Do you ever find yourself feeling down after talking to someone or checking their profile on social media? Well, this probably means that you are comparing yourself to others.
Before I had children, I didn’t use to compare myself to others very much. Well, thinking about it, I might have been too busy trying to be perfect then…
As a parent, not only do you tend to put yourself under pressure to achieve specific goals in parenthood that you had set before becoming a parent, but it can be very tempting to compare yourself to others. Just scrolling through your favorite social media feed showcasing happy family pictures, amazing holidays and cuteness overloaded love declarations while you are sitting in your yoga pants in the middle of your disorganized living room with your children fighting in the background can trigger some serious feelings of guilt and envy.
Why we compare ourselves to others
As I already mentioned, nowadays, it’s very easy to compare yourself with others as almost everybody displays their life in social media. However, we tend to forget that what people show on these channels is the shiny part of their lives – which we usually compare with our “behind-the-scenes”.
Why you should stop comparing yourself to others
There’s no benefit in comparison
It usually leaves us down, resentful and demotivated.
It’s a never-ending story
There will always be someone who does things differently and/or will be more successful at something than you.
Your journey (and theirs) is unique
You, your family and your life circumstances are different and cannot be fairly compared to others.
It might prevent you from taking the right decisions
As a parent, we have to be able to rely on our gut feeling. If we start comparing ourselves to others or listening to every single recommendation we are given, this might prevent us from trusting ourselves enough to take the right decisions for us and our family.
It might make you doubt or lose track of what you actually want
Sometimes, you think you know exactly how you want to handle a specific situation with your children and seeing how other parents handle it can make you doubt and lose your confidence.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why to stop comparing yourself to other parents. However, as we meet and interact with other families on a daily basis, it can seem very difficult to avoid. Here are some tips to help you.
What you can do to avoid comparing yourself to others
Try to notice as soon as you are starting to draw comparisons. Acknowledge that you are doing it and try to shift your thoughts to another topic. It might take some practice to achieve this (I’m still in the practicing phase…), but if you repeat the process systematically, you will start to see results.
Focus on what you have
Even though it’s human to pay attention to the things we don’t have, it’s not beneficial. Try to focus and be thankful for what you have already achieved. Consciously doing so, you often realize that you have much more than you thought which in turn automatically makes you feel better.
Free yourself from perfectionism
Accept that it’s OK to be imperfect and realize that your uniqueness is your individual contribution to the world. Be kind to yourself on your journey as a parent.
Avoid social media
Reduce your time on social media or at least avoid scrolling mindlessly through your feed to check on other people. This will help you focus on your own growth.
What you can do instead
Compete against yourself
Realize where you come from and what you have achieved. We often tend to oversee our small successes and obsess with milestones.
You could create a vision board or a wish list and get back to it after a few months to make yourself aware of what you have achieved. We tend to forget about small things once we have them.
Get inspired by others and do your own thing
Have mentors, read books, attend seminars, connect with parents with whom you share the same values or experiences and get inspired to create your unique success.
Even though it is very tempting to compare ourselves with others – especially with everybody displaying their shiny life on social media – with a bit of practice and self-confidence-boosting alternatives, you can save yourself the pain of comparison.