Teddy Roosevelt was right— comparison truly is the thief of joy. No matter which way you spin it, comparing yourself to other people is a slippery slope to misery and should be avoided in most instances.
But in a world of FOMO and YOLO, how can we stop comparing ourselves to everyone around us? I’ve got a few tips.
1. Focus on yourself.
If you throw yourself into work and creative projects, you will inevitably have less time to dedicate to feelings of jealousy or envy. Make a schedule for each day and stick to it. Commit to self-improvement, whether it be stepping up your professional game or starting a few personal projects. All you can control in this world is you. And you’re fantastic!
2. Brag a little!
When we compare ourselves to other people, we often compare our low points to their high points. It’s important to remember that other people’s accomplishments are not your failures. Remind yourself of your own accomplishments, and then try and brag about them a little! Call your grandma and tell her about that raise you got recently. Show a friend some work you did that you’re proud of. Let yourself revel in your own greatness because you deserve it.
3. Spend less time on social media.
Ah, the Internet. It’s a beautiful and dangerous place. Before you let the Instagram fueled FOMO (or, Fear Of Missing Out) seep into your brain, keep in mind that we all use social media as a sort of highlight reel. No one’s posting their failures or missteps, but we all have them. Step away from the iPhone and start to slowly feel a little better.
4. Be happy for other people.
To finally overcome the potentially toxic influence of envy, this is the final step. Rather than compare yourself to other people or their work, simply be glad for them! I know it’s not that simple, but it’s important. Celebrate and compliment the work of others as often as you can, and watch your envy slowly fade away.
Learn how to stop comparing yourself and start living the life you truly want in Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life.