by Amy Morin
As you take stock of everyone else’s success, you may begin to wonder how to feel good about yourself given your circumstances. However, comparing yourself to everyone else will interfere with your ability to reach your potential. Practice these 8 strategies to help you feel good about yourself without making any comparisons.
- Develop gratitude for what you have.
Instead of focusing on what others have that you don’t, focus on what you do have. If you have a jar of loose change somewhere in your home, you’re already more wealthy than many people on earth.
Develop gratitude for what you do have. Practice being thankful for all things big and small in your life and it will prevent you from feeling jealous about those who have more than you do. Each day try to list at least five things you are grateful for having in your life.
- Recognize that life isn’t fair.
Life isn’t meant to be fair. Humans aren’t dealt an equal and fair hand at birth. Instead, everyone is born into different circumstances with their own struggles.
As soon as you accept that life isn’t fair, you’ll stop wasting time and energy focusing on wishing things were different. Let go of the anger and frustration you feel when you encounter hardships and struggles. Instead, focus on what you can learn from going through difficult times.
- Resolve to compete with yourself only.
There will always be someone who is more attractive, has more money, and is more successful than you. Stop comparing yourself to them. Looking at them green with envy won’t change your situation.
The only person you need to compete with is yourself. Set out to improve who you are today compared to who you were yesterday. It’s the only way to truly gauge your progress.
- Change what you can, accept what you can’t.
Develop a plan to change what is within your control and accept what you cannot change. You may be able to lose 10 pounds; however, your genetic make-up may never allow you to be the world’s best body builder. Focus on what iswithin your control and give up trying to change the impossible.
- Develop clear goals.
One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to experience some success. Establish some clear, obtainable goals for yourself. Then, develop action steps that can help you work toward reaching your goals.
Consider goals to improve your health, your finances, your social life, or your relationships. Determine what you can do to make things better and develop a timeline for yourself. Once you have a timeline, you’ll increase the chances that you’ll actually make change.
- Take an honest look at why you don’t feel good about yourself.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, examine the reasons. For example, if you don’t treat people kindly or you steal from your boss, perhaps you shouldn’t feel good about yourself.
Take some time to truly examine the reasons why you don’t feel good. You may be able to help yourself recognize areas of your life where you need to make some changes that can help improve your self-image.
- Change your behavior.
Changing your behavior will change the way you feel. Be willing to try something new, regardless of whether you feel like it or not.
For example, if you spend your weekends sitting at home on the couch, it’s unlikely that you’ll suddenly feel good about yourself. However, if you join a new activity or take a class, you may meet new people, gain new skills, and recognize new talents that can help you feel better about yourself.
- Focus on making others feel good.
One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to do good deeds for others. Performing acts of kindness takes the focus off you and gives you more reasons to feel good. Volunteer at a nursing home, read to children in a hospital, or walk pets at the animal shelter and you’ll start focusing on what you can contribute to the world rather than wishing you could be like everybody else.
Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, psychology instructor, and speaker. Her book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do is on sale now. She’s frequently quoted in national media outlets. She also writes for Forbes and About.com. For more visit AmyMorinLCSW.com *This article originally appeared in forbes.com.