Welcome to episode number 3 of the Fulfilling Life Series! Today, it’s about something really important if you want to improve or change your life. I will give you some tips to stop living for others and stop comparing yourself. What a program!
Before going through today’s episode, here’s what you can learn from the previous episodes. In episode number one, I gave you some tips and tricks to uplevel your life in a minimum amount of time.
And in episode number 2, I gave the list of my 5 most favorite self-help books that really changed my life. In this episode, there are some mind-blowing lessons I learned over the years. And I think that you don’t know one of these books. So don’t forget to check 😉
So without a transition, let’s get into it.
So first of all, I want to be clear about living for others and living for yourself.
Living for others
Living for others means you’re setting goals based on what others want for you, like your parents or your friends. It’s also because you want to fit in the social model in terms of what looks successful to other people.
Living for others also means to please others, to get approval from others. You’re not an authentic self in these moments. You’re doing things because you care about how you appear to others. A good example here could be when you choose your university or your future job. It’s often because your parents told you it’s a good pathway with a high-paid job in the end.
You have to realize you live for others before trying to live for yourself. It’s difficult to realize this and I think it’s even more difficult when it’s like a bomb in your life and you realize that you didn’t choose anything in your life since you’re born. If you don’t realize you live for others, it would be difficult to live for yourself. So the sooner the better.
Living for yourself
Living for yourself means you live a life you design, a life you want.
Living for yourself means putting your own standards, it’s your own definition of success. It’s really up to you and you really have to know yourself first. Know yourself, know what you want, and sometimes what you don’t want. You can’t predict which experiences will make you happy because everything your brain knows is from past experience. That’s why it’s super important when it’s possible to explore, to learn new things, to meet new people. You really don’t know if you would love to make Youtube videos before making one.
When you want to create your dream and fulfill life, stopping comparing yourself with others is one of the first steps. You have to start letting go and stop caring about what people think about you.
Comparing ourselves with others is something everybody does, but it’s detrimental for our mental health, it makes us feel not enough, behind, not worthy. So it’s important to become aware of this, to know when we start to compare and most importantly why we do this.
Social media has a huge role in this. It becomes so easy to compare ourselves with the image of the perfect life, perfect body. Because it’s so easy to make your highlights online. Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to put ourselves down online, we just want to show our best selves. But when you see other people’s highlights, you can ask yourself “what I’m doing with my life?”
Maybe you feel good about yourself, you had small wins, for example, a good grade, you ran for the first time of your life or whatever and then you open social media and you see this perfect girl with the perfect body and she has the time to run every single day. And you’re like “well in comparison what I did was not as cool as what she did.” And you feel bad because you’re not enough in comparison with these people.
I’m not saying that comparison is bad, sometimes it gives you the energy to surpass yourself, to start something new, or even change your life but we need to be careful doing it because it can hurt us. You can be inspired by people and it could give you the energy to push yourself and to improve your life. If it’s what you feel, keep going to be inspired by these people. But if you don’t, try the following tips.
Before going through this lesson, here is a quote I really love:
“Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle” from Jon Acuff.
This is so true and it’s a quote I like to remind myself each week because it’s too easy to compare yourself with people who are way ahead.
So here’s what you can do to stop comparing yourself with others and to live for yourself?
Okay I know it’s cliché. But there is space for everybody. The success, the beauty or the skills of someone doesn’t diminish who you are. There would be always someone ahead of you. But it’s not because this person is ahead of you in a domain that he’s ahead in another one. Everybody is different, with different skills, different pathways and it’s okay if someone is more successful in one domain. Maybe it’s not the case for another part of his life. Actually, we learned so much to compare ourselves with others, with our siblings, our family, and even our peers at school that it’s difficult to support each other. But life doesn’t have to be a competition. We need to support each other.
So try to think about this. And be content with where you are right now. If you do small steps every day, you’ll go far!
Learn to love yourself and to live aligned with your values
It’s a huge path to learn yourself. But the truth is that you don’t need to love every part of yourself to stop comparing yourself with others. You have your own values and your own priorities. And if you’re aligned with that and you go in a direction that seems the best for you, it’s so much easier to stop comparing yourself.
This is something I learned over the years and it’s still difficult sometimes but when you’re sure about your decisions when you know what you want and you know yourself, you use the comparison to improve yourself and not to bring you down. When you see someone on social media, you can tell: “Okay this person chose this pathway and these priorities but it’s not who I am so I prefer to choose this pathway and this priority”. We’re all in a different situation and our priorities are so different. So when you start to compare, try to ask yourself what is your priority right now and use that as a motivator.
The only person you need to compare yourself to is your older self because you have to try to be better than yesterday, every day.
Be aware of your comparison time
Try during the next few days to write down in your journal or whatever when you compare yourself to others, on social media, with a friend, or with someone from your family. Try as much as possible to ask yourself: what did you think at the exact time? What words come through your mind? It could be “she has a really great house with a lot of space and I don’t have enough space to do my workout…” or it could be “she’s so smart and so successful, she seems to be always busy and she has a ton of money. I can’t do anything because I don’t have enough money and I’m not successful at all…”
When you finish doing this, you can turn these sentences into positive ones, sentences that will help you. For example for the first sentence, you could turn it into: “I have a small rent so I can save a lot of money, and having a small space makes me go outside more often”.
Why it’s important to do this:
- Because you need to be aware of your thoughts
- Because you need to realize that you want to change and you’re already going to change.
Know what you want in your life
I realize that the more I was advancing on my journey, the less I compared myself to others and the more I advanced in my own rhythm, by trying to get out of my comfort zone a little bit. I needed to compare myself to others to find the courage and the motivation to move on and to improve myself.
The more you know what you want and the less you’ll compare yourself. And I’ll tell you why. When you know what you want, you have a direction to follow. And most of the time, you start to compare yourself to move on, to be inspired, and not to diminish you. You’re so sure of yourself and you know yourself so much that you know your strengths, your fears and you’re confident with your decisions.
I also did something that radically changes my way of using social media. I unfollow all the people I feel were toxic for me and made me feel behind and not enough. Now I only follow people that make me move forward, that inspired me. I don’t want to be surrounded by people who make me feel guilty about my weight, about my business, or people who make the peak of busyness.
Tell me in the comments below if you have any techniques to stop comparing yourself with others and live your own life, I would love to know!