Do you often feel inferior to others? Do you read the magazines and think, “This person is so much better than me…”? Do you see others as superior to you just because they have the spotlight, or because you have told yourself that they are superior? Do you see someone who is better looking, fitter, more successful, in a happy relationship, wealthier… and feel inferior?
Here are a few tips so you can stop feeling “less than” and start to really appreciate yourself.
1. Don’t focus on your mistakes! It’s easy to see others as superior when you make mountains out of your own mistakes. We all make mistakes and you must forgive yourself and stop punishing yourself for your mistakes just as you would forgive others. You wouldn’t make their insignificant mistakes into mountains, making them feel unreasonably guilty, worthless and not good enough. We all have human imperfections and we all deserve another chance. Learn to give yourself the chance you would give a friend.
2. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have that they have, look for things in common. What do you have, that they also have? This can still invite negative comparison but it will also help you train yourself to look for the positive.
3. Give them your unconditional love and compassion. You can do this in meditation. First, think about this: What if the person you so admire is super-successful in one area but in the process, they’ve destroyed their relationships? What if their health is far worse? What if they have inner pain that you do not know anything about, that they hide very well? Then, send them unconditional love. Be truly happy for their success. Appreciate that they motivate you to become better in some ways. Be glad that you noticed them and that in some way, they are part of your life. Finally, send love and appreciation right back to yourself. Appreciate everything that makes you uniquely you. Nobody is better at being you!
4. Work on yourself. If you resent someone because they are more talented… could it be that they just work harder at honing their skills? Spend more energy improving what you know can be improved – skills and knowledge – and appreciate yourself for your continued growth! I do not mean artificially “enhancing” your physical looks to match some ideal – that’s superficial and will not lead to lasting happiness. Instead, work on yourself from inside. SHOW yourself love, by making the best choices for you… speak kindly to and about yourself (just imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of someone’s jealousy – it hurts!)… and treat yourself with the utmost respect.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop. Change what you can… accept what you cannot… and appreciate what you bring to this life that nobody else can. In meditation, a great mantra to use is “I love myself.” Say that over and over and over again and feel your heart expand with the pure light of love and gratitude! It’s not said in a narcissistic way, but genuinely, with unconditional love and appreciation. Think about how terribly boring the world would be if we all had “perfect” bodies and the same talents, likes and dislikes, viewpoints, knowledge and skills. Celebrate your uniqueness. Celebrate diversity. And, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have and how you can improve the world with your talents, skills and expertise. There IS some way you can change the world, even if it’s a little at a time! It’s important, and nobody can do it quite like you!