“the trick is to enjoy life. don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” – Marjorie Pay Hinckley
What is the comparison trap?
You may be thinking, you know what comparison is, but today we’re delving a little deeper to confront the green eyed monster, and its negative effects. AKA the comparison trap.
Comparison is, by definition: “a consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people”.
Comparison can be incredibly useful, like when you’re choosing between two things to buy – “does this bag make my heart sing, more than this one?” Or, “is this apartment as good a choice for me, as the other one I just saw?” Comparisons which help us to estimate life decisions are good, and help us to come to the best conclusions we can, with the given number of choices we have.
Comparison can, however, be a total meany. And yes, ‘meany’ just about sums it up. Comparison when applied to yourself, and your merits, against another individual’s can cause serious repercussions to your metal health and confidence.
Today we’re tackling the negative side of the comparison coin, with five tips for avoiding the comparison trap . . .
5 tips for avoiding the comparison trap
Log out of social media, and take a tech break.
How often do you find yourself in a comparison trap due to technology? Do you find yourself delving in to someone’s Facebook feed, Instagram account or Pinterest, comparing your own life to theirs? Eek! It can be scary right?!
First of all, please know that what people share on their social platforms is an edited version of their lives. Some may chose to share the bad bits, but most often people are all about positive news and good selfies on social ????! Next time you see yourself looking at someone’s perfectly curated social feed, appreciate it for its curation. If it looks perfect – it’s because it’s a great feed – not necessarily the picture perfect life depicted.
I know first hand, that I can be sat in my pyjamas, feeling rotten and not getting much done, but post a beautiful Instagram photo to work in my feed. I take pride in my social accounts, they are an extension of my brand, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have pyjama/bag/ugly days too!
“Re-focus your attention on real life, I promise this is where the great stuff happens anyway!”
Secondly, log out. Take a break from technology, stop scrolling through Instagram and re-focus your attention on real life, I promise this is where the great stuff happens anyway! Can Instagram take you for a drink with your girlfriend? Or make a phone call to your family? Or sweat your tush off in a gym class?
All of the above happens in real life, and it is 100,000,000 x better than the re-counted events on social. Promise.
Know that you are you, and that is freakin’ awesome!
I feel like this is something parents say – “you are unique, and that is beautiful” – but guess what? They’re right!
The most gorgeous people I know, are gorgeous not just for their style, or looks, but because to their core they are really awesome and kind individuals. If everyone was designed to look and act exactly the same, it wouldn’t be much fun, would it? A dinner party would be pretty bland if everyone were identikits – it’s the differences and individual quirks that make one person interesting to another.
“the most gorgeous people I know, are gorgeous not just for their style, or looks, but because to their core they are really awesome and kind individuals.”
I was at an event recently and got talking to a girl I’d never met before. This girl was the type of person who seemed to radiate joy, she was hilarious, honest and not at all self-important. Her personality won me over, she was gorgeous to the core and I’ve remembered her since.
My friend Ella wrote in her New Years resolution post, that it would be great if we were all to recognise people for their qualities, rather than looks – I couldn’t agree more!
Concentrate on your qualities, what makes you uniquely you, and I guarantee you’ll feel stronger and more confiden in yourself. What can you bring to the table?
Congratulate people you admire (AKA the people you compare yourself to)
It can be a struggle not to compare yourself to others, we all follow people we aspire to be like, or who inspire us with great ideas and style – that is totally OK, and one of my favourite ways to curate my own ideas – however, sometimes this can bring out the green eyed monster. And you guessed it – you end up comparing yourself.
Next time you find yourself in this situation, reach out to the person you admire and compliment them. Tell them genuinely that you admire what they do, and that they have inspired you. By complimenting them, it quietens that comparison monster – you are bringing a good quality of your own (kindness) to the forefront, which far outweighs the bad quality of jealousy.
Keep a Thankful Journal
For our newsletter subscribers, you will have already heard me sing the praises of a Thankful Journal. I’ve been keeping one (mine is from kikki.K) since January and it has made the biggest difference to my days.
“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turn what we have into enough and more” – Melody Beattie.
Simply, a Thankful Journal is a notebook where you write down a list of things you are thankful for every day, my journal has space for three notes per day but you can create your own using any book.
By re-aligning your thoughts on to the great things you already have going on in your life, comparison barely enters the equation. You have your list of things to be grateful for, and can admire others’ from afar, knowing that your lot is pretty darn good.
Stop procrastinating & do something for you
Why are you comparing yourself to another person, or people?
Often I’ll find myself comparing myself to others when I am procrastinating – two bad habits in one!
Next time you find yourself caught in the comparison whirlwind, do something productive! It can be anything . . . emptying your office bin (glamorous!), making a cup of tea, texting a friend . . . do anything but procrastinate.
Carly, of The College Prepster shared her 5 Minute Power Exercise – 5 minutes to get you back in the swing of things (and off of an Instagram binge . . . !).
Perhaps you are caught in a comparison trap because you are feeling a little low in confidence, or not sure what to do next. I recently shared my feelings on that ‘not knowing’ conundrum – help yourself out of a funk, and do something for you.
A couple of hours clearing your head, reading a magazine, getting your nails done . . . it can make a world of difference as to how you feel about yourself. Take the time and enjoy it! You’ll soon forget about anyone else.
Do you guys find yourself caught in a comparison trap? How do you deal with it if and when you do?
Love, Monica x
P.S. I think you’re all pretty darn GREAT, just as you are ????!