One of the nastiest ways we can feel bad about ourselves is when we compare our bodies, minds, and accomplishments to others. There will always be someone younger and prettier, smarter and older, or stronger and faster. So what! You have to ask yourself what truly matters. What will you focus on in this life? Your accomplishments or those belonging to another?
I learned the bad habit of comparing way back in elementary school when I compared my status to my peers. In my mind my hand me down clothes, high-water pants, and glasses made me less cool than the pretty girls and the athletic boys. I started down a path of believing and thus being less than others. Because what we believe becomes true wether it is or not. Sadly, I followed that belief through puberty, my early twenties, and all the way to 30. What I picked up was low self-esteem, debt from unhealthy retail therapy, and friends who I constantly wanted to be more like. All this was at the cost of not pursuing my own talents and practicing self-love. It was also a zip line to depression.
Nowadays I rarely compare my life to others, the thoughts occasionally pop into my mind until I become conscious of my suddenly negative outlook. At this point I can stop myself fast, but it took a lot of practice to learn how. This isn’t a super secret, it’s simply choosing not to compare and focusing on who I am and what I can do.
- Live in the present. Don’t compare where you are to where you want to be. Challenge yourself to accomplish goals that are important to you, not goals that society defines as important. Learn what your strengths are and use those to get what you want out of life.
- Be aware of your weaknesses. This is important because when we consciously make an effort to say no to unwanted requests or stop addicting behavior, then we have more time to spend on positives. When you start down the path of self-doubt or regret, stop and change those to positive affirmations and focus on lessons learned.
- Focus on self care; you’ll feel and look your best when you have emotional and physical balance. Eat healthier food and pay attention to how your body feels. What put in and on our bodies affects our physical health and in turn our mental state. Check to see if your personal care products are toxic and rethink that bag of artificially flavored fried chips. Get moving! I know how my depression worsened when I laid in bed or sat around all day.
This action takes time to master, but it’s worth every moment. Once you start feeling good about yourself you won’t want to go back. The downside to changing our lifes is we often have to leave behind people who refuse to change theirs. How many times have you gone along with something because your family, friend or partner was and you wanted to be with them? This doesn’t mean you will have to leave everyone behind. Some of your cherished ones will eventually grow along with you and be able to understad your new self.
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