Written by QCMHA member, Heather Hudson
Comparing yourself to others is an unconscious habit that everyone partakes in. Even the most successful of people admit that they sometimes feel like they are not good enough. This impulse causes us an array of negative thoughts & it is up to you to avoid them. I have come up with three ways to stop comparing and start appreciating:
1. Practice Gratitude
I find it easy to fall into the habit of feeling sorry for myself. Especially during COVID, it is hard to remember that everyone is having a rough time & the universe isn’t just punishing you. From seeing your friends exciting Instagram stories to lurking celebs on TikTok, it can feel like everyone is having SO MUCH more fun than you. Or on an academic/professional level, you see classmates securing internship on LinkedIn and group project members navigating online classes with ease. Sometimes it honestly feels like everything is working against you. I have found that the most important way to get out of this mindset is to reflect on what you do have and most importantly- what you can control. Taking a few minutes every day to take a step back & look at the bigger picture has really helped me appreciate life. Practising gratitude doesn’t have to look like journaling every morning or meditating twice a day; it can mean looking out the window and thinking as positive as possible for a few moments.
2. Focus on your strengths
My second tip is to focus on your strengths. You can still be humble while appreciating the unique assets that you bear. Everyone’s paths are different & this is as a direct result of the people around you having different passions, goals, and strengths. You need to recognize that your assets- which are often entirely different from your friends- have helped you achieve all you have so far. So, be kind to yourself. Feel pride in your achievement and use this as motivation to strive for your next goal. We all gauge success differently, and once you realize that nobody is as perfect as they seem, you will appreciate yourself 10x more.
3. Compete with yourself- not others
It is easy to let societies ideals unconsciously transform into your own personal ideals. This leaves you constantly feeling dissatisfied when you cannot achieve this unattainable standard. This habit is a part of human nature & it is up to you to actively avoid its discouraging effects. I have found it helpful to remember that the only person I should be competing with is myself. My strengths do not perfectly align with anyone else’s, so my goals shouldn’t either. At the end of the day, there is no measure for success- you are the only one that will reap the benefits of your hard work- so don’t pressure yourself to strive for things just because others find it impressive. Fight to become the best version of yourself, the version that makes you feel the most fulfilled and happy. The rest will fall into place.