Comparing ourselves to others makes us miserable - here's how to stop

From outdoing each other on TikTok, to baking the best banana bread, running the most miles and taking an online course, lockdown life has revealed the ever-present sense of oneupmanship that social media exacerbates; which is why comparison coach Lucy Sheridan wants you to stop comparing yourself to how everyone else is doing, and just concentrate on yourself. From as young as five years old I can remember ranking myself against other children and having a really clear view of where I sat in a pecking order - how good I was at colouring in compared to other kids and where I might finish in high octane activities like the Year Five egg and spoon race at school. As I got older it progressed to judging how my body developed inpuberty, when I would kiss a boy, what grades I would get for uni and then advanced into adulthood, taking even deeper root in my career and personal life. I was fully dressed, lying under my duvet in bed, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that I was missing out on because I was scrolling social media checking up on the people I had ‘under surveillance’ - my biggest comparison triggers at the time. This had become such an aggressively persistent activity that my phone without warning just died due to overheating. If we start making a call on what’s important to us, without discussion, based on what we know, believe and think in the moment, then we build up evidence that we can take control and this boosts our sense of self esteem over time. The psychology writer Jim Rohn highlights, you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. All too often we inherit our goals or perception of success from other people - your friends, a pushy parent or a teacher from school. So here’s yourinvitation to think about and decide what you want without judgement, write it down and suss out your next right step then take it. And yet, I know applying these insights into my daily life has worked my ‘enough’ muscles such that today they are big and strong and nobody steals my joy.