How to quit the comparison game and focus on your own success

quit_comparisonWhen you’re working on doing great things (and I know you are), it can be tempting to look around you and see what other people are doing. It’s great to see what’s possible and have an idea of the kind of success you’re looking to achieve.

The problem is that spending too much time looking at other people’s successes can quickly spiral out of control if we’re not careful.

We go from thinking, “Oh, I’d like to do that too!” or “She’s doing great things!” to “She has it all figured out. I’m just a hot mess. I’ll never get to where she is.” or “It’s not fair! Why is it so hard for me to get traction?” And before we know it, we get trapped in compare and despair mode.

The comparison game makes us feel incompetent and insignificant.

It turbo-charges our negative self-talk, and leaves us feeling like we have certain fundamental flaws that are preventing us from being successful. Instead of focusing on our journey and what we need to do to reach our goals, we concentrate on other people’s journeys and successes, which leads to procrastination, self-doubt, and finally quitting.

I’m willing to bet that everyone has had a bout of the comparison bug at one point or another. It’s part of being human. We are social creatures who rely on comparisons to make decisions and judgments that enable us to find our places in society.

Nobody is entirely immune to comparison, but successful people are able to put things in perspective and bring their focus back to themselves.

Here are 5 things to do when the comparison bug strikes:

  1. Make a list of your strengths and positive attributes. Don’t forget there will always be people who struggle with things that are second nature to you, so make sure you include everything – things you do well, things you find easy, and things you think everyone can do. Think about how these strengths and attributes can help you reach your goal. Be sure to store this list in your phone or trusty journal. You might even want to create a wall poster as an inspirational reminder.
  2. Create a victory log to keep track of your accomplishments. Be sure to record all your achievements and all of the tasks you successfully complete, no matter how big or small they may seem.
  3. Identify your triggers and avoid them. If you find yourself falling into the comparison trap and feeling bad about yourself when you look at a certain someone’s so-called perfect life on Instagram or Facebook, STOP looking at that person’s account. Stop following the account or block it if you need to.
  4. Reframe the negative comparison into a positive inspiration. Ask yourself what you can learn from them that applies to your situation? What are some steps they took when they were at your stage? What do they do to maintain momentum and keep motivated and productive?
  5. Compare your current self with your past self. Create a system to track your progress. Include the accomplishments listed in you victory log, but also think about your progress on a deeper level. How have you grown as a person? What challenges have you overcome? what do you know about yourself that you didn’t know before? What are you able to do now that you couldn’t do before? Write down your observations in a journal, and read over your entries whenever the comparison bug is bringing you down.

 “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ∼ Ernest Hemingway

And now I’d love to hear from you. In what areas of your life do you find yourself playing the comparison game? How do you get out of comparison mode?

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How to quit the comparison game and focus on your own success { 7 thoughts }

  1. Great post! Number 5 helps me the most! When I start to look at others I just remember how hard I’ve worked to become who I am. I’m a continuous work in progress. It’s easy to look at other’s lives on social media and think everything is perfect, but we all have our issues. Most of which we don’t share with online. The grass isn’t always greener.

    xx
    Faith

  2. Yes! I love this. I love the idea of a victory log and its something I could definitely do for myself. I do free writing (when I can) have you tried that? I think I will incorporate the victory log on a daily basis too as its so easy to forget the little things!

  3. Great post, and awesome tips. It is definitely hard to get away from comparing yourself to others especially with social media when, majority of the time, all you ever see is peoples highlights and rarely ever see their hard times. I love looking back and seeing how far i’ve come and keeping track of all the little accomplishments!

  4. Great reminders on focusing on our own uniqueness and divinity … especially #5 – I love reflecting on where I’ve come from – we can only better ourselves from ourselves, not in relation to other people

  5. Sometimes with blogging and bigger brands doing things I’d like to be doing, I’ve definitely felt like I was comparing myself with them early on. Then once I started getting into the entrepreneurship side of things, and one assignment in my business studies involved me having to analyse some brands that I admired in my field, and break down their journey from the start, to where they are now – I realised that everyone starts small and that if they can do this, then I can too. It’s like that Lao Tzu quote – “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” :)♡

What are your thoughts?