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Soul-Wise Living
Soul-Wise Living

How to stop comparing yourself to other’s and build your self-esteem

I went and did it again! I’m not celebrating me, I’m reprimanding myself. See, I went and compared myself to someone else again. And, it was not going to help me build my self esteem. 

I’ll tell you how I was comparing myself: I was sitting in a conference. There, on stage, was a woman who was sharing her experiences of how her business had grown in the last 6 months. I started comparing myself to her.  Have you ever done that? See if any of what my inner voice started  saying sounds familiar:

                Geeze, didn’t I do all that? I should be up there. Really? Why not me?

                Of course, she could do all that, she doesn’t have any of the obligations in her life that I do.

               She has way more support than I do; of course she can get it done.

               It was easy for her she has so many connections.

              And, the ultimate: She’s so much prettier than I am no wonder people flock to her!

Eh gad! This was no way to build myself esteem...ugh! Einsteen was right: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I was judging myself as a fish in front of a tree!

Fortunately, I was able to catch myself this time. I’ve done so much personal growth it came quickly and I recognized exactly what I was doing and STOPPED it!!!!!!!!

Here is my quick and easy formula to stop comparing yourself to other’s and build your own self-esteem (using the example above):

1) Recognize that you are doing it. I caught myself doing it and immediately said “Laura, stop it ~ shift your thoughts now!”

2) Forgive yourself. I then said to myself: “You are forgiven for reacting in a human way.”

3) Celebrate the person on their accomplishments.  I sent great energy and vibes to the woman on stage from where I was sitting and then followed it up with a congratulatory card ~ handwritten and in the mail.

4) Remind yourself that “All is not as it seems.” We are only comparing through our own ‘ego-eyes’ and often, that is not a realistic view of what you are comparing yourself too. I may have said the things to me above but I knew~ deep inside ~ this person had overcome many  challenges and probably many I didn’t know about to get where she was.

5) Switch the Comparison to Inspiration.  Look at who you are comparing yourself to and use it to INSPIRE you. I created this affirmation after recognizing this person’s accomplishments. “I know that I am and will continue to do so much and am achieving success right now and for this I am so grateful”

6) Immediately start writing down what you have achieved & start using a Success Box. Even the little things count and matter!  I wrote down on a piece of paper as many of the accomplishments that I had achieved in the last 6 months. After the conference, I went to my success box and meandered through it. It’s a box that is filled with cards and kudos from people I admire about what I have done for them. It has pieces of paper like the one I wrote on about what I feel I have accomplished as well. 

7) Move. Yes, move. Accept where you are, recognize where you want to go and MOVE. Take one step in that direction and believe in yourself. In the case above, this may sound silly, but I went upstairs to my room at the break, re-did my make-up and looked deep into my eyes and said “Wow…….you are so beautiful.”  I needed that reminder. When I went downstairs, another attendee/colleague who I had yet to meet but knew through good ole FB grabbed meand said “Laura, I finally found you! I just wanted to say to you that you’ve inspired me so much on our Group these past few months! I want to talk to you about becoming a client of your’s!” *You can bet I wrote this down on a piece of paper and went into my success box!

Stop comparing yourself to Other’s and Build Your Self-Esteem! By following this formula, I quickly and easily switched from letting my thoughts take me away from the genius that I am and toward comparing myself to a fish trying to climb a tree. I’m human and yes, I started going there! But, boy, my Self-Esteem was on FIRE after I did those 5 quick things! Your’s can be too.

Do you often compare yourself to other’s personally? Professionally? What have you done to stop it?

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24 Comments »

  1. Good points Laura. I love your fish analogy.

    Recently I found myself comparing myself and a colleague reminded me not only of my strengths, but of something a fellow marketing professional once shared. He said “You don’t need to reinvent ice cream. You simply need to claim your own flavor.”
    So, here’s to each of us being our unique selves and shining in our own way. Thanks. ~Debra

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Debra! I like the Ice Cream analogy too ~ maybe even better. I choose reeses peanut butter!!!!! KEEP SMILING 🙂

    [Reply]

    Comment by Debra Jason — November 5, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  2. Great post. I struggle with this all the time. *sigh* I love the tips — I’ll try putting some into action.

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Hi Melinda! Glad you enjoyed the tips. Really, the first one ~acknowledging your thought when you are comparing yourself is HUGE!!! I bet you’ll start noticing it…then, be kind and gentle, and think of ONE thing that you LOVE about yourself…and you will be on your way! Let me know how it goes. KEEP SMILING

    [Reply]

    Comment by Melinda — November 5, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

  3. Laura, great post! I feel that when we start comparing ourselves to someone else, it causes us to send out negative vibes and that is not attractive whatsoever. You can feel the tension in the air and sometimes if you’re in conversation with the other person (instead of watching them on a stage), it’s like the 2 egos want to one-up each other and that gets you no where! I really like your tips on how to dissolve these ick feelings and turn them into something positive that we can grow from. Thanks Laura! Janet

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Yes, Janet, you are absolutely right. Like my example, on stage, there’s a distance that allows tension to not be evident really. But, when it’s one-on-one, the egos start flying and watch out!!!! One-on-One I love being able to express congratulations to the other ~ heartfelt congratulations~ then, you can step forward with greater ease in the conversation!! KEEP SMILING

