Whether it's a friend, a parent, your neighbour or a colleague, we all have special people in our lives that push us. They have probably once or numerous times inspired us to reach higher limits, push boundaries, think more authentically and live better. When you’re faced with a challenge, you might think to yourself, “What would that person do?”, or “I should react this way because I admire this person and they would handle this situation like so.” This can be very inspiring and motivating… until it becomes destructive to your self-esteem.

What’s tricky and dangerous is when you constantly put that person up on a ‘moral pedestal’. You assume that they make perfect decisions, never fall off the healthy-eating plan and that they have it all ‘figured out’. Putting them in this special bubble in your mind inadvertently makes them superior or that they are worthy of more. Of course tracking their every move on social media doesn’t help one bit! 

Feelings of jealousy and low confidence can start to build up inside, as you only see the most ‘put together’ version of themselves. You wonder, “How do they do it? Why can’t I feel or be like them?”. But this kind of ‘worship’ is not conducive to creating and boosting your own self esteem! Rather it fuels self doubt and loathing. Don’t give away your power! This unfortunately is a trap that we are all exposed to and can all be vulnerable to slipping into.

With this idolising comes judgement towards not only yourself but towards others as well. It evolves into envy over the tick boxes others have checked in their lives, like owning a home, being in a committed relationship or getting a raise at work. Your reality becomes a thunderstorm of negative perception. The important thing to recognise is that when you look down on others, it’s usually a cry for help to try and make yourself feet better inside, because after all, judging does give you a little perk.

Are you putting your self-esteem in danger by comparing yourself to others?

How to build self-esteem

1. Do you make endless comparisons to others in an attempt to make yourself
feel better? 

2. Do you have a friend who always seems to have it all together – looks, career, work, family, life?

3. Is there someone at work who seems to be especially talented or clever that it makes feel you could never measure up?

4. If you have children, do you look at other mothers at the school gates and assume they have perfect lives and faultless children?

If you answered yes to at least two of the above, you may be in need of reevaluating your thoughts and priorities. But don’t worry, this low feeling happens to everyone and what’s important is breaking your bad habits.

How to stop comparing your life and start living it!

1. Be aware of your patterns and notice when you start comparing yourself to other people. It might feel hard to change but simply being more aware helps you to consider a different approach. Journaling is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings as you can refer and track your progress and have a mindful venting portal that will soon help you manage your ordeals.

2. Be curious, not envious, of people who have it ‘together’. Try and think of what’s actually happening in that person’s life rather than what they present on their social media feed – maybe they’re feeling insecure? Maybe they need to feel in control all the time? Maybe they’re very anxious and need these platforms as a means to escape?

3. Remember that no-one is perfect no matter what pictures they put up on their accounts. Part of being human is to have problems and flaws. What’s important is navigating through the tough times and coming out the other side.

4. Be you, because you can’t truly be anyone else. Rather than compare your lives, focus on your own strengths, qualities and attributes that are unique to you and that you love and admire about yourself. Picking out a quality each day is a little positive treat for your self love.

5. Be kind and more compassionate to yourself and others. This makes life a whole lot easier! If someone seems to be a step ahead in their experience, wisdom or communication, see this as a valuable learning opportunity. You can soak up the inspiration and motivation and apply the best bits to your own life.

Remember, you can embrace your amazingly individual qualities and be the very best version of you! Start small and slowly with daily affirmations and clock on to negative patterns to begin altering your perception of yourself and truly live an authentic, healthy mind frame.

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How to stop comparing and start living

Read next: 6 Ways to Stop Worrying What Others Think of You

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