One of the most ineffective things that we do as individuals is compare ourselves to those around us. It’s a trap that most people fall into daily and the outcome is almost always a negative one. Comparisons can happen pertaining to physical appearance, success status, relationally, and the list goes on and on. If you truly want to maintain a positive sense of self, you must stop the comparisons. How do you do that? Here are some tips.
Become aware of your thoughts.
So often, a thought will fly into our head such as, “Wow. She is so pretty. I wish I was as pretty as her, but I’m not.” And before we know it, we move on never dealing with the negative thinking. This turns into our pattern until our “self-talk” becomes extremely demeaning. Take the first step and actually write down the thoughts that come into your mind so that you can later process and decide if you’re thinking is rational or irrational.
Turn irrational thoughts into rational thoughts.
This is much easier said than done. This is a process that takes time and repetition. For this step, you almost want to “fake it until you make it” to start to change your thinking patterns. So even if you don’t 100% believe the affirmations, still continue to speak them over your life. For example, your thought of “My friend is YOUNGER than me and more successful, so I am a failure” can be switched to “I am proud of my friend for being successful and her success does not make my journey any less valuable. I am on the road to achieving my own dreams.” Which leads us to the next point…
Focus on YOU
Comparing yourself will never get you anywhere, but when you focus on your own goals, desires, flaws, lessons, etc. your only standard is the one that you set for yourself. Comparing can easily become jealousy and that is an ugly trait. Focus on what you hope to become and accomplish and do not let anyone else’s successes, failures, looks or life affect that.
Focus on the positives
Until you get to a place where you are no longer comparing, focus on the good things in your life. Focus on the physical attributes that you like about yourself. Find the positives every day as much as possible. Warning: Do not positively compare. By this, I mean, do not say “Well, at least I am smarter than her!” That’s a no-no. Because 1.) You are still comparing and 2.) That is still negative. Be positive!
Seek out a counselor to help you through this process.
A professional that you are comfortable with will help hold you accountable to these steps and ensure that you progress through them. Sometimes it is difficult for us to see the negative and irrational thinking that overtakes our lives. Having an outside, unbiased person through this time will make this transition easier for you.
If you are struggling with constantly comparing yourself to others, or any other self-esteem issue, then call Life Counseling Solutions for a free 15-minute phone consultation with DeAnn or to set up an appointment. There is freedom from this mind set, and it is in your hands. All you have to do is make the first step.
If you are struggling to overcome negative self-talk, then call Life Counseling Solutions 407-622-1770 for a free 15 minute phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.
by: DeAnn MacCloskey