Setiap manusia sebagai makhluk sosial pasti membutuhkan penilaian dari orang lain atau validasi dari orang lain terhadap aspek-aspek kehidupan yang ia miliki seperti kesuksesan diri, penampilan fisik, maupun kemampuan sosial yang dimiliki. Hal itu yang menyebabkan seseorang membandingkan dirinya dengan orang lain.
Social comparison bukanlah suatu hal yang buruk jika tidak berlebihan. Jika tujuannya untuk menilai pencapaian dan koreksi diri, hal itu bisa memberikan sumbangsih positif. Namun, jika perbandingan ini terus-menerus dilakukan, sudah pasti akan membuat rugi.
Ramsey Solutions membahas topik mengenai cara-cara praktis untuk berhenti membandingkan diri sendiri dengan orang lain dalam sebuah artikel yang berjudul “How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others”. Selamat membaca para Mitra QR! Semoga bermanfaat.
8 Practical Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This is something I’m still working on myself. However, I can share with you some specific steps I’ve taken and principles I’ve applied to my own life to help me take my eyes off of other people and put them back on creating a life I love.
1. Practice gratitude.
This one habit changed everything for me. Several years ago, I opened the Notes app on my phone and typed out three things I could be grateful for right then and there. I wrote:
Early, quiet mornings before anyone is awake. My health. Coffee.
Those were the first three things that came to mind. I didn’t spend much time analyzing or dwelling on the goodness of my life. And I certainly didn’t shed a tear. This was not a Hallmark-movie moment! I’m not sure I even felt much change at the time.
But now? That Notes app is my lifeline.
What started as a simple gratitude experiment has grown to encompass every kind of joy—both big and small—that floods my life. I add to the list each morning, and I revisit the list whenever I need a reminder of God’s care and blessings in my life.
2. Unlock the power of contentment.
Gratitude leads to contentment, which allows you to be in a state of joy and satisfaction no matter what your circumstances. You’re happy with where you are in life and aren’t worried about what other people are doing.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have goals for the future or that you aren’t working toward being a better person tomorrow than you are today. And it definitely doesn’t mean that you’re stagnant or that you’re choosing to sit around and do nothing new, exciting and challenging with your life. It just means that you develop a peace about your life and a sincere enjoyment about what you have today without basing all your happiness on what you hope to achieve tomorrow.
3. Don’t compare your life to everyone else’s highlight reel.
Are you ready for my most shocking observation yet? Social media doesn’t always reflect reality. Boom. (I know you know this, but have you ever really thought about it?)
It’s usually not the complete picture of someone’s life—it’s just the highlight reel.
We’re spending all this money and emotional energy just to keep up with a life we think everyone else is living and we’re missing out on. And that is ruining not only our mental health, but our financial security as well.
Once you take your focus off of them and put it back on your own life, you can start to turn things around with your life and money.
4. Focus on your strengths.
You can be humble and still recognize your strengths, talents and accomplishments. You don’t have to beat yourself up to be humble. In fact, that’s a pretty unhealthy approach, and it’s one of the biggest dangers of comparison living. The more we compare ourselves to others, the worse we feel about ourselves. That’s a dangerous trap we’ve got to avoid.
Try writing down three things you really like about yourself—things you can identify as strengths. Don’t just write “good people skills” like you’d put on a boring resume. Make them personal! Here are three of mine:
- I’m proactive. I like accomplishing things, so whether it’s responding to edits on my next book or making dinner reservations, I’m always looking ahead and taking action.
- I love people. I may or may not have won Brentwood High School’s “friendliest” superlative of my senior class. I really have always enjoyed being around people! Embracing this strength gives me the ability to make people feel loved and cared for when they hang out with me.
- I’m an amazing baby sleep trainer. Seriously. If I wasn’t doing what I do for a living, I’d start a business around sleep training babies. What can I say? It’s a gift. And it’s a good one.
5. Celebrate other people.
Constantly comparing ourselves to others leads to us not cheering on the people who are working hard to get somewhere. And it makes it hard to celebrate with the ones who’ve accomplished something!
So, here’s my challenge to you: When a friend tells you about her new job, be happy for her. If someone buys a new house, take part in their enthusiasm. If someone shares some great news with you, keep the focus on them instead of turning it back to yourself. Find big and small ways to celebrate other people’s accomplishments!
The Bible says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15, NIV). Don’t feel like you’re losing just because someone else is winning. Their success has nothing to do with you, so celebrate their success sincerely while you keep working toward your own success.
6. Learn to compete with yourself instead of others.
Instead of focusing on where you are compared to others, focus on your own goals. Where are you compared to where you were at this time last year? Or five years ago?
One of the reasons I journal is because it does wonderful things for my sanity. It gives me clarity and perspective about God’s blessings in my life. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun to go back and thumb through the pages of old journals to see how much I’ve grown.
In the past year, you’ve learned, stretched, improved, accomplished and created. Think about how much of that you’ve done in your lifetime! If you’re like me and you’ve kept journals, go back through them. If you haven’t, there’s no better time to start journaling than today.
7. Have boundaries around how much time you spend on social media.
As we’ve been talking about, comparison through social media can have a massive effect on our mental well-being. Here are some boundaries you can put in place to protect yourself:
Unfollow any accounts that tend to make you feel bad about yourself.
Set a timer and allow yourself to scroll for 30 minutes. When time is up, step away from social media, my friend.
Turn off your phone when you’re having dinner with your family and friends. Being fully present with them will make everyone happier!
Don’t feel obligated to reply to every comment and message—ain’t nobody got time for that.
When you feel a pull to check social media, ask yourself why. Are you bored, uncomfortable or seeking affirmation? What can you do to feel better instead?
8. Take a social media fast.
I can tell you this from experience: It’s almost impossible to be satisfied with your own life if you’re constantly looking at what someone else has.
If you’re struggling to appreciate the blessings in your life, and if you’re constantly distracted by the #blessings of other people, it may be time to put some serious blinders on for a little while.
So, here’s my biggest challenge for you: Shut off all the social networks. And while you’re at it, unsubscribe from all those email newsletters that show you how much you’re “missing.”
Spend that time and energy focusing on how much you truly have. Look at your family, your friends, your home, your job, and all the things in your life that really matter. Find things in your own life that someone else may be jealous of. Remember, if we’re all looking at each other, that means plenty of people are comparing themselves to everything you have. Figure out what those blessings are and rejoice in all you have.