What to tell yourself if you can’t stop comparing

As Teddy Roosevelt (the 26th President of the United States and the envy of mustached gentlemen around the world) once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” So, if you’re like me, you’re probably like all Anyone who has ever struggled to stop comparing themselves to others, it's time to start doing so. Of course, I'm not saying you'll stop comparing altogether, because I don't believe that's possible. If you're always comparing yourself to others, though, what you can definitely do is remember one thing: comparing yourself to other people doesn't actually mean anything - because it doesn't help anyone, and almost Would help anyone. Always makes you feel miserable.

Just to clarify, I'm not judging you now, okay? I know how easy it is to unintentionally fall into the habit of comparing yourself to others because I've broken and picked up this habit again many times over the years. Gosh, the growing popularity of social media alone makes it hard to stop comparing your life to other people’s lives—because now everyone’s life is on display, and most of it looks great.

In a world free of jealousy and negative self-talk, the enviable romantic relationships, career accomplishments, and well-documented travels of our friends and family would only be inspiring. But it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong with your life when it seems like everyone you know is either going to places you can't afford to visit right now, getting one promotion after another, or looking for true love. But luckily, comparing yourself to others is nothing more than a bad habit, and one that can be broken.

If you're constantly comparing yourself to others, here are six things you should remember to tell yourself.

1. “Social media is not real”

Look, I know it's easy to feel down about your life when your friends are posting pictures on Instagram of themselves doing that amazing thing you've always wanted to do. Everywhere you look on social media there’s someone posting pictures of themselves on an exotic beach with their partner, or they’re tweeting about the awesome city they get to work in, or they’re keeping things super low It's hard not to be jealous when you're horizontal. - Now here's the kicker - But they still look happier than you.

Social media can be deceiving, though, because none of this happens in real time. The pictures are edited, the captions are well thought out, and most people simply won’t share anything about their lives that they’re not proud of. As The Huffington Post reported in 2013, a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people are less willing to reveal their negative emotions than their positive emotions, and we Most people naturally overestimate the amount of positive emotions in their lives. So does everyone else.

So just because someone’s life, job, body, and relationships look perfect on social media doesn’t mean they aren’t dealing with their own issues and insecurities. Instead of wishing you had more travel photos on your Instagram, be grateful for the ones you have while striving to create more.

2. “I’m probably doing a lot better than I thought.”

There may always be people out there who have more money, free time, or talent than you do, but that doesn't mean you're not doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing right now. If you work hard, pay your bills, take care of yourself physically and mentally, spend quality time with the people and animals you care about, and spend time doing things that make you happy, then you are doing well in life. Keep doing what you're doing and allow yourself to relax a little while you're doing it.

3. “I don’t know what the future holds.”

Unless they're extremely lucky or more privileged than most people, those who you envy for their career success probably worked more than one job they hated before landing their dream job. Those friends on Facebook whose travel photos can give you serious FOMO probably spent years dreaming about all the places they wanted to go before they could actually afford to go there. And those of you whose relationships make you feel lonely may have dated (and maybe even been married to) more than one person before finding your current partner.

Almost no one achieves their life goals without first going through some hardships. (If you don’t believe me, check out this list of famous people who didn’t become famous until later in life.) So the next time you’re tempted to compare your life to someone else’s, remember that nothing stays the same forever . Never the same, your future is full of possibilities.

4. “The person I used to be would probably be super proud of the person I am now.”

Well, I don’t know you personally, but I feel like there’s a good chance you’ve done something to be proud of by now. So instead of dwelling on all you have yet to accomplish and discover, think about what you have already done. Maybe you don’t love your job right now, but you do have a job, and that’s awesome. Maybe you haven’t been to Europe yet, but I bet you’ve been to some other great places in the United States. Maybe you’re tired of being single, but you might have the courage to leave those non-existent relationships and no longer have a job. That’s a great thing. Something difficult to do.

I know it’s easier said than done, but let’s be honest, the only meaningful comparison is to the person you once were. It's unfair to compare yourself to others because everyone's personality, relationships, and financial circumstances are a little different—but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As Fast Company said in 2013, “You are completely unique, as are your experiences, your worldview. That makes you valuable, and awesome. You can be the best version of yourself, Because no matter how hard you try, you can't be someone else."

5. “It’s really not good for me to compare myself to others.”

If you've been struggling to stop comparing yourself to others for a while, you don't need me to tell you that it feels bad. What you may not know is this: Constantly comparing your life to the lives of others is actually very detrimental to your health and relationships. As The Huffington Post explained in 2013, “Studies have found that comparison can breed feelings of envy, lack of confidence, and depression, and can damage our ability to trust others.” So, next time you feel like you’re not there because you don’t currently have When you feel like blaming yourself for a salary, new car, upper body strength, or relationship that someone else already has, remember what comparison can do to your health and overall happiness.

6. “It’s okay to be happy now”

I don't know about you, but personally, there have been times in my life where I felt like I didn't deserve to be happy until my life returned to normal and I achieved all of my graduate school goals. Looking back, I realize how stupid that was. At the time, I think I was afraid that allowing myself to live a happy life would cause me to lose my edge and fall into a career-killing, dream-crushing complacency. But here’s the thing: being satisfied with what you have while working toward what you want is never a bad choice. In fact, choosing happiness is actually good for your health.

As the Huffington Post reported in 2015, people who consider themselves happy have lower heart rates and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and they are also better at making good life choices. On top of that, happy people are more likely to have supportive friends and family, they're emotionally healthier, and they're not as susceptible to illness as unhappy people. So even if your career, finances, and love life need some work, know that you should be happy and healthy right now.

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