We all do it... but it's really not good for us.

Think of the last time you scrolled through your Instagram feed and thought to yourself,“This girl literally travels the world, has the perfect wardrobe, the perfect hair and the perfect boyfriend. And, said boyfriend/photographer is always there to capture every perfect moment. HOW is this real life? If only I did things that were more interesting…”

Sound familiar? In an age of filters and curated feeds, it’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s highlight reel. And when you do, you might wonder why your life suddenly looks dull in comparison. And there it is. That word. Comparison.

Maybe you’re trying to start your own business but growth is slow, and you’re scratching your head, wondering why it’s not as successful as a friend of yours, who started her business around the same time.

Maybe you pulled several all-nighters studying for finals, and were happy with your B, but then found out your roommate got an A and now your grade doesn’t seem worthy of celebrating.

Maybe you eat healthy 90% of the time, exercise frequently, but still don’t feel like you look as good as the girls in the magazines you read.

Maybe you’re single and feel like all of your friends are in relationships. Or, maybe you’re in a relationship and it feels like all of your friends are getting engaged.

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No matter which industry you’re in, where your passions lie or what path you’re on, there will come a time when you compare where you’re at to where someone else is. It’s completely normal. Sometimes it can even be healthy. It might spark some new ideas or encourage you to work harder.

But, when you begin to obsess over someone else’s success to the point where you feel down on yourself, that’s when the comparison game takes an ugly turn and can actually hinder your personal growth and wellbeing.

When those thoughts creep in, the key is to acknowledge them, and then follow these tips:

1. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle:

Have you ever called your parents or a close friend to vent about how you “don’t know what you want to do with your life?” I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been in this boat at some point. You might see how successful your peers appear to be and feel like you’re lagging behind.

It’s normal to compare your current successes and failures to those around you. However, you need to keep in mind that you might be looking at everything through a skewed lens. Some of those people you admire have probably been doing what they’re doing for awhile, and have had time for a little trial and error on the path to success.

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No matter where you are or what you’re doing, just remember, the people you look up to were once in the same spot as you. You’re exactly where you need to be at this moment.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You’re exactly where you need to be at this moment.” quote=”You’re exactly where you need to be at this moment.”]

2. Take a break from social media:

Next time you find yourself in a deep, dark Instagram hole, try and put your phone away for at least an hour. Taking a break helps you focus on the present, your friends, family, significant other — the stuff that matters! And remember: you are not defined by your social media stats.

3. Turn negative thoughts into productive and beneficial ones:

If you start to feel down on yourself, try and approach your thoughts through a different perspective. Instead of thinking, “look what she has that I don’t have,” think of the ways she’s inspiring you to try the new restaurant you’ve been wanting to go to, or to take that road trip you’ve been thinking about for months.

If there’s someone you know who’s doing great things, reach out to her to schedule a coffee or lunch date. You can learn so much from others in your industry. And, it might surprise you to learn they had their own struggles along the way, too.

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4. Work hard and have faith that your time will come:

Keep your eye on your goals, and work hard to achieve them. If you have a passion for something, you have the ability to make it your own. No one else can do you better than you can!

[clickToTweet tweet=”No one else can do you better than you can.” quote=”No one else can do you better than you can.”]

The comparison game is something we all deal with from time to time. When you feel those feelings of self doubt coming on, just remember why you started and know you’re not alone.

How do you deal with the comparison game?