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7 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Why You Should

Posted by on Jul 17, 2018 in Personal Development, Self Esteem, Self Improvement

women friends - how to stop comparing yourself to others

 

They say, “A thing of beauty needs no comparison, only an eye to behold it…”

Really?

I'm a mid-life woman, and so far I haven’t met any ‘non-comparing’ females in or out of my circle.

And of course that includes me as well 😉

I mean whether we're willing to admit it or not, we're always comparing ourselves!

There’s always the girl who’s (younger and) thinner than you, or the woman whose butt looks better in jeans; someone who’s prettier than you, someone who's smarter  or seems to have more.

How about the chick with the gorgeous boyfriend?

And if none of that holds true, there’s definitely someone who has a better job.

No? How about someone who’s more fortunate or happier than you?

Not to mention the lady who has more friends, a nicer home or…. Perhaps a different skill set?

Then there's always the other end of that spectrum. Someone who has it worse…

… And it goes on 😉

 

And let's be honest...We christian women know better.

But right now, we're talking real talk.

 

So the question is this, how to stop comparing yourself to others?

And the answer is, simple – stop doing it.

Life is NOT a competition.

Nobody is perfect, and all of us have the potential to be better versions of ourselves.

 

Comparing Yourself to Others Psychology

 

The truth is, we are taught the idea of comparing ourselves to others from very young.

This drive to compare ourselves to others was named 'Social Comparison' by social psychologist Leon Festinger, in the 1950s.

According to Festinger’s research, “human beings have the drive to assess their opinions and to know more about their abilities and when they are incapable of evaluating their opinions and abilities, they tend to compare themselves with others.”

Festinger was the first to use the term “Social Comparison”.

Social psychologists Aspinwall and Taylor did research on esteem and comparison, in the 1990s.

Their research showed that depending on someone’s level of motivation and self-worth, comparison can either be Upward or Downward.

  • Upward comparison, compels us to compare ourselves with those who are better than us, and
  • Downward Comparison urges us to compare ourselves with the ones who are worse than us.

Comparing upwards with a good self-worth can motivate us, but the same can negatively affect our psychological well-being if we have a low self-esteem, and this is where most of us need work.

 

"Comparing Myself to Others" Anxiety

 

We can create unnecessary situations of anxiety for ourselves.

We put ourselves down and find fault in ourselves because we see others as possessing the very attributes we wish we had.

The truth is, people have their own struggles underneath whatever they display.

So much in our society is competitive, and we give in to that competitive nature without considering that we’re putting our self-worth at stake.

chalk board - Don't compare yourself with others

 

7 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

 

Instead, we should continually remind ourselves of the following:

 

1. All of us are notable in a particular sphere. We all have things in us that are worthy (and we should endeavor to magnify those) for which we’re being admired as well.

There’s always someone that is looking at you, admiring your traits. After all, we’re all on the same spectrum. 😉

2. Rather than Compare, Observe to learn and grow. Instead of seeing ourselves in negative comparison against others (having or being more or less than someone else), we can remind ourselves that we’re still learning.

We can choose to emulate that which is truly admirable to learn and grow.

3. We must realize that folks don’t know our insecurities, and we don't know theirs. Seriously.

People have their own insecurities and they’re way too busy with their own self-conscious stuff to analyze us.

Just as we’re thinking about ourselves, they’re busy thinking about themselves.

4. Remember that comparison can be competitive. The yearning to possess what someone else has or is isn't healthy.

And being competitive in a negative way can lead to saying or doing things that can demean us in the longer run.

5. Admitting our insecurities and vulnerabilities openly decreases our tendency to compare ourselves with others. It helps us to accept ourselves "warts and all".

When we accept ourselves as we are, we realize that others have their own unique attributes, but also their own set of insecurities.

That approach releases us from the vicious grip of competition.

We begin to  admire others and work on our own stuff.

6. Taking others out of the equation, or comparing ourselves to ourselves helps to increase our self-worth.

The only way to "win", is by being a "better you" than you were yesterday.

If there's to be comparison, then let that be the nature of the competition.

For instance, instead of telling myself, “Oh Sarah is so much thinner than I am”, I can say, “I lost twenty pounds during the last 4 months. Wow! I’m proud of myself. I’ll feel awesome when I lose 10 more.”

