“Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine!”
– Jennie Finch
In part 1
we looked at the 9 benefits of not comparing yourself to others. In this article we will look at 9 things that you can do to stop the temptation of comparing yourself to others.
1. Just Stop
Be aware of when you are comparing yourself to another player and just stop doing it! Catching yourself in the act is the key, talk to yourself, “I am comparing my worth on something meaningless, that is not fair and not accurate, so stop!” Positive self talk is a positive tool that works very well!
2. Realize That You’re Unique
There are not two people in the world who are exactly alike. We are all different, recognize and celebrate your uniqueness! Recognize and understand that we all develop our sports skills and life skills at different rates. There will always be athletes that are behind us and ahead of us in their development, appreciate the differences. Keep a journal of your successes. This will keep the focus on you and will avoid comparisons to others. Be proud and be humble of all your accomplishments.
3. Compare Yourself to You First
Compare yourself to you, not others, self-comparison is the only fair comparison. Find the areas of your game that you need to improve and make a list of the weaknesses then create a plan on how to improve in these specific areas. Work at being a better you every day!
4. Attitude of Gratitude
Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Start to notice all your positive attributes and avoid focusing on the things you do not have. Keep a gratitude journal, write in detail about all you have gratitude for, don’t just make a grocery list. Start your day in a positive way by avoiding social media and emails. Instead read an inspirational book, read inspirational quotes, meditate and visualize your day and your successes. Don’t let others set the tone for your day, you take control.
5. Take it Easy on Yourself
Your accomplishments don’t have to be ever-increasing, as some days you won’t do so well. On those days it just will not be your day and that’s okay. If you didn’t meet your goal today, or if you were too tired to work out, it’s okay. Beating yourself up will just make you feel worse. When you are easy on yourself, you will have no stress, gain more confidence and be more willing to go the extra mile when times get tough.
6. You Win, I Win, We Win
Celebrate each other’s strengths and achievements. We are all interconnected, as a team, a community, and the human race. What is good for you is good for me, if you win, I win. We all will benefit from each other’s successes.
7. Enjoy The Present
Stay in the present moment (where your feet are planted now), the here and now. Start where you are, with what you have and do it to the best of your ability. If your mind wanders and you start comparing yourself again, there are several exercises you can do to stay in the present moment, here is one: focus on your breath, breathe in on a 4 count, hold on a 2 count and breath out on a 4 count, repeat 10 times.
8. Start Competing
How hard you compete is directly within your control. Find ways in which you can compete harder, such as:
- How much extra can you do before and after practice? How many extra shots, how much extra work on skills?
- How much energy do you bring to practice?
- What do you do to become a good teammate?
- Don’t compare your playing time with other players, compete hard with the time you play and don’t complain.
- Come to the rink/court/field with the right attitude
- Push yourself to skate faster, shoot harder, and to learn to grow based on your own past experiences — not someone else’s.
Stop comparing yourself to others and move forward. No more excuses. You have put in tons of work and time to be the best, stop wasting your time and energy by comparing yourself. Be the best version of yourself.
Changing habits takes time. Be mindful of the 9 tips and techniques outlined in this article, work hard at mastering these techniques and you will be a better person. When you stop comparing yourself to others, you will achieve greatness.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh