when you can use it. For me, I don’t go on social media until midday. This is because I need to complete my hardest tasks by midday and so I can’t afford to go on social media to distract me. I then stop looking at social media in the evening so that I can chill out and enjoy something relaxing, whether that’s watching Netflix, reading a book or playing my PS4.
2. Write down your achievements
Write these down no matter how small you think they are. They are what you’ve achieved and not what somebody else has done. Writing down what you’ve done, time and time again, teaches you about the great things that you’ve achieved. It then allows your thinking to focus on those great things about you. This, along with your other habits, will take time, but this is teaching you not to dismiss all the great things about you. You are enough. This helps your self worth.
3. Watch yourself on video each day
Does this sound a bit vain? Well I don’t care if this is the case if it gets results. The first time people look at themselves on camera or hear themselves speak, they can think ‘oh that’s horrible’, which is exactly what I’ve felt. When I do it consistently every day though, I learn to appreciate myself.
You don’t have to be an expert speaker or even a YouTuber. You can do this just for yourself. The beauty of doing this, is that you learn to be comfortable with yourself. You are no longer just looking at other people on video and thinking ‘oh I wish I was more like them’.
So, to stop comparing yourself to others, stop and think what is going to prevent you from comparing yourself to others. Again, as with anything, if you ask the right questions, you will get the right answers, and then take positive action. The above blog gives some practices that you can incorporate into your life in order to try and reduce how often you compare yourself to others and how to become your own hero. You may think of your own ideas, as you ask yourself what might help you to stop self-comparison. Like anything, it will take time and effort but isn’t it going to be worthwhile to feel great about yourself every day, rather than looking at what someone else does? It’s your choice.
The video can be found HERE
The podcast can be found HERE
Jonny Pardoe © May 2020
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