Have you ever found yourself scrolling through Instagram, comparing your looks to others, and wondering why you don’t look like the models in the pictures?
Or maybe you feel jealous of your friend’s perfect hair, or body shape? It’s easy to feel self-conscious when seeing post after post of seemingly “perfect” people. It can seem like everyone else is more attractive than you or has a better body, better hair, better skin, or a better wardrobe.
Sadly, low self-esteem, negative body image, and negative feelings can have negative effects on your mental health and overall well-being, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in the long run.
If you find yourself falling into this comparison trap, there are a few things you can do to help break free and start feeling better about yourself.
Take a Step Back
When you start feeling down or having negative thoughts about how you look in comparison to others, try taking a step back and reflecting on your own unique beauty. You know, the feelings of jealousy are actually a thief of joy and will never help you feel good about yourself.
Rather than focus on the features of your body that make you feel insecure, try to take a step back from all these body comparisons and remind yourself of the things you do like about yourself. It could be anything from your dimples to the way you smile— focus on these, rather than what you don’t like.
It’s also important to remind yourself that everyone is different and no two people look exactly alike. There will always be someone who looks “better” or “worse” than you, but comparing yourself to others isn’t the answer.
Examine Your Sources
Every single day, we’re bombarded with images from social media, magazines, and TV that portray a certain type of beauty.
We often forget that these are not real representations of what people actually look like. In fact, there’s no real person who has that porcelain skin, white teeth, and perfect body that’s shown in most of these images.
Think about where you’re getting your ideas of beauty from. Are they realistic? Is it possible to look like that naturally or is it just unrealistic beauty standards created by the media?
Then, it may be helpful to limit or even completely cut off access to these sources if they continue adding stress or pressure into your life. You don’t need anyone’s approval but yours to feel beautiful and confident in your own skin!
Have a Social Media Detox
Most of the time, all our peer pressure, FOMO, and comparison come from social media. With the rise of influencers and role models in basically all aspects and niches, you may feel like you’re missing out or behind if you don’t have a certain look, lifestyle, clothes, or a better job title.
That’s why it can be helpful to set boundaries around your time on social media and be mindful of how much time you spend scrolling.
Although social media is a nice way of keeping in touch with friends and staying up to date on the latest trends, it’s important not to let it dictate how you feel about yourself.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in looking at other people’s lives without taking into consideration that everyone’s life isn’t perfect.
Too much time on social media can lead to feelings of comparison and inadequacy, so if you constantly find yourself comparing your life to others from their photos and posts, it may be worth taking a break from it all and focusing on your own life instead.
Start by limiting your social media feeds and unfollowing accounts that make you feel like you’re never enough. Instead, focus on inspiring content that will make you feel good about yourself.
Eventually, you can make the final decision to delete all your social media apps from your phone for a while, and only allow yourself to check them once a week or whenever you truly feel like it.
Then, focus on your social networks in the real world instead. Talk with your close friends about topics that make you feel good, visit some family members you haven’t seen for a while during the pandemic, or go out for a walk or do some yoga to start feeling better about yourself.
After a while, maybe you don’t want to involve in any of these social media platforms again and entirely cut off your social media use for good.
Focus on Yourself
Comparison can be especially harmful when it comes to your physical appearance. Rather than looking at what other people have and wishing for the same thing for yourself, focus on improving parts of your own life and body that you actually have control over.
This could be working out more, eating healthier, or even taking time for yourself to do things like getting a massage or going for a walk in nature. Focusing on ways to make yourself feel good rather than comparing and competing with others will help you become more confident and happier.
For example, if you want longer hair, don’t spend time wishing for someone else’s gorgeous locks—focus on taking care of your hair and using products that promote growth.
If someone else has beautiful skin, don’t worry about why yours isn’t perfect too; just keep up with a regular skincare routine that works for your skin type and age group.
When you put all of your energy into loving yourself rather than competing with others, it will show in every aspect of your life—including how you look!
Reframe Your Thoughts
When you feel yourself comparing yourself to someone else, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique and no two people are the same.
Even twins or triplets will have different fingerprints and personalities! So instead of letting those negative comparisons take over your thoughts, reframe them into something positive.
For example, if you’re thinking about how someone else is more attractive than you, try to remind yourself that everyone has their own unique beauty.
Or, if you’re feeling jealous of the success of others, try to think of how you can learn from them and grow as a result.
The truth is, comparison isn’t going to make anything better—it will only make you feel worse. So take a step back and remember that everyone is on their own journey with different struggles and experiences.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on special things about each individual and celebrate the beauty of diversity.
Reframing your thoughts can also help you recognize your own strengths and appreciate what makes you special. And even little things count. That way, you can be proud of who you are instead of bogged down by someone else’s success!
Practice Positive Self-Talk and Gratitude
The more you practice gratitude and positive self-talk, the less likely you are to compare yourself to others. Instead of tearing yourself down, focus on building yourself up with positive affirmations and compliments.
For example, if you’re feeling bad about how your hair looks compared to someone else’s, remind yourself that you have beautiful eyes or a great smile. Or if you’re feeling envious of someone else’s accomplishments, it’s always a good idea to celebrate your own achievements, regardless of how big or small they may be.
The power of positive self-talk can help you stay away from the pitfalls of comparison and become more confident in yourself. So focus on your self worth and all the wonderful things that make you unique—you’ll be much happier for it!
When you practice positive self-talk regularly, it will become easier to recognize those moments when the habit of comparison creeps up, and stop it before it has a chance to take over.
Celebrate Your Uniqueness
Think about all of the amazing qualities that make up who you are—whether this is physical attributes or personality traits—these should all be celebrated! If it’s not you celebrating your uniqueness, then who will?
You can start small by writing down five positive things about yourself every day, even if some days are harder than others.
Doing this will help you start to recognize the unique and amazing qualities you have, and eventually, it will become second nature to focus on what’s good about yourself instead of comparing yourself to everyone else.
At the end of the day, remember that there is only one person like you in this world—and this will help remind you of all of your greatness! This exercise should also help reprogram our minds into a more positive thought pattern which will aid us when we start comparing ourselves with others again!
Be Kind to Yourself
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you are enough—just as you are! Comparison is a normal human emotion, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. Instead of berating yourself for comparing yourself to others, be kind and understanding to yourself.
No one is perfect and it’s okay to make mistakes or have bad days. When you can be gentle with yourself, it will become easier to recognize those moments when comparison creeps up, and stop it before it has a chance to take over.
Remember that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, so focus on what makes you special and be proud of who you are. Change starts within, and when we can learn to love ourselves first, it will become easier to see the beauty in everyone else.
By taking the time to recognize our worth and celebrate our uniqueness, we can start to create a more positive mindset which will help us avoid those feelings of comparison and jealousy.
Comparison culture is rampant in today’s society, but finding self-love does not have to be impossible! At the end of the day, remember that everybody has their bad days, yet the highlight reel may not reflect it all.
This comparison game is a lose-lose situation, and the only way to get ahead is to focus on your personal growth and celebrate your uniqueness.
Although social comparisons is a default of human nature, and the grass is always greener when it’s not yours, learning how to manage it effectively can help us lead more positive lives full of self-love and appreciation for our bodies, our souls, and our best selves.
By focusing on yourself instead of constantly comparing yourself to others around you, you can start living authentically and mind your own grass without worrying about what other people think or have achieved in their lives!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so focus on how YOU feel about YOURSELF, rather than how others view you—it just doesn’t matter, as long as you’re happy!