7. Flip the script by replacing comparison and judgment with love and kindness. When we’re in the process of comparing ourselves with someone, we’re in fact stirring up negative energy, which is being sent out to the other person.

Remember that what goes around comes around.

Instead, be happy that the other person is so blessed, and know that you're blessed as well.

 

Whenever we find ourselves in the comparison trap (and it is a trap) we can hold our fire and send love and kind thoughts to the person we’re comparing ourselves to (and to ourselves as well).

We can compliment them; we can appreciate what is positive about them.

Appreciating others is a super positive habit with a boomerang effect. It makes us more self-compassionate.

 

Wrapping Up:

Comparison is toxic.

It breeds competition and brings insecurity, anxiety, depression, isolation and jealousy.

In addition to that, you can be competing against that which isn't even real, so it's a "no win" situation.

You see, that lady with better hair could be using a dye/weave/wig.

The one whose butt looks better in jeans might be using butt pads...

Learn to put things in perspective.

If there’s someone who’s thinner than you, then of course there’s someone who’s ‘thicker’ than you too.

If she has a better cleavage, don’t forget that you can still rock what you have (they're called "push-up" bras). 😉

And yes, it looks like she has a better boyfriend, but he might not be a "good" man.

All questions like...

How to stop comparing yourself to others physically?

How to stop comparing your body to others?

How to stop comparing your looks to others?

How to stop comparing your progress to others?

… have one and the same answer, and that is to appreciate and acknowledge what you have been blessed with.

 

The truth is, everyone has a different path and there’s no such thing as a perfect life.

All of us need to carve out our own path to be happy and successful.

When we admire those with whom we compare ourselves, they become our stepping stones to success.

So ladies, let’s say goodbye to the habit of comparing ourselves to others.

Love & Peace!

 

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How to Be More Outgoing – 12 Simple Ways To Make Friends and Enlarge Your Personal Sphere of Influence

Posted by on Jul 13, 2018 in Personal Development, Self Confidence, Self Improvement

friends at sunset - how to be more outgoing
 

If you're an introvert (like me!), it can be a challenge to be more outgoing.

Put me in a quiet space with a good book (or two or three) and tell me I'll not see people for days, and you'll get no complaint from me.

But it’s no secret that socially confident people are generally more successful both professionally and personally as compared to their counterparts, even when they have less skills, education or social standing.

Society rewards those individuals who are outgoing, comfortable socially and even gregarious.

Because of their exuberant personalities, outgoing individuals tend to meet new people, meet more people and have more opportunities presented to them.

It can be extremely daunting and overwhelming for introverts to consider becoming more outgoing.

However, just because you're an introvert doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your skills to be more outgoing.

You can be an introverted person and also practice skills that will help you become more comfortable, confident, open and communicative around others.

What’s the Difference Between an Extrovert and an Introvert?

Extroverts gain energy from being around others. These are the kinds of people who love big parties and social gatherings and find it hard (or simply undesirable) to be alone for long periods of time.

Introverts, on the other hand, gain energy from being alone (yessss).

These are the kinds of people who need alone time after a busy day, or who tend to feel overwhelmed or anxious in large social situations.

While it is true that most extroverts are also very outgoing, it is also very possible to be an outgoing introvert.

Maybe you gain energy from being alone and prefer quiet spaces, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be shy in social situations.

How to be More Outgoing as an Introvert

The most important thing to understand is that you don’t have to be an extrovert to be outgoing.

Being outgoing is about being friendly, open and socially confident. Here are some simple tips to start your journey towards being more outgoing:

5 Very Simple Tips To be More Outgoing

1. Use your body language

Making eye contact instead of avoiding it or staring at the ground is one easy way to instantly make yourself appear more outgoing.

If you stand up straight, employ good body posture and project a confident attitude, then you will be more likely to act confidently in conversations and people will see and respond to your confidence.

2. Go to places where there are people like you

If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys drinking and partying, going to a bar to meet people and expecting that to be a good experience is kind of a silly idea.

There are all kinds of personalities in this world, but not every experience is for everybody. And there will be some people around whom you'll not feel especially comfortable or get along with well.

