When’s the last time you were hanging out with friends and thought, “Wow, she’s got killer style!” or “Bro’s got his shit together” or even “Man, I wish I could flirt like that!” More often than not, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. To our friends, our colleagues, our siblings, even perfect strangers. And the majority of the time, we don’t measure up. Not cool. Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s a recipe for unhappiness, constant dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem.
Now, I’m not saying it’s easy to turn off your inner critic, but I’ve come to discover that no matter who you’re admiring for whatever it may be, it’s also likely that this individual is doing the same thing—admiring something about someone else (or maybe even you). So, the next time you find yourself longing for a date that’s as hot as the one your best mate just landed, or wishing you were as pretty as the girl sitting across from you on the train, take note. And then realize that you’ve got some pretty great qualities yourself. Think of yourself from an outsider’s perspective. What things might they admire about you? What traits of yours might someone else wish they possessed?
Focus on the positive things you’ve got going on for yourself. Embrace the things about yourself that others often appreciate about you. Let’s stop being so hard on ourselves and instead focus on what makes us unique, what makes us who we are, what makes us beautiful to others. It might sound über cheesy, sure. But I can guarantee that this shift in perspective will help.
It doesn’t mean tooting your own horn and inflating your ego to the point where you actually start to become straight up annoying, though.
It means truly appreciating yourself and recognizing all the great things you have to offer, instead of always focusing on what you don’t have and how you compare (or don’t compare) to everyone around you.
It’s an exercise worth doing every now and again. You might find it boosts your mood and boosts your sense of self, your sense of confidence and your own sense of self-worth over the long-term. That leads to one killer positive snowball effect! You feel more confident, you’ll be more sure of yourself and you’ll start to feel like you can just be yourself without hesitation. You can speak up in situations where you might not have before. You can stand up for someone else when you might previously have felt powerless. And you will learn to stop putting yourself down. You’ll be able to appreciate everyone’s beauty and strengths, just as much (not more than) your own. It’s a much nicer way to go about you day!
In this crazy world where we’re constantly blasted with photos of our friends on Facebook and Instragram seemingly one-uping us in life, and continuously inundated with images of “perfect” men and women in online ads, magazines, movies and TV, there’s a lot of us who just might need this little reminder. And for those of you that have it under control, why not help a friend, a sibling or a colleague get there. Give them the “outsider perspective” they need. It’s quite possibly one of the most generous things you can do.
What makes you feel the most confident?