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Death By Comparison ‒ 5 Ways To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Written by: Natasha Stephens, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Have you ever scratched your head and wondered how someone goes from a couch potato to muscle definition within months after starting a training program? The muscle definition it took you to achieve within years! Well, several factors must be taken into account: genetics, age, training program, lifestyle, different levels of strength, focus, intensity, and the list goes on and on. For this reason, certain training and diet programs may not be as effective for one person as it is for another. The same rings true in the gymnasium of life. To start, let me make one thing clear. Each person is uniquely and wonderfully made. There is no other person like you and there will never be another like you. God made no mistake when He made each one of us and He gave each of us a purpose. If we truly believe this, then why do we compare ourselves to others? Why do we measure our successes, achievements and growth according to others?

We, especially women, tend to find anything to compare ourselves to, inevitably leading us to feelings of superiority or inferiority. Thomas Mussweiler, a professor of organizational behavior, describes comparison this way: "It's one of the most basic ways we develop an understanding of who we are, what we're good at, and what we're not so good at.” This is dangerous and puts our mental health at risk when we constantly compare ourselves to others. Comparison produces negative psychological effects like anxiety, depression, and cyclical ruminating negative thoughts.


Here are 5 ways to stop comparing yourself to others:


1. Practice gratitude- Before the start of your day write down 3 things you are grateful for. Gratitude leads to contentment as it reminds us of our blessings from a bigger picture no matter our current circumstances and keeps the focus on our own lives as it should be.


2. Focus on your strengths- When you are focused on your strengths you can leverage them to create change in your life and others, that in the end, will make you feel good about yourself giving you a sense of purpose. Take a moment to write your strengths down or use a strengths finder tool if you need help determining your strengths. In addition, ask others what your strengths are. Because our talents are innate, it’s hard for us to see them for ourselves.


3. Celebrate other people- Have the ability to celebrate others achievements without feeling inferior. There is a place for everyone in this world. You are not losing because someone else is winning. Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15, NIV). Celebrate them while you work towards your own success.


4. Take a social media fast- It’s hard to focus on yourself when you’re constantly looking into someone else’s life by way of social media, considering it’s only a highlight reel and not the complete picture. Social media most times don’t reflect reality and trying to live a life that we think someone else is living and we’re missing out on, can take a toll on your mental health.


5. Set boundaries on how much time you spend on social media- Put your phone away when spending time with family. Being fully present in our lives makes it more meaningful and fulfilling. Establish a set time for when you will log off all social media networks every evening and adhere to your own guidelines. You will feel empowered as you align with the boundaries you’ve set for yourself giving you power and control of your own life.


Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Galatians 6:4-5 MSG


Final thoughts: I believe when you are not aware that you have a purpose that is exclusively designed and ordained for you, it lends way to distractions. Yes! God ordained a purpose for you based on how he created you, your life's experiences, how those experiences would affect you, and where He wants to lead you for the future. Just as exercise or diet programs are not a one size fits all, so it is the same for one's life's purpose. We are not meant to excel at the same speed and succeed in the same way. Our achievements wouldn't carry the same weight if we all are accomplishing the same goals at the same time. Find your "why", and you won't be distracted by someone else's. The world needs your generational contribution and will never see it if you are focused on others. Your purpose will suffocate and die if it's not cultivated because you don't think it measures up to someone else's talents and abilities.

Bob Goff said it best, "We won't be distracted by comparison, if we are captivated by purpose."


Want to learn more from Natasha? Follow her on Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube or visit her website.


 

Natasha Stephens, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Natasha, a retired dental hygienist turned entrepreneur as owner of Transformational Coaching with Natasha and a women's athleisure clothing brand, Ripped and Restored, is committed to the transformational journey as she discovers new ways of being and higher than realized levels of existence through the power of pain and using it to her advantage as a springboard to create an ideal life for herself. Along the way, she answered the call to empower others with this revelation. She is dedicated, with fiery passion and authentic advocacy to revolutionize mental health and fitness by embracing the pain of conflict and resistance in whatever form, as a weapon for good. Realizing that thoughts shape reality, Natasha's coaching model is built around mindset shifts resulting in realized potential. In her spare time she loves to volunteer in local and global dental missions, physical exercise, and travel.

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