Often times when we discuss curbing one’s comparison, it’s usually in reference to our relationship or perception of others. Rarely do we look at the form of comparison that quite often weighs on us the most. Our tendency to compare ourselves to our “ideal self”.
This often manifests as a comparison to who you or others believe you “should” be, or clinging to the idea of who you used to be. Both of which can leave us feeling inadequate.
When we compare ourselves to who we believe we “should” be, nothing we ever do feels good enough. We’re in a constant state of lack. Blaming our shortcomings on the fact that we aren’t who we should have been, doing what we should have done, look the way society tells us is acceptable and so forth.
So instead of feeling motivated, we’re more likely to feel depleted or stuck. Paralyzed by the need to meet a certain standard, instead of forging a new path that aligns with who we are inside.
When we compare ourselves to who we used to be, we’re paralyzed in a different way. We’re constantly looking backward. Feeling guilty about no longer having an interest in the things we once loved, no longer hanging with the same people, having the same goals, etc. Essentially, feeling bad for our personal evolution.
As humans, the most constant thing in our lives is change. And sometimes it’s difficult to embrace the change we experience, both internally and externally, leaving us feeling lost or conflicted.
Similar to comparison with others, the comparison we have against our ideal self is rooted in our lack of contentment. We’re constantly looking forward or backward, instead of zeroing in on who and where we are right now. In order to curb this self-comparison and feel more grounded and fulfilled its important to…
Embrace your evolution.
For those constantly looking back and feeling guilty, confused, shameful, or lost because of the shift in your life path, it just means that you’ve evolved. As humans, we grow and adapt. Our minds change, our goals change. What stimulates our needs one week, may not the next, and it’s okay.
You owe it to yourself to continuously embrace your evolution. It may feel scary, especially if you’re someone who’s “always had it figured out” but the truth is, you’ll figure it out again. When we open our minds to the infinite possibilities life has to offer, we’re better able to see our fullest potential.
Lean into gratitude.
Gratitude is the key to unlocking your life’s joy. When we lean into gratitude, we are essentially telling the universe that we are here, we are present, and we are enough. When we express gratitude for the small things, it opens our hearts and minds to the bigger picture–that the most important time in our lives is right now.
Finding fulfillment in your now is the best way to curb self-comparison because you aren’t in dire need. You know you deserve more, you know that life is full of changes, but you’re better equipped to navigate it. You’re able to develop a path that better serves you because you’re concentrating on the steps you’re currently taking. Which leads into the next tip:
Find pride in the process.
When it comes to self-comparison, we fixate on who we want to be and the end goal more than how to actually get there. We bog ourselves down with the frustration of, “why can’t I just be … already?!” Instead of giving ourselves grace and compassion in our journey.
To check our comparison to our ideal self, we need to understand that we already are our ideal selves. The steps we’re taking currently are there to unearth that. So, when we don’t find pride in the process, we’re leaving this buried underneath our frustration, disappointment, and impatience.
Take a moment, pause, and look at your life. It may not be perfect, and you may have greater goals for yourself. But with self-compassion, gratitude, and directing your attention to what you can do here and now, you *will* achieve all you desire.