How can students stop comparing themselves to others?

If you look around at everyone else in college, you’ll start thinking about how they’re so much better than you (they probably aren’t and are most likely thinking the exact same thing when they look at you!). Here starts the problem and you start comparing yourself to the people around you instead of focusing on your own goals. So, how can students stop comparing themselves to others?

Shifting your perspective and detouring from certain activities can help keep you away from comparing yourself to others. Limiting your time on social media can do wonders and so can gratitude journaling. There are various ways to get out of this feeling of this comparison-based low confidence. Let’s go!

How to Kick Comparison and Envy?

If you think that I’m just here to give you tips without knowing what this feels like, you’re wrong. I’ve been through my very own phases of feeling like a ”nobody” only because I felt like everyone else was at least a ”somebody”. This was particularly true in my college days where everyone else always looked perfect and did better than me. Did you catch the problem phrase yet? If you haven’t, here it is — “Everyone else”. I’d never want anyone else to feel that way so here are some tips that can help.

1. Change Your Perspective

Compare yourself to your older versions instead of comparing yourself to others around you. It’s best to maintain a journal listing your everyday activities. From attending college to playing football or reading a book to learning a new skill or volunteering for work, mention everything that you do to develop yourself.

Every month, go back and read. You’ll be surprised at the progress you make! Strive to be better than you were before. This helps boost your confidence by kicking envy’s butt as your only comparison point is you.

Key takeaways from this point:

  • When you compare yourself only with you, your progress becomes measurable. Every time you achieve a milestone, you get a confidence boost!

  • Writing your activities in a journal is a great habit for developing goal setting habits in the future too.

  • When you’re choosing your activities, you’ll discover many hidden talents and interests. Unlock that treasure inside you!

2. Limit Your Social Media Time

The world of internet rules our lives and of course, it has some of the best things to offer but what about the self-doubts that start clouding our minds? We think other people have a perfect life while we’re struggling every day to even get our hair done right. According to a study by National Institute of Health, spending more than 3 hours per day on social media can put you at heightened risk for mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems.

So, what do we do about this?

Let’s avoid the urge to compare ourselves with others by using a logical method rather than a purely motivational one — Limit your time on social media. How do you do that? Fix only 20-30 minutes a day for your social media browsing. In those 30 minutes, focus on seeing posts that are related to your hobbies or interests, the ones that teach you something valuable. Spending less time on social media means you see fewer irrelevant posts and the result — less comparison in your head. Easy!

Key takeaways from this point:

  • It’s important to note that them having something that you don’t, doesn’t mean you’re worthless.

  • Spend more time in the real world than the virtual one. Talk to people than just seeing their pictures. It could all be smokes and mirrors.

  • Over time you’ll realize that appreciating people for who they are rather than comparing yourself with them for what they have, can help you learn from them. Follow people who inspire you!

3. Practice Gratitude

Maintain a gratitude journal. You can choose from the many apps available in the App store or just put pen to paper. Gratitude is often talked about but seldom practised and if you really want to do it diligently, don’t do it in your head. Write down at least five things you’re grateful for every day. It can be the smallest of things that we take for granted the most so pay attention!

And how will practising gratitude help? When you compare yourself with others, you’re only seeing what they have while practising gratitude can keep you under the realization of what you have too. Being grateful for everything you have can help you know and value yourself and your life more. The best part? Gratitude also keeps you humble.

Key takeaways from this point:

  • Practising gratitude can give you a surprising count of the number of amazing things in your life!

  • Gratitude helps you maintain your humility.

  • Writing down in your gratitude journal can be an eye-opening experience where you’ll realize that you have what so many others don’t. Valuing what you have is a great comparison killer.

Start Small to Kick Comparison Out in a Big Way

If you can’t do all of this at once, don’t worry! Take your time. Start with one of these activities if you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with keeping up with too many journals. Here’s a trick to do all of these comparison-killing activities — maintain just one journal and divide it into sections. Besides boosting your confidence and helping you enjoy a more productive college life, these activities also help you gear up for the future. Ten years from now you can compare that version of yourself to this version and I’m already celebrating your growth!