How many times have we looked in the mirror and thought - "I wish I looked more like her, I wish I had her confidence or wear whatever I want like her"?
There's no doubt that these questions creep up on everyones mind at some point from our early teens to our mature years. It's within every human being to compare their appearance, life, happiness, work and status with others around them. These questions can also creep up when comparing those of similar age- some may be a little more ahead in their careers or even more financially secure.
Comparison has inadvertently been heightened by the likes of social media. We watch the highlight reel on everyone else's life, and think- "am I doing this right"? Even complete strangers that come across our explore page. When we look at ideals like social media platforms and compare with those that we know and those that are strangers to us, we begin to question are we an individual or just plain weird? Are we not succeeding because someone else is doing it better? Should I follow their footsteps? Plainly - should I be more like them and less like me?
I have the golden answer for you- No. You are you, on your own path, achieving different goals.
This is the thing- when we look at social media- and that girl we're following got the new apartment or new car or even a cute partner we become envious especially if we don't have those things knuckled down yet. However we have to flip the other way and remind ourselves- that car and that apartment- she probably got it from working really hard. From putting in the hours, the tears and stress that we didn't see. It's made to look so easy- but in reality, that is most probably not the case.
Then the thought comes to mind- why do we want to share? Why do we feel the need? Is it to be validated? Do we need to show every success- what happened to "work hard in silence, let success be your noise"?
Chances are- the person that you are always comparing yourself to- is probably comparing themselves to someone else too.
Here is a little reminder - Comparison is not constructive
There's no doubt that comparing yourself is defeating, saddening and can cause mental health issues. It makes you behave bitterly towards others kicking goals. Small but consistent steps of shifting " How did she get that job? I'm so behind" to "She must have worked hard for that job, good on her!" By shifting to admiration, it brings on feeling on inspiration and encouragement. You will naturally feel like a better person for cheering someone else on than comparing yourself to them and their path. Which in turn, is completely different to yours and unique in its own right.
Have I been there? Wondering how others got there before I did? 100% but as I grew up- instead of using it to hate on myself, I used it as driving force- to work harder and achieve goals. By changing our mentality and the way we react to other's successes in a more positive light- allows us to be more positive towards our own endeavours.
We can be allies in our success and not competitors, friends in growth and not rivals. Seeing others succeed reminds us that whatever twists and turns our lives take, we will always have incredible examples of amazing experiences around us and we should use that to propel ourselves into the unknown.
What good is it to not celebrate the success around us? It will only lead to self-doubt and those nagging voices in our heads that tell us what we aren't doing enough of. Let's use the success of others to celebrate- not to be more like them but to use their brilliance to achieve what we want.
It will take time and it's not always easy to shift this train of thought but it will help you to accept your individuality and reduce the impact that negative self-talk will have on your life.
Go get em' girl!