I'm guilty. I compare myself to others, especially impeccably-styled girls on Instagram and friends who seem to be perpetually on a Caribbean vacation. Envy is a dark emotion. Nothing can cut through a happy day like jealousy and comparison.
In my days of struggle with my body and self-acceptance, I constantly compared my "numbers" to the other girls in college. My numbers on the scale, my jeans size, and even my treadmill speed—you name it, I compared myself to the girl next to me. It was exhausting, especially the sprinting part.
Now that I'm a much happier girl, I'm able to stop comparing myself to others pretty quickly whenever I catch myself doing this. Here's how.
1. Remember your own unstoppable moment.
Social networks are hot spots for comparison. Pretty soon, you've got a bonfire of jealousy over friends' romantic engagements and promotions. What helps me is to remember my unstoppable moments, the ones when everything felt amazing. Like the time I recorded an album or when I completed my coaching certification. I felt really, really special on those days. Just recalling those moments helps me feel more positive, instantly. It also makes me feel warmer toward others' big moments. Don't we all deserve a badass accomplishment?!
2. Ask yourself, "Do I want that?"
Clearly, I want to go on a beach vacation. Anyone who posts photos of blue waters, beaches, and margaritas gets my attention. I click through every photo, examining how fantastic the resort is. Instead of internet stalking, I should probably start saving for my own beach vacation. It's time to stop denying the fact that I want something nice for myself.
What we are envious of often signals an unmet need or desire. So instead of staying in the space of comparison and jealousy move to a place of possibility. Allow yourself to think of ways to get what they have.
3. Appreciate your own good fortune.
The truth is, there are people out there comparing themselves to you right now. You're someone else's inspiration and motivation. Isn't that an incredible feeling? Relish that, and then pay it forward.
Be careful. Don't look down on people and get excited at how poorly things are going for them or about how much "better" you are. Think about ways you can reach out and give them a boost. I'm embarrassed to say there have been times when I took sick joy in seeing others fail. It feels gross to think that way.
Whenever someone reaches out to me to ask for advice, I do my best to help them accomplish whatever they need. I've come a long way from those days of envy. Ultimately my life has more space for joy now that I've realized the great quote byTheodore Roosevelt said: "Comparison is the thief of joy."