    [Reply]

    Comment by Janet — November 5, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  4. I am so guilty of comparing myself to others, even when it’s an apple-to-oranges scenario! I love the idea of a success box and to just move! Simply yet impactful actions!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Stephanie!!! Yes, why do we compare ourselves when it’s clearly apples to oranges? I believe it’s Ego talking loudly over our own inner wisdom. Try the success box out ~ I’d love to hear how it works for you!!! I’ve even gone to printing out kudos to me on FB or blog posts and added them into the box…it just grows. One word of caution….allow it to fuel your soul and not your ego. I know of someone who has one of these and that’s how she looks at it “arent’ I so great’….allow it to say instead “You are terrific” Like a best friend saying it to you not your ego saying it to yourself! KEEP SMILING!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Stephanie Faiella — November 5, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  5. I love this post, Laura – comparison and jealousy is something I’ve wrestled with for years. Just like you, I’ve watched some of my compadres on stage and vacillated between celebrating their successes and feeling frustrated with myself for not achieving more. While I feel good that over the last few years, I’ve shifted from feeling resentment to inspiration (your #5),now I’m going to add your 2nd step, forgiving myself for making the comparison. Thanks for that!

    The quote from Einstein is brilliant. It reminds me of a book that my coach recommended to me this week, The Gift in You, which describes 7 different types of human intelligences. Because each individual has a unique combination of the 7, every person’s gift is different and valid.

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Lori ~ It seems like we are on similar paths when it comes to taming the comparison beast!!!! Adding every little step makes the beast MUCH smaller when it rears it’s ugly head. And, I’ll have to take a look at that book! I just L O V E books like these. THank you!! KEEP SMILNG

    [Reply]

    Comment by Lori Nash Byron — November 6, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  6. Oh, yes. I was just indulging in a little comparison myself! But I find that sometimes I can get inspired and motivated when I see someone else accomplishing what I want to be doing. Other times, I just fold in on myself and feel like a big fat failure.

    One thing about forgiveness. I find it so helpful to forgive myself for thinking “I can’t” “I’m not” or “Everyone gets to have but me…” THIS is what I need to forgive because it’s not only untrue, it’s self-abusive.

    Great post!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Nancy~ you are so right….I do find inspiration from my comparisons but usually if the person is way ahead of me on my perceived ladder of success. If they are only a teeny bit ahead, I have been known to crash in on my own efforts. And, no doubt, everyone has done this. The “I can’ts” or “I wish I could’s” or the “Why not ME” < my personal favorite > thoughts really are the best self-sabotaging words around. You Can, You are and You do 🙂 KEEP SMILING

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nancy Tierney — November 6, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  7. Laura,
    Thanks so much for your post! I think we all have struggled with the toxic comparison syndrome 🙂 I know I have…I compare against colleagues who began in business about the same time I did but have stayed the course more digilently than I and have the success to show for it. But I remind myself that we each have our own path. I just love your ideas, especially the success box! I’m going to make one up tomorrow. You sparked an idea for me – I think I will type my successes into individual emails and use “delay send” to let them pop up “randomly” in my email inbox.
    Thanks again!
    Sandi Gordon

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Oh, Sandi!!! It IS a syndrome, isn’t it 🙂 Our journeys are so our own and comparing is like apples to oranges. AND, I LOVE your idea of the delay send and randomness of reminders to us of what others think~ I may just jump on that train too 🙂 Thank you! KEEP SMILING

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sandi Gordon — November 6, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  8. Laura, this is great. I so have had this experience and love your gentle way of addressing this. I’m bookmarking this and will come back again. Good lessons.

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Laurie ~ i don’t know anyone who has not had this experience, right? Glad you liked the ‘lesson’ of this. We so need to remember how WONDERFUL we all are in those moments of self doubt 🙂 KEEP SMILING

    [Reply]

    Comment by Laurie Erdman | Chronic Wellness Coach — November 7, 2012 @ 7:38 am

  9. This is wonderful Laura! I too fall prey to the nasty habit of comparing…but I love all your strategies! I’m glad to say that after many, many years, I’m finally turning the tables on this monster…! Yay!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Yeah, Sarada!!!!! It’s amazing how we all fall prey to this comparing stuff…..and it does take some time to train ourselves to STOP! Glad you are doing it 🙂

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sarada Chaudhuri — November 7, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  10. Laura what a great post and worth sharing… The suggestions you offer are so on point! Thanks for the insight!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Kelly~ You are welcome….so glad you found the post ‘on point’ KEEP SMILING

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kellyann Shaefer — November 7, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

  11. Laura, This was fantastic. I’ve been there so often, I love your idea of sending a card to the presenter (or whomever your envious of).

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Jane ~ Sending one from the heart really makes you so happy for them that in return makes you attractive and that makes you bring more of what you are looking for into your life!!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jane Lovas — November 7, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  12. Great advice, Laura. We all need a kick in the pants on this subject at least once a week. We are all individuals and we should embrace our magnificence, yes?

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Yes, Indeed, Ms. Phyllis!!!! It’s so easy to listen to everyone else’s opinions~including our own egos~ instead of listening to the TRUTH which is as you say, we are all magnificent 🙂

    [Reply]

    Comment by Phyllis Harbinger — November 10, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

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