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  • Writer's pictureDeirdre Maloney


The development of digital media has created an intense comparison lens from which we tend to measure our personal self worth. In recent history, we could simply close the glossy magazine that was making us feel insecure. We are now continually surrounded by 24/7 noise coming from our smartphones, news channels and social platforms.

Comparing ourselves to others is a toxic yet addictive habit. It can be a difficult routine to break when we are surrounded by cues to do so within the media we consume and even with the friends we spend time with. In order to lead a happy and balanced life, we must disentangle ourselves from the self-esteem crushing habit of comparison.

Here are 5 healthy non-comparison habits to encourage self-accepting happiness:

Declutter negative influences. From who we spend time with to the foods we eat, everything impacts our self-esteem and wellbeing. Consider how you spend the majority of your time. Who and what make you feel good? Who encourages you to be the best you can be? Use these clues to remove any negatives, leaving room for crucial positivity.

Let go of comparison culture. The online world can falsely lead us to believe we need to keep up with trends, peers and colleagues. You don’t need to be anyone but the incredible person you already are. Focus on evolving in the direction that feels right for you, not anyone else.

Unplug from triggers. Looking at edited images of unrealistic beauty standards will only flatten your mood. Unfollow the accounts that cause stress and replace mindless scrolling with creative activities, such as coloring. You’ll be amazed at how simple swaps can improve emotional balance.

Be generous with self-love. Life can be challenging and we need to be kind to ourselves to thrive. Who better to offer you round the clock cheerleading support than yourself? Fall in love with who you are. Soon, you will no longer need the external validation of other people to feel good. Empowered with the ability to truly believe in ourselves makes us unstoppable.

Practice zero-judgment. Create a habit of consciously pausing whenever you find yourself tempted to judge yourself or someone else. Take a deep breath and roll back those shoulders. Acknowledge the thought before letting it pass you by. It’s irrelevant to your journey now.

We are all walking on individual paths. We all have days when we feel unsure—yes, even the people you might have idolized previously. Every tomorrow is another chance to cultivate more of the life you want to live. Why limit yourself by worrying about what everybody else is doing, or what anyone else thinks of you?

Your unique experiences have brought you to exactly where you are today. There is nobody else on the planet like you. You’re one of a kind, which is something to celebrate rather than to hide away from. You are gloriously, imperfectly, wonderfully you.

Now—go out there and make the most of who you are. The world is waiting!

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