Counsellor Sarah Barr looks at the curse of comparing ourselves to others, with tips on how to stop it.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

Whether it is keeping up with the Kardashians, Joneses or Facebook ‘friends’ we are always looking at that person or people and imagining how ‘perfect’ their life seems.

I am guilty of this and maybe you are too. But you know what, all it accomplishes is making you feel worse about yourself and what you have.

I bet there is someone looking at you and your life wishing they had it.

Basically we do not know what anyone else is thinking and sometimes we do not know what they are dealing with each day.

So the next time you log into ‘Fakebook’ remember a photo or a post does not always represent what is going on in a person’s life.

So take a second and focus on you.

What is it you are grateful for?

What are your goals?

That is all that matters.

There can be many reasons as to why we compare ourselves to others.

It can happen when we go through a life transition such as becoming a mother or perhaps the ending of a relationship.

Sometimes it can be due to something that has happened in the past, even as far back as childhood.

The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion. It is a habit of behavior that only serves to steal joy from us.

Here are some home truths about comparisons:

  • Comparisons are not fair.

We tend to compare what we see as the worst in ourselves to the best we presume in others.

  • Comparisons steal our time.

We have approx 86,400 seconds each day. Using even one of those seconds to compare ourselves to others is one second too many.

  • Comparisons take away the focus from you.

You can only control one life: YOURS. When we compare ourselves to others we are not focusing on our life.

  • Comparisons create resentment.

We begin to resent ourselves and others.

  • Comparisons are a distraction.

We forget about what we have, what we are grateful for and instead focus on what we don’t have.

  • You are You

What makes you who you are is completely unique to you. This can never be properly compared to anyone else.

How to stop comparing yourself to others:

Be aware of your own achievements.

It does not matter who you are or what you do, by being aware of the challenges you have overcame and of your achievements will help in building your confidence and self-worth.

Practice Gratitude.

Writing down what you are grateful for or by simply reminding yourself each day, will help you to realise all the good things you have in your life.

Focus on your positives.

When we focus on our negatives we tend to forget our positives, “What is your favourite quality or trait?”.

If you need to compare, compare with yourself.

By striving to be the best version of yourself will help you to celebrate your achievements without comparing them to others.

Manage your social media usage.

If you find some social media sites have a negative impact on how you feel, it may be a good idea to decrease the amount of time you spend using them.

Although it is natural to compare yourself to others it is when it begins to eat away at your confidence that it can become a problem.

A lack of confidence can be debilitating and it can prevent you from taking part in many areas of your life.

If you feel you would like to talk to someone I can be contacted via my Facebook page or call 0864477867 and we can arrange a ‘Coffee & Chat’.

Take Care~Sarah.