5 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

How do we let go of the comparison trap? It ultimately comes down to five key principles.

Each day, leading ourselves begins with protecting our inner peace from an overload of information and voices telling us who and where we should be in our lives.

There is nothing harmful about studying and learning from others' paths, but it can be overly detrimental when we begin to lose our sense of self and authenticity simply to appease others.

"We've been conditioned to base our self-worth on how others see us, not how we see ourselves," author and former monk Jay Shetty recently said on his award-winning podcast, On Purpose. "This is our biggest challenge and takes us away from living a happier, healthier and more meaningful life."

So how do we let go of the comparison trap? To Shetty, it ultimately comes down to five principles:

  1. Define what success and happiness mean to you ― When we identify our values and priorities, we create our own definition of success in the most important areas in our life. But if we don't understand what success means to us personally, we'll be forced to measure it against someone else's ideal. As leaders, we must let go of the compulsion to achieve everything at once. The seed of greatness takes time to grow and blossom. Patience becomes a transformative virtue.
  2. Discover your strengths ―  Once we identify and refine our strengths, focus on improving yourself daily, brick by brick. Focusing on our intentional inward journey to improve and serve others with action leaves fewer opportunities to fall into the comparison trap on any given day.
  3. Study people's pains ― Having deep and meaningful conversations with people we look up to helps us delve below the surface of their success to understand the work ethic, resiliency and sacrifice it took them to get there. These real conversations will allow us to humanize another person's experiences and realize that no matter how incredible another someone else's life looks from the outside, he/she is also going through something and experiencing challenges.
  4. Collaboration, not competition ―  Instead of looking at others as our competition, view them as collaborators and allies. Seek ways to cultivate win-win relationships and partnerships so both parties can grow and evolve.
  5. Always be a student ― The moment you think you've won, you've lost. So rather than compare ourselves unfavorably with people, consider them resources and teachers. 

Everyone else is already taken, so realize we're only shortchanging our teams if we don't show up as ourselves.

As we embark on our today, let's remember that everything we see on social media is merely what that person wants us to see. Let's not get caught up in the clickbait chase and comparison trap. Instead, let's simply live in accordance with our truth and moral compass.

That will always be enough.

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