How to Stop Comparing and Let go of Jealousy
Let’s talk about comparisons and the negative feelings comparing ourselves to others evokes.
This subject has been discussed to death lately, but after the recent chat on my social media channels I have a few thoughts I think some people might benefit from.
I always feel like I need to start these kinds of posts by reminding you guys that I’m not a mental health professional. This is just me sharing some things that helped me personally in the hope that they’ll benefit you or someone else out there too. That said…
How do you feel when you see images of people with things you’d like to have yourself – a lifestyle, relationship, body, money, whatever?
If these images cause you to make comparisons with yourself and make you uncomfortable or jealous it might be a good idea to unfollow that person.
Unfollowing is Probably not Enough
Most of the advice I’ve seen on the issue of comparisons has been around the fact that social media can present an unrealistic image of the world and that we should unfollow accounts that make us unhappy.
This is good advice. But unfollowing alone will not stop you comparing and feeling those negative emotions again every time you see someone who has that thing you want. So, I recommend some inner work.
Sure Instagram doesn’t represent reality, but the fact remains that in life there ARE people out that who really do have things that we want. That’s just how the dice roll, we’re never going to escape from this.
So I believe what we really need to do is learn healthier ways to deal with the feelings that come up when we see people who have what we want. We need to go deeper than unfollowing, we need to do some inner work to free ourselves from the pain of jealousy and/or self-criticism triggered by comparisons.
Inner Work to Stop Comparisons & Jealousy
First of all know this – these feelings and negative reactions are not mandatory.
You do not HAVE to feel pain or jealousy when you see these images and you do not have to keep comparing them to yourself.
Sure the feelings are “normal”, in that most of us get them, but it is possible for us to get to a place where we don’t have them, or at least not nearly as often or as strongly.
You can even get to point where you feel happy to see that another person has nice things in their lives. But that might be way down the line. Firstly you simply want to not to have to feel unhappy about it.
This blog post can only skim the surface of the inner work required, but essentially it starts from cultivating an attitude around these two facts:
1. That person did not steal the thing you want from you and them having it does not diminish you in any way. Everything in your life is still exactly as it was before you saw this image.
2. Negative feelings of either jealousy directed outward, or self-criticism directed inward, will not help get you what you want.
Jealousy and Comparisons are Fautly Thinking
Remember, every emotion we have is meant to help us in some way. But sometimes we get our wires crossed a little. In this case, the root is the subconscious belief that the pain of these feelings will make us more motivated to get what we want – the stick that drives us towards the carrot.
But the truth is the opposite – jealousy and self-criticism are hugely disempowering and demotivating.
Think about this, who is more likely to succeed in getting that thing you want – someone happy within themselves who does not begrudge others having it, or someone tightly coiled with jealousy, resentment and low self-esteem?
You can’t Always get What you Want
Of course, it’s not always possible for us to get what we want. Again, the route to relief from the pain this brings starts with letting go of jealousy and/or self-criticism and realising that you do not need this thing in your life to be happy.
With this in mind those “triggering” images can become a juicy opportunity for you to work on letting go and taking steps towards a happier more fulfilled you.
I know this mindset is easier to talk about than it is to adopt, and I’m not saying I’m perfect at it, far from it. But I can tell you from my own inner work that starting from simply taking these facts on board is an important step towards healing those comparison hurts and feeling happier in ourselves and our lives.
Why is this on a Fitness Blog?!
By they way, this might seem a weird post from a fitness trainer, but actually this stuff can be really important when it comes to fitness.
If we are in the habit of comparing our fitness performance and/or the condition and/or shape of our bodies to others resulting in self-criticism or jealousy, this causes a multitude of struggles in our fitness journey – low motivation, procrastination, over-thinking, “weak thoughts”, etc.
I’ve found that the more I progress in letting go of negative comparisons and feelings of jealousy the more I enjoy my training and the more I thrive. And that’s what I want for you too.
Shall we go Deeper?
I hope the advice I’ve shared here will help a little. If you’d like me dive deeper into this leave a comment on my Instagram or Facebook page to let me know. If a lot of you guys want more from me on subjects like this I’m happy to write more.
Remember, you can come workout with me in my real-time videos anytime you like in my online gym. Join now, free!