Recalibrate When We Think Other People Are Better Than Us

1. Try a change of scenery.

I happened to move to another area recently. Obviously I’m not suggesting moving as a plausible tactic to avoid comparisons. But the change to my routine really gave me a big boost.

I was completely distracted by finding my way around, discovering my new neighborhood, caring for my new home, seeing new sights, and visiting new places. I was stimulated by the new experiences and too engaged in my own life to think about everyone else’s.

This can be done right where you live; seek out new things to do or see. Broaden your world.

2. Take even better care of yourself.

Exercise is well documented as a mood-booster, but it never used to work for me. I tried to go running but, rather than a rush of endorphins, I would feel a rush of tears, as I felt stupid and unhealthy.

But I was able to join a gym two months ago. My first workout was mortifying, but once I got used to the machines, I started to feel really proud of myself. I am doing something just for me. I am giving myself the gifts of health and hope.

3. Be honest with yourself and others.

I am really honest with my boyfriend about how I feel. He knows my triggers, and being synced into my problem means that he knows just how to help me feel better, whether it’s distracting me, taking me out of the situation, or planting a big kiss on my forehead and reassuring me.

I also talk about it very openly with my girlfriends, and it’s so helpful to hear them say “I feel like that too” or “You have absolutely no reason to feel you’re less than anybody.”

4. Keep practicing.

I work hard not to give into every opportunity to criticize myself. I try to breathe, give myself space before reacting, and see whether I can resolve it alone before asking for reassurance.

I remind myself that my boyfriend loves me for me. I remind myself that I have my own strengths, my own beauty. There is nobody else like me. I deserve to stand alongside every one of those women whom I compare myself to.

Everything gets easier with practice, even resisting the urge to make comparisons.

5. Remember your strengths.

We all have them. I know I have a unique personality, a good sense of humor, a few different skills and talents. I know I have nice hair and nice eyes. I’m not the pitiful eyesore I believe myself to be when I’m feeling down on myself.

The more you become comfortable recognizing your strengths, the more armor you’ll have against negative thoughts.

We are all different and all beautiful. I believe this for other people, and so my goal is to believe it for myself as well.

If we work on our self-esteem and realize how lovely we are then other people won’t seem so threatening. Be kind, gentle, and nurturing to yourself and you’ll feel less of a need to make comparisons.