I'm all for exploring new and different experiences, places and meeting new people, however, if you're working toward becoming a more outgoing person, it may be better at least in the beginning to find a place where you feel you will fit in.

That way, you're starting out from a place of comfort where you're more apt to feel confident and secure.

Whether it’s a bookstore, a coffee shop, or an event created around something you're interested in (such as a wine tasting, chef's dinner or an art event), it will be a lot easier to be outgoing around like-minded people than to be outgoing around people with completely different interests and personalities.

3. Make goals

Formulate progressive goals toward the eventual goal of becoming more outgoing.

Is there someone at work that you’ve enjoyed talking with and with whom you'd like to socialize in a personal setting outside your job?

Then work to make it happen.

First, challenge yourself to make a special effort to talk to them.

Striking up a simple conversation about their day, their interests, or asking about their family is a good way to initiate discussion.

Once you’ve done this over a few occasions, you can then move on to invite them to lunch or to hang out outside of work, attend an event and so on.

4. Seek help from outgoing friends

If you have friends who are outgoing, ask them to help you with meeting new people.

More likely than not, they will be thrilled to be of help.

Spending time with outgoing people can help jettison you into new social circles, as well as give you opportunity to observe their outgoing behaviors and model them.

5. Ask questions

People love talking about themselves.

If you are unsure what to say among strangers or how to ease yourself into conversation, simply ask a question.

Asking questions gives you the chance to learn more about others while also giving you the opportunity to take the lead and direct a conversation to a subject with which you're comfortable.

friends eating at a restaurant - how to be more outgoing

7 Additional Tips for Being More Outgoing

6. How to Get Over Shyness and Be Less Self-conscious

Being shy is usually a product of fearing judgement.

Oftentimes, introverts tend to exaggerate in their minds how much other people judge them.

As you move through your daily life, likely, no one is judging you nearly as much as you suspect or as harshly as you may judge yourself.

It can help you to relieve the pressure you may feel, and to feel less awkward just to have this basic understanding.

One other way to get over shyness is to simply acknowledge it in your conversations.

It comes across as charming and self-aware to mention your shyness if you can feel it hindering your conversation, and once it is out in the open, you will likely settle into the exchange and discussion.

7. How Can I Be More Fun to Be Around?

Chances are, you are already great fun to be around in the right setting where you feel secure and comfortable.

The most important thing to remember is to acknowledge that as an introverted person, you have limits to how much socialization you feel comfortable with in a set amount of time.

You will be more fun to be around if you truly want to be in a particular situation and feel up for it.

Avoid agreeing to too many social events (or events with which you are especially uncomfortable) in the name of being more outgoing. If you set yourself up for a few high-quality interactions, this will help you grow your confidence and keep you from feeling averse to social gatherings and interaction.

8. How Can I Become More Social?

If you're working toward being more social, the easiest place to begin is to practice talking to people you meet throughout your day.

It’s simple to speak with cashiers and baristas, coworkers and clients or teachers and other people within your community.

Simply be friendly and open whether it's talking about the day, or commenting on the weather. Something small like this can help spark conversation and give you practice striking up conversations on your own.

Greeting people and adding a simple “how are you?” or “how has your day been?” can help extend your conversation and provide an opportunity to get to know one another.

9. How Can I Become Well-spoken?

The best way to become more well-spoken is simply to practice.

Being well spoken mostly comes down to being confident.

And confidence is built upon practice.

One way to appear more confident and to feel readier to speak and express yourself is to make eye contact.

Remember that the majority of our communication is not in our words, but is made through non-verbal, body queues, and eye contact is a very important one of those.

When you make eye contact during conversation, it signals to others that you are paying attention, you're focused and listening to what they have to say.

And when you're the one speaking, your eye contact draws people into your conversation, and conveys assertiveness and confidence in your demeanor.

One easy way to practice speaking to new people is simply to introduce yourself when you come in contact with a new person.

Over time, you will develop a comfortable and casual introduction pattern that will make you ocmfortable when meeting virtually anyone.

As an example, one very simple and effective method of introducing yourself is to simply say, “Hello. I don’t think we’ve met. I’m _____.”

