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How to Deal with Comparison

Comparison is a natural human behavior, but it can also be detrimental to our mental health and well-being. With social media and the internet, it's easier than ever to compare ourselves to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and even depression. However, there are ways to deal with comparison and improve our self-esteem. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for overcoming the pitfalls of comparison and improving your self-esteem.

1. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments

It's easy to get caught up in what others are doing, but it's important to remember your own strengths and accomplishments. Write down a list of your achievements, positive traits, and the things you're proud of. This can serve as a reminder that you are valuable and have something to offer. If you can acknowledge the admirable traits in others, you can also do it for yourself.  

2. Use comparison as motivation, not a source of negativity

While comparison can be harmful to our self-esteem, it can also be used as motivation. Instead of letting comparison bring you down, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. If someone is doing something you admire, use that as motivation to work harder or try something new. Oftentimes we need to see others accomplish the things we desire in order to see the full range of what's possible. When you do this, others become a source of inspiration rather than insecurity.   

3. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful tool for improving self-esteem. Take time each day to reflect on what you're grateful for. This can be as simple as appreciating the sunshine or being grateful for a supportive friend. Focusing on the positive can help shift your mindset from comparison to gratitude. Inside Then Out’s Dig Deeper Journal, has an entire section with dozens of prompts that are dedicated to helping you build a gratitude practice.

4. Limit social media use

Social media can be a breeding ground for comparison and negative self-talk. Studies show that increased social media use can be linked to negative mental health outcomes. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others on social media, it may be time to take a break. Limit your social media use to a set amount of time each day, or consider taking a break altogether. Remember that people typically only share the highlights of their lives for others to see, so be careful not to compare the reality of your life to a curated image that is presented online.

5. Surround yourself with positive people

The people you surround yourself with can have a big impact on your self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and support you, rather than those who bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself. Joining a community of people who support, uplift, and encourage you can be incredibly beneficial for your mental wellbeing. 

Remember that nobody else has the same exact combination of traits, circumstances, and experiences as you. A lot of the comparisons we make are based on very limited knowledge about the people we hold in higher regard than ourselves, and the best person to compare yourself to is who you were (not who someone else is). The moment you do this, you can commit to becoming better every day and unlocking the full potential of who you are. 

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