The Perils Of Comparing Ourselves To Others
I have taken it upon myself to go swimming regularly in the sea.
Not a big deal for some people but a big enough deal for me as I am a complete wuss when it comes to cold water.
Each week for the last number of months, I have taken a dip. I wanted to be the type of person who swims regularly in the sea. The only thing that had been stopping me was myself.
Gradually, I can see that I am making progress. Instead of it taking me 20 minutes to get into the water, it might now only take a couple of minutes – I still don’t want to jump in to the icy mass straight away.
My preference is to go very early in the morning when there are very few people there.
After my swim 2 weeks ago, I was getting out of the car with wet hair etc, and I bumped into someone I know, and he asked if I had been swimming.
Of course, delighted with myself, I said that I had been out at a local beach. And then he said, you probably know that my partner is a swimmer as well.
Really? Tell me more.
He described what she had been doing, in a non-showy offy way and what she was doing was quite an achievement in terms of endurance and distance involving many hours of swimming and overcoming physical challenges.
It was really amazing and well, my doggie paddle efforts were very meagre by comparison.
But…..I am in the place where I am delighted for her and at the same time delighted for me.
We are definitely not comparing like with like. And we all have to start somewhere.
I don’t reckon that I will be doing any kind of endurance swimming – not my thing. But I can still be proud and enjoy my own achievements.
Are you comparing yourself with others? Are you comparing like with like?
How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others:
The first step is to become aware that you are doing this. What are you saying to yourself when you compare? Is this making you feel better or worse? Be gentle with yourself and very gently change your focus away from this comparison.
2. Apples & Oranges
Ask yourself, am I really comparing like with like? Or am I comparing apples and oranges?
If you are comparing yourself from looking at social media, remember, that Facebook is not real life. Most people only show the best side of themselves on social media so you are not getting the full picture.
Other people’s outside does not reflect their inside or your inside. Remember, you don’t know what is going on behind the image.
3. Acknowledge Your Achievements
Ok, so you haven’t climbed Mount Everest and probably never will. But look at what you have achieved. What was your starting point to whoever you are comparing yourself to? Even if it is only a small achievement, well done to you. Your momentum is moving forward.
Thank your body for all that it does for you (we do take it for granted) be grateful for running water, electricity – thank other people, your pets, friends….. Think of all that you have to be thankful for.
5. Be Grateful For Your Strengths (& Quirks)
There are things that make you uniquely you, and that is the reason why people love and appreciate you. If you didn’t have this particular set of characteristics, you wouldn’t be you.
6. It’s Ok Not Being Perfect
Trying to be perfect is exhausting and takes a lot of mental energy.
People love us warts and all. Our imperfections are what make us who we are – we are exactly as we are meant to be.
7. Don’t Knock Others
When we start to criticise others, it may be because we are jealous of them, or wondering why we are not doing whatever they are doing?
Rather than focusing on criticising them, ask yourself, what is it bringing up in me. What can I do? What part of me is speaking up and needs to be healed?
Or what action do I need to take?
8. Enjoy The Ride
We are all on a journey so try to relax and enjoy the ride. What are you learning from this? Where are you now compared to where you were a couple of years ago?
Even if you have slipped back, ask yourself, what have I learnt from this? Learning is a lifelong journey, and that is part of the progress that you make.
If you would like some help with helping you to stop comparing yourself to others, please contact me:
t: +353 87 629 7207