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SALT LAKE CITY — Life is a complicated and messy endeavor. In LIFEadvice, Life Coach Kim Giles is here to help you with simple, principle-based solutions to the challenges you face. Coach Kim will empower you to get along with others and become the best you.
I have always compared myself to others, way too much. How do I stop, and how do I stop letting what other people think of me matter so much?
Comparing yourself to others means you haven’t claimed your power to decide how you will value yourself. Without an internal source of self-esteem, you are letting other people — and how you compare to them — determine your value.
You can continue to let other people determine how you feel about yourself if you want to, but I wouldn't recommend it. You can change the way you value yourself right now by changing your perspective.
You can learn a lot about low self-esteem from watching ABC’s "The Bachelor": It is a perfect case study on what not to do. Many of the women on this show (even the beautiful ones) are desperately in need of external validation because they don’t know who they are, either.
These women let this one guy and his interest in them determine their value as a human being. They take rejection way too personally, and this lack of self-worth leads to some pretty immature behavior.
These women also spend too much time comparing themselves to each other. If they find fault in another woman (and see her as worse than them) they feel OK, but if another girl is at all pretty, fun or nice, she is seen as a threat, and this creates more insecurity and fear.
This fear, the fear of not being good enough, is the single most damaging fear you experience. You must put this fear to rest and stop letting outside influences determine your value.
Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy because you are a completely unique, irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind being on a very personal journey of growth and learning. You are incomparable on every level.
It would be like comparing a raspberry, grape, strawberry, peach and mango and trying to decide which was best. Their qualities are so different you cannot compare them. You are incomparable, amazing and divine, and it is time for you to own that.
But you have a subconscious voice of fear in your head that is going to keep trying to compare you to others and keep you in fear. You are going to have to wake up, catch yourself doing this and stop it. You can choose a different way to value who you are. This is not difficult but will take some practice.
Below are five things you can practice choosing, which will help.
- Recognize the truth about who you are. You are an incomparable, irreplaceable, infinitely valuable human being on a unique and personal journey of growth. Life is a classroom, not a test, so your value is not on the line here. This means that you cannot fail. You are good enough right now.
- Choose to see other people as the same as you. The voice of fear in your head sees other people as either better than you or worse than you. This tendency creates a lot of unnecessary drama in your life. You can choose to see everyone as an amazing, imperfect, irreplaceable human being in process just like you. When you do this, you will eliminate most of the self-pity and insecurity you experience around other people.
Focus more on other people than yourself. When you focus on giving attention, validation and love to other people, your fears about not being good enough disappear. You cannot experience love and fear at the same time. When you find yourself comparing or worrying about what others think, change your focus to love instead. The more you do this, the more you will like who you are. 3. Improve your response-ability. You can improve your ability to respond to situations in your life by reading self-help books, attending seminars, or working with a life coach or counselor. When you learn to handle life with more maturity, strength and wisdom, you will like who you are even more.
- Be responsible. Take an honest inventory of where in life you are shirking responsibility, playing small or letting fear stop you from being the best you can be. Recognize these areas and commit to change them. Working on these five things will change how you feel about yourself, and it will also change how other people see you. People are drawn to those who know who they are, know where their value comes from, and who don’t let outside influences take that away from them.
Insecurity and neediness are not attractive.
Make a new rule in your head, that comparing yourself with other people is not allowed. When you catch yourself going there, stop it. Choose to value yourself accurately.
Remember, your real value comes from your love for life, yourself and others; your character; and your values. It does not come from your appearance, your weight or what other people think of you — these things are irrelevant.
Stop worrying about your clothes and your hairdo and go get them with your love. Everywhere you go, choose to be a source of love and validation in the room and trust that your value isn’t in question. These small changes will change everything.
You can do this.
*Kimberly Giles gives her advice in the "LIFEadvice" series every Monday on ksl.com. She is the president of Claritypoint Life Coaching and a sought-after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing self-esteem. Listen to her Self Esteem CPR Workshop at www.claritypointcoaching.com.**