This gives the other person a chance to introduce themselves and gives you an opening into conversation.

Especially in this day in age, you’d be surprised at how many people forego this step. Just the simple act of introducing yourself can really make you appear sociable and outgoing.

10. How to Be More Outgoing and Talkative

If you find yourself having a hard time striking up conversations, it can really help to try out being more talkative around people with whom you know you have something in common.

Is there a coworker that likes the same music as do you?

Or another parent at your child’s school who is interested in art?

Try striking up a conversation about something in which you are genuinely interested.

In this way, you will naturally be more engaged, have more to say, and appear more confident.

11. How to Be More Outgoing in a Relationship

If you find you’re having trouble being outgoing (warm, open, communicative) in a new relationship, try talking with your partner about it.

And instead of following their queues, try taking the lead every once in a while.

This can help open the door for you to be more spontaneous and outgoing.

It’s important to express your own needs and desires, and simply taking this first step can make you feel more comfortable in the situation and with your partner, further opening the lines of communication with them.

Another way to become more outgoing in a relationship is to ask questions.

As we've discussed previously and as with any new person, asking questions is a great way to get to know someone.

In the case of a new relationship, try asking some deeper questions. These kinds of questions will help you take more ownership in the situation of getting to know each other.

12. How to Be Outgoing and Funny

Not everyone is a genius at telling jokes, nor should they be.

Let funny moments happen organically.

It’s a lot easier to show your humorous side once you get to know someone a bit better, and you feel more cmfortable around them.

Don't worry too much about coming across as funny right away.

If you aren't naturally gifted with humor, you'll find humor in your relationships as you get to know people.

As you gain confidence in speaking to new people, the confidence in humor will also come.

iguana friends - how to be nore outgoing

Final Thoughts - How to Be More Outgoing

It's important to understand that your worth is not based on what others think of you.

Your worth is based on who you are as a person, what you give to others and to yourself.

It is based on your attributes and your truest self.

Gaining self-confidence and getting to a point where you're comfortable with who you are is immensely helpful in growing your level of comfort in new and unfamiliar situations or around new people.

When you are comfortable with yourself, it's obvious to others, making both you and them more comfortable with one another in a given situation, and at the same time making the need for the approval of others not a priority (or source of angst and anxiety) for you.

All of this helps you to be more outgoing.

Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert by nature, learning to be more outgoing is a useful skill in social interactions, in business and even in job advancement.

You can be yourself and still learn to grow your social skills to be more open, more receptive to and more interactive with others. Try some of the tips we've outlined today to help you to be more outgoing.

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10 Little Known Ways to Be More Assertive, Confident, and Get More of What You Want

Posted by on Jul 7, 2018 in Personal Development, Self Confidence, Self Esteem, Self Improvement

female boxer - assertive woman

 

Learning how to be an assertive woman is sometimes a bit more complicated than it may seem.

Assertiveness for women can be a delicate balance.

If you're “too assertive”, people tend to think you're aggressive, threatening or a b*tch. If you're not assertive enough, people perceive you as a pushover and a doormat.

And it's unfortunate, but people often take advantage of those they perceive as weaker or at a disadvantage.

If you're viewed as a pushover and people pleaser, whether in business or your personal life, it can be increadibly difficult to navigate your way through.

By cultivating assertive behavior, we learn to respect our needs while retaining compassion and respect for the needs of others.

Assertiveness affords us a measure of confidence and self-respect, as well as the respect of others which certainly makes it a desireable trait.

It's an essential skill for anyone who desires success, and for women in particular, it's a skill that takes a certain amount of finesse.

Follow these steps as we outline them here to learn valuable assertiveness techniques and tips for building confidence.

 

How To Be Assertive

assertive woman

 

What does it mean to be an assertive person?

 

When wondering how to be assertive, it's important to consider exactly what assertiveness is and what it is not.

Assertiveness is based on balance.

Honing an assertive personality requires you to be forthright about your wants and needs, while still respecting the rights, needs, and wants of others.

When you're assertive, you speak directly, confidently and express a presence through eye contact, body language and other non-verbal queues that is self-assured.

In doing so, you communicate with others in a manner that is perceived to be direct, firm, fair and powerful.

