Guest Post – Judy Kaguchia

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Do you know what the best way to feel shitty about yourself is? Comparing yourself to others. Every day we come across people who seem to have their lives together. A seemingly better job, a better relationship, better body, better apartment etc. You look at them and you feel like your life is so garbage. Speaking from experience as a comparisonist, this happens a lot to me.

I don`t even need to leave my house to feel inadequate. Thanks to social media, it`s all only a click of a button away. I see my friend who is currently in Thailand living her best life, an ex-colleague who is building her house- and she`s younger than me…Lord! How? I compare myself to others all day and it always makes me feel bad and chances are, you do too, we all do it. It’s called “self-other mergence” and it takes place in the frontal cortex.

We compare our lives to their own- or what we think we know about their lives, which is very different from what it really is. And lots of times we find ourselves and our lives lacking. We don’t measure up to the perceived ideal. This is all thanks to social media and the ever ending need to appear perfect. But it`s all fake, it`s not real life. What we see online are the highlights of people`s lives, the best of the best. I know this because I post the highlights too. No one wants to see me eating rice and beans on a Tuesday, watching re-runs of Saint Clarita diet. But when I go to About Thyme and order the ribs will I do it for the Gram? You bet your sweet ass I am posting that! But that`s just a snapshot of my life. I don`t live like that every day. I am just a regular shmegular girl 🙂

In today`s world, we only see what people want us to see. We assume because someone lives in a nice house or drives a fancy car they’re happy when in reality we all have problems regardless of our station in life. Remember that photo you saw of your friend watching dolphins in Wasini and you felt so bad for never traveling? She was seasick the whole day. What about your friend who went to the Major Lazer concert? Her friend got too drunk and she had to take care of her all night. Think Beyoncé has a perfect life? Her husband cheated on her and she almost died giving birth to her twins. Before you compare your life to someone you see on social media, just remember you’re only seeing one very polished facet of their life.

Comparing yourself to others drains your energy, literally. Anytime you stress yourself over something — especially something you don’t have — your body releases chemicals like cortisol that increases fatigue and irritability. The question now becomes, how do we stop comparing ourselves to others? How do we control something that is hardwired into our brains?

We can start by actively reminding ourselves that:

    1. People only show the highlights of their lives
    2. We do not live equal lives. Some people we born with more money, went to better schools, got lucky at their jobs. Factors that are totally outside of our control. So, in this case, you are literally comparing apples to oranges.
    3. Understand that the only way to survive this dynamic world is to never give up investing in personal development. Making the shift from competition to cooperation. Going from “I am not good enough” to “I am working on it” “I am content with who I am and what I have”.

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself.”

But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop… It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.” — C. JoyBell C.

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