I don’t know about you, but when I compare myself to others I always feel drained, insecure, and unhappy and find myself creating stories about how I’m not good enough. These feelings build stress in my body and leave me unable to operate from a creative, empowered place. When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you aren’t focusing on yourself and everything you have to offer the world in your own unique way.

So it’s time to make the sometimes-difficult-but-very-necessary commitment to stop comparing yourself to others. The world needs your special gifts. Here are five steps to get you started:

1. Recognize that you’re comparing yourself to others.

The first step in letting go of comparison is to acknowledge you’re doing it. It won’t feel natural to focus only on yourself at first as we’re conditioned to compare ourselves and have others compare us to one another. But by being aware of what you’re doing, you can quickly dissolve any negative thoughts or feelings that may arise. Nip it in the bud and go back to embracing all you can offer the world instead.

2. Focus on all that you are rather than what you think you’re lacking.

Focus on how you can serve yourself, others, and the world. Celebrate others rather than feeling jealous and attacking them. When you attack another, you attack yourself. We’re each great in our own unique way. Celebrate the greatness in others and yourself.

When I catch myself comparing, I quickly say to myself, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I never want to feel joyless, so I immediately shift my thoughts and behavior. Try it!

3. Keep everything in perspective.

Some may envy that I live in New York and work full-time as a model. But I bet they don’t envy all the rejection I endure on a regular basis. I could envy friends and relatives for having wonderful spouses and adorable children. But I don’t envy the lack of sleep or immense sacrifices all parents must make.

We each have our own path, journey, unique personalities, and gifts to share with the world. If you’re too busy comparing yourself to other people, you might miss all the blessings put before you on your path.

4. Limit your time on social media.

Have you ever been having a perfectly great day only to scroll through your social media feeds and almost instantly feel horrible about yourself? I know I have on numerous occasions.

I remember sitting at the hair salon feeling relaxed and pampered, casually browsing my Instagram feed. Within seconds, I felt my energy plummet — I was comparing myself to other women who seemed to have it all (fancy careers, outfits, vacations).

These thoughts give rise to feelings that bring us down! We feel as though we can never measure up as women, mothers, daughters, friends, employees, etc. The message you’re sending yourself is I am not enough. I need to have more and be more to compete with my social media feed.

But you know what? That’s a bunch of crap. Someone is always going to be more physically attractive, smarter, wealthier, funnier. It doesn’t matter. What’s important are the unique gifts you and only you can bring to the table, and your special connections to others. Even the people you deem the most successful with enviable careers, relationships, wardrobes, and homes have bad days, trauma, and sadness in their lives.

5. Forgive yourself.

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to other people. Forgive yourself for this nasty habit we’ve all succumbed to, but stay committed to the intention that you’ll no longer do it.

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Originally published at www.mindbodygreen.com