Comparing Yourself To Others: How To Make Comparison Syndrome Work in Your Favor

Woman sitting on a chair reading a book and smiling

As a mom and a female entrepreneur, I find myself comparing my life to others all.the.time.

These days, scrolling through social media watching others live their best lives makes falling into the comparison trap easier than it ever was before, especially for teens who are just learning how to build-up their self-worth.

Most self-help books and articles will tell you to stop comparing yourself to others and just do you…but what if comparison isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing?

Hear me out here.

Looking at perfectly curated photos on Instagram and comparing your authentic inner self to someone else’s filtered life while feeling bad about yours is NEVER a good thing. And yes, you should stop doing that!

But it is possible to use comparison in your favor to actually motivate you towards your own goals and teach your daughters how to do the same. 

Here’s how you do it:

First, identify WHY you or your daughter are comparing yourself to others. Is it because of a lack of confidence and low self-esteem? Or is it out of a desire to grow and improve?

If you’re not sure, think about it like this: when you are comparing yourself to another person, are you picking them apart and noticing all their flaws? If so…your comparison is rooted in your own low self-esteem. Pointing out what’s wrong with them is a band-aid to boost your own confidence….except it’s like that dirty week old band-aid you still haven’t removed and is barely hanging on…know what I mean? Not very effective.

Building up self-worth is the most important step toward any kind of success in life – educational, financial, career, etc. – and is crucial for teens! I could list a whole bunch of ways to help your daughters (and yourself) do that, but that’s a blog post for another day.

However, if you find yourself thinking, “Wow! I want to be that successful!” or “What do I need to do to live that type of life as well?” then your comparison is rooted in a desire to grow and improve…..and that’s a GOOD thing!

Once you’ve built up your self-worth and shifted your mindset to start comparing positively rather than negatively, you are ready to take action!

Make a list of everything you admire about the person you are comparing yourself to – be specific! Compare that list to your own goals (which should be written down…that’s a non-negotiable) and modify as needed. You might realize that you have new goals and desires that you didn’t even know you were missing!

Now take those goals, and your admiration list, and come up with actionable steps to take daily that will move you closer toward achieving your new goals and living your OWN best life!

Once you start using comparison as a tool to push and challenge you for the better, you’ll be full of gratitude knowing that you have CHOICES when it comes to living out your life in a way that’s aligned with your core values and what you desire. Comparison will help you CREATE your life rather than just maintain it!

The bottom line is that when we are scrolling through social media, it’s important to have a realistic view of life and maintain a sense of self-worth. There is no excitement in living vicariously through someone else’s life. Excitement can only be found in creating your own journey.

If comparison is going to help you grow, then I don’t see any reason to stop!

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