Five Ways to Get out of the Comparison Trap

October 29, 2015

Five Ways to Get out of the Comparison TrapWith social media constantly at our fingertips it has become so easy to follow along with the lives of our friends, family, celebrities, and everyone in between. I know that sometimes I feel like when I scroll through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, all I see is the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect vacation, basically the perfect life. An exaggeration of course, but I don’t think I am the only one that falls into the comparison trap from time to time. Comparison of yourself to others can happen outside of social media as well, in the work place, among friends or family (definitely siblings!), or any new encounters. When I find myself feeling that little twinge of envy, I have found that taking a step back and doing the following things have helped to remind myself that we are all on our own individual journey (plus, if we all had the identical lives, the world would be a boring place!). Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap? What have you done to snap out of it?


Reframe – Let comparison become (healthy) competition. Let it light a fire to accomplish your goals, wherever you may be in your journey to accomplish them. Make what they are doing inspire yourself by asking what you admire about them. You may see how you are already embodying these qualities or that you may want to put more focus on them.


Be happy for them – I love this quote by the Dalai Lama, “If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!” Supporting other people and their accomplishments can help you feel more connected to other people. By celebrating others, it always works like a mirror, helping you to hone in on your own values that are required for your own happiness.


Meditate – This was bound to pop up on this list, but meditating can help to quiet the inner critic that creeps up when we start comparing ourselves to others. It makes you become aware of those negative thought patterns and help to bring yourself back to the present, to what is real and right in front of you.


Get offline – This may be the easiest physical thing you can do to get yourself out of the comparison trap. If mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and seeing other people’s perfectly curated lives makes you start to compare yourself to them, just shut it off! There is no need to add fuel to the fire if you find you are already in a negative place. Being online is inevitable, so rethink who you follow and how filling your feeds with the positive can make a big impact on your day to day.


Celebrate our own journey – It is easy to compare the beginning of your journey to someone else’s middle. Wherever you are in life, trust the timing and don’t rush the process. Look at what you have done and celebrate yourself for what you have accomplished. It may be hard to congratulate yourself, but try it – stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are (I promise, as cheesy as it is, it works!). Taking a moment to practicing gratitude can have a huge impact if you find yourself falling into the comparison trap.


Image of Jane Fonda / via /