Almost everyone does it: compare our lives to the lives of others. It’s a slippery slope from envy to jealousy and obsession.
If you put your efforts back into your own success and being content, there will be a shift toward happiness in your own life. Two experts share the benefits of working on this.
1. You will gain self-worth
When you compare your life to someone else’s, it’s usually the result of you not feeling good about yourself.
“Unfortunately, this game has few winners and leads you to the no-win trap of degrading or judging yourself or someone else. It can also lead to jealousy, anger, resentment and even hatred for yourself or another person,” explains Jaime Pfeffer, author, life balancing and success coach and meditation teacher based in Singer Island, Florida.
Once you let go of the comparing your life others you allow yourself to focus on yourself and your own strengths, talents, and accomplishments. “If you’re always looking at keeping up with other people or comparing yourself to other people, you’re likely overlooking your own strengths and talents. You may even hide your talents and strengths,” she says. Once you stop comparing your life to others, self-esteem will increase.
2. You will clear your head
By letting go of comparisons, Pfeffer says you will gain back valuable time, energy and headspace that you were wasting on unfair, unrealistic and illogical comparisons with others. “When you spend time wishing for or coveting what other people have, you are only hurting yourself,” she says.
“You are essentially focused on this other person in an unhealthy manner, and wasting your precious energy on them instead of you.” If you really want to have what someone else does, consider the notion that they probably worked diligently and gruelingly for what they have, and then turn that around and make it work for you by giving yourself the attention you crave and deserve, Pfeffer says.
3.You embrace your individuality
When you compare your life to someone else’s you are setting up an unfair playing field from the start. Because no two people are exactly alike with exactly the same life experiences, Pfeffer says, it is virtually impossible to make a fair comparison between your life and someone else’s. Embrace the uniqueness of what makes you who you are.
4.You gain self-acceptance
When you let go of caring about others’ lives and their accomplishments and comparing yourself to them, you give yourself an enormous gift: the freedom to be you.
“This leads to increased self-acceptance which then boosts your self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth because you allow yourself to succeed at what you are good at,” she says. “It also allows you to be authentic, which is the ‘magic ingredient’ most people are attracted to anyway.”
5.You gain trust
When you stop comparing yourself to others, you are also increasing your trust in yourself and the universe. According to Pfeffer, you gain faith that your skills and talents will be in demand and that you will come out on top. You will continue to have a brighter outlook and gain empowerment, and can focus on what you can control: you.
6. You have more gratitude
Letting go of comparisons facilitates what you should be grateful for in your own life. Write down your thoughts to stay on a healthy path. “Keeping a gratitude journal allows us to go back and reread all of the amazing things that happened in our lives, and keeps us focused on the positive because we can see in black and white all of our wins,” says Lynn Owens, a life coach in Memphis, TN.
7. You release a material focus
When you accept and feel grateful in your own life, you gain contentment, which transcends what you can buy.
“You embrace that you can be happy without the biggest house, the newest tech, the sleekest car – and you embrace your happiness depends solely on you. You embrace no external possession can make you happy,” adds Owens.
8. You have a fulfilling life beyond social media
When you are in a good mental place, you put limits on your social media time and become better in the real world. “Realize social media and all of the instant updates and notifications often drain our time, and our inner mean girl/guy thrives on the feeling of not being good enough,” says Owens.
“Understand you are enough, and have everything you need to thrive. Set a timer, and say a mantra as you scroll, ‘I am enough.’”