Do you often find yourself comparing yourself and your life to people around you?
Psychologist Leon Festinger says that individuals determine their own social and personal worth based on how they stack up against others. To better understand why humans have this innate need to compare themselves against one another, he coined this social comparison theory back in 1954. So for quite some time now, humans have found themselves on the hunt for their next comparison target, whether it's a conscious behavior or not.
These are some of the most common topics that trigger us to compare ourselves to others. And more often than not, even if our intentions are good, we can fall prey to an innate need to see how we compare to someone else.
First, there's upward comparison or when we compare ourselves to someone who we perceive to be in a higher or better position than us – typically pertaining to wealth, status, etc.
It’s like seeing someone else get to travel the world, for example, while you feel jealous that you aren’t able to due to your personal circumstances.
And the second is downward comparison, often used to boost our self-esteem, which is when we compare ourselves to someone we feel is lower or beneath us.
This looks more like observing the poor skills or abilities of another person and comparing them to your own to make you feel better about yourself.
And in this day and age, social media plays a large role in many aspects of our lives — from business, travel, events we attend, relationships we engage in, and so on, it can feel almost impossible to escape the comparison trap laid out in front of us!
From seeing the successes of certain individuals broadcasted online to popular or influential personalities showcasing a picture-perfect way of life, the overload of perfection can have us secretly harboring feelings of lack and anxiety.
And whether we realize it consciously or not, staying stuck in the comparison trap can cause us to set unrealistic expectations for how we not only view others, but view ourselves –leading to much deeper mental and physical health issues.
So the challenge here is that comparing yourself to others can harm mental health, future success, self-worth, and the love and joy you’re able to show yourself on a daily basis.
But the real question is, how do we stop?
Well, there are a few things you can do when you start to notice yourself getting trapped in comparison or feel like you are being robbed of your joy because of it.
Drop into your gratitude.
Oh, gratitude…we must always start here. Dropping into your gratitude is one of the best ways to shift your mindset to that of abundance and to remind yourself that you have absolutely everything you need to be content and happy.
What we often fail to realize is that comparison stems from feelings of lack or insecurity. But when you counteract those feelings with gratitude, you are telling yourself and the Universe that who you are, and all that surrounds you is more than enough. This way, comparison isn’t able to stand a chance.
Choose something else.
Comparison is one of those low-frequency feelings that never really make us feel good at the end of the day. But the thing is, we get to make a choice – we get to choose how we want to feel at any moment. So when you are feeling inclined to compare yourself to another or even catch yourself in the act, make the conscious choice to replace that feeling of comparison with something else.
You can choose love. You can choose serenity. You can choose to let go. You can even choose laughter! If you feel your vibration starting to dwindle when comparing yourself to someone else, it would be unrealistic to try and completely ignore that feeling.
Instead, you want to tap into an emotion or experience that serves to be much more empowering. So the key here is in knowing that you have the power to make a choice and break free from feeling stuck by replacing comparison with something else.
Giving yourself a physical outlet to release low-frequency feelings can be the jolt that both your body and mind need to shift into a higher, more empowering vibration. When you think of the time and energy you may be spending, both consciously and subconsciously, in the web of comparison, you could be expending much more energy than you think.
That’s why moving your body can be incredibly beneficial in dialing up your energetic frequency. Everything from practicing meditation, to going for a run, to taking a dip in the pool, exercise is one of the most proactive ways to shift your energetic state. It also provides you with the self-esteem and sense of accomplishment you may be searching for to give yourself the love and self-care it deserves to truly thrive (no matter what anyone else is doing!).
The thing about comparison is that it can make us feel lost and unsure of our abilities – even unworthy. But as you can see, to get out from under the comparison trap, you must first look inward and get good at turning the lens on all of the good that already surrounds you. When you’re able to view yourself and your unique gifts for what they are, you’re less likely to spend time feeling jealous of anyone else’s life.
But this journey is not always going to be easy, as it’s going to take conscious effort and practice, which is why I’d like to share something very special with you. It’s our uniquely designed Rich With Gratitude System that’s packed with our most powerful tools and technologies for shifting into an unbreakable gratitude mindset. So if you’re ready to keep your mind tuned to the frequency of gratitude, do yourself a favor and get your hands on this incredible system here while it’s still available!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.