Self-confidence and comparing yourself to others are more intricately linked than you might think.
When you notice something that seems particularly desirable about another woman’s appearance, achievements, personality, attitude, or other personal attribute, do you stop and appreciate her for it?
If you’re like most women, you probably don’t.
If you’re like most women, you probably have an automatic tendency to make a mental comparison of her against yourself to identify where you fall short.
How Evolution Plays a Role in Social Comparison
It turns out that there are two main evolutionary theories why women seem to be programmed to compare themselves other women:
First, there’s the theory that women — being the childbearing sex — may have some sort of predisposition that causes them to feel the need to protect themselves (and therefore their wombs) from physical harm.
Second, the biological need to procreate spurs a natural desire to find a mate with the best genes, and that means competition against other women who want the same.
Of course, these days, the complexity of the human brain and modern cultural influencers take female social comparison far beyond the drive to reproduce.
Constant comparison, however, is a regrettable misuse of the brain — and yet every woman has the power to rectify it.
It all depends on one simple skill: the capacity to be mindful of your own thoughts and feelings.
1. Realize that comparing yourself unfavourably to other women is the quickest way to zap happiness.
Mindfulness is nothing other than the mental state of being totally aware of whatever’s happening in the present moment.
When you find yourself comparing another woman to yourself, and actually stop to notice that it makes you feel badly, you essentially open up the doors to realizing that you have a choice to start reacting differently.
Every woman wants to be happy.
Try journaling, meditating, or some compassionate self-talk when you’re alone.
This will help you explore and contemplate the reality that you have the freedom to change your perspective.
2. Practice becoming more aware of the uniqueness of every woman.
You can change your bad habit of comparing yourself to other women by consciously replacing it with a more positive thought process.
Mindfulness will help you become aware of the fact that every woman is far too complex to make a fair comparison against another woman, and you can use this truth to your advantage.
So every time you notice yourself making an automatic comparison against another woman, don’t beat yourself up for it.
Use it as a trigger to shift your thinking toward picking one unique attribute you appreciate about her just because it’s uniquely hers — not yours, and not anyone else’s.
3. Seek to understand what you feel instead of judging yourself.
We often make judgments automatically in a split second.
Instead of allowing yourself to get sucked into automatic judgments like “I’m not as attractive as her” or “I wish I had her confidence,” simply take notice of them, and then question why that judgment occurred.
Accept the judgment, and then mindfully observe your thoughts and emotions that occur after making it.
For example, if you judge your lack of confidence badly after comparing yourself to another confident woman, you could dig deeper and discover that your struggle with self-confidence and comparing yourself to others is tied to a past event in childhood that was emotionally traumatic — perhaps the root cause that really needs to be addressed.
4. Only compare past versions of yourself to the present version of yourself.
You have a unique genetic makeup, a unique set of past life experiences, and a unique spirit like no other.
Since nobody else comes even close to who you are, that makes you the only suitable candidate for comparison.
If you’re going to do any comparing at all, compare yourself from the past to the self that you are now.
Notice how much you’ve grown and improved.
And even if it appears you’ve gone backwards (such as by gaining weight, breaking up with someone, etc.), look for the lesson, because this too is a sure sign of growth and improvement.
5. Make a commitment to working on loving yourself for who you are right now.
It sounds corny, but self-love is the key to breaking free from the vicious cycle of comparing yourself to other women.
When you know deep down that you’re perfect just as you are right now, you also recognize that so is every other woman out there, and no comparison can even be made.
Self-love starts with self-compassion and self-acceptance.
Plain and simple.
Nobody is expected to go straight from having a poor relationship with themselves to a state of self-love, so instead, work on being kind to yourself and accepting every aspect of yourself as you are in this moment.
Eventually, you will learn to love yourself more.
Beat low self-confidence and comparing yourself to others by going beyond the jibber jabber in your mind.
The more you mindfully tune into those automatic comparisons you make, the closer you get to changing your mindset and your behaviors for good.