Be Your Own You: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others


Comparing yourself to others often hurts our self-esteem and prevents a full and active life. Here is how to stop your internal critic and focus on your success.

Give your internal critic a name

If you want to resist something, you need to understand what it is. Life coaches suggest the following approach: give your internal critic a name. When you spot that you are not running enough in the morning, not very active in developing new connections, or just broke your diet while people you follow on Instagram don’t do that, you will know who is controlling you. And you can stop him or her. When talking to your internal critic, you can help yourself with facts. For example, the research “Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence” says that even a little increase in physical activity decreases the risk of cardiovascular disorders by 52%. It would be enough to increase your activity level by half an hour daily!

Bring evidence

One of the most powerful triggers for older people in the modern world is that they don’t have an active enough lifestyle. The myths about having to walk not less than 10,000 steps per day are very strong. However, the research ”Do we need to walk 10,000 steps a day?” by Harvard Medical School busts it. During three months, the doctors monitored the physical activity of 16,000 women aged less than 70 years. Those who walked from 4,000 to 7,500 steps, gradually increasing the cardio effort, have shown the best health results. After reaching 7,500 steps, the progress stopped, and aiming for the figure of 10,000 steps was not necessary.

Be a friend to yourself

Imagine that your internal critic is a real person and that right now, he or she is upset as a result of comparing yourself to somebody else. What would you tell friends in this situation? Would you cheer them up and remind them about the achievements they had in their life? Treat your internal critic as a friend and don’t tell him something you wouldn’t say to another person — for example, that he is a loser and that anybody is better than him or her (that is you).

Start writing a diary

And it’s not important if you have it on paper or digital. Write down the situations when you compared yourself to somebody and your feelings. What have you felt when you read that somebody is practicing yoga or Scandinavian walk. Did you feel the desire to make your life more active, or were upset that you don’t even walk every day? Keep track of your negative reactions and triggers, which will be the first step to resisting them and boosting your self-esteem.

Keep track of your achievements

When we compare ourselves to others, we focus on their strengths and ignore those of our own. Start writing down everything you managed to achieve: bringing a project to completion at work, cooking a delicious dinner, visiting a gym, or having a walk when you didn’t want to. By the way,  you don’t need to make yourself write every day — a couple of times per week would be enough.

In other words, the best thing you can do is to switch your attention to the positive side and start appreciating yourself. Finally, if you can re-read this list by the end of each week and see how many talents you have and how much you were able to achieve, being grateful to yourself for all of this, you will be surprised how wonderful you are!

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