However, it is important to note that assertiveness is not the same as aggression.

Though aggression sometimes masquerades as confidence or assuredness, aggressive individuals tend to ignore or discount the needs of others entirely in favor of their own.

This can greatly upset individuals with whom they interact, and rightfully so.

Unlike aggression, assertiveness and assertive communication affirms your own needs and their importance, while you are still considerate of both sides of a situation when interacting with other individuals.

 

What are some examples of assertive behavior?

 

There are many types of assertiveness, from assertive speech to body language to a quiet internal self-confidence. Some assertive examples are:

Speaking calmly and firmly during a conversation
Using eye contact
Using assertive statements to authoritatively and clearly express your viewpoint
Being firm/repetitive if someone is pushing the issue

Now that we’ve taken a look at assertiveness meaning, try the following assertiveness and self-confidence tips to grow your assertiveness skills:

 

woman sitting - assertiveness

 

10 Ways to be More Assertive

 

1.Make Assertive Statements

What is an assertive statement?

An assertive statement is declarative. It is firm and asserts your position in an unapologetic way.

The simplest assertive statements are simply “Yes” and “No”.

Assertive statements often focus on the “I” voice and how you feel or think about a certain topic.

“I” statements also allow us to open up conversations, both at the workplace and at home.

“I” statements assert how you feel without placing blame on another person.

In doing so, you accurately detail your feelings without treading into aggressive territory.

Words or phrases that assertive statements don’t contain: maybe, I think, I should, I would like.

2. Practice!

Just like any other skill, assertiveness grows over time as you practice.

You can start building confidence by committing to be more assertive with those in your personal life.

If this seems too daunting, you can start practicing by talking to yourself in the mirror or writing down some assertive statements, just to get used to the language of being assertive.

3. Agree to Disagree

Many of us have a deeply imbedded desire for non-confrontation.

Unfortunately, this desire often makes it difficult, if not impossible, to stand up for ourselves.

Getting comfortable with respectful disagreement is an important step in building your assertiveness toolkit.

The fact of the matter is that disagreement is a natural part of life.

You are worthy of having your own opinions and thoughts, and they do not need to constantly affirm the thoughts of others.

Disagreements do not have to become arguments as long as you are willing to leave some things unsettled and simply state your opinion in a respectful but firm manner.

4. Listen Actively

A huge part of assertiveness that people often miss is the importance of listening actively to the person on the other side of the conversation.

Assertiveness is about framing your needs and desires within the whole context of the situation.

If you completely ignore what the other person has to say, your assertive standpoint will not be as well received.

5. Aim for Open and Honest Communication

In all aspects of life, it is important to establish open, honest communication that is essential to the health of a relationship.

Whether it is a significant other, best friend, child, or even a boss, it is important to establish that honesty of emotion.

One way to do this is to assert your own feelings in a positive and consistent way.

You can also directly ask for honesty and openness from those in your life, and that they meet you with the same honesty.

6. Learn to Say No

Saying “No” can be extremely difficult — especially if you've been taught to always “be polite”, not hurt the feelings of others and to put their priorities above your own, or that being a “people pleaser” is the way to make friends or get ahead.

In order to start being able to say “No”, you have to respect (and value) your own wishes.

As an example, if someone in your life is continually asking you to take part in a fundraising effort that you have no time for or interest in, it can feel like a big deal to refuse your help.

However, by being genuine about your feelings, you are simply respecting yourself and the other person.

Instead of trudging through something you don’t want to do or flaking on plans at a later date, an upfront “No” shows self-respect, an understanding of your own limits, and ultimately respect for the other person.

7. Express Your Needs

Use “I” statements to express your needs whether:

At work (i.e. “I am uncomfortable working at my desk with the air conditioning on me all day.”)
At home (i.e “I feel frustrated that I had to do most of the housework this week. I need more help from you so that I can recharge from work at night.”)
Or with friends (i.e. “I cannot come to the cookout because I have an upcoming deadline.”)

Using “I” statements to express your needs allows those around you to understand what is going on in your head.

Expressing your needs doesn’t make you weak, it makes you good at communicating and standing up for yourself.

8. Value Yourself

At the core of assertiveness, there is the understanding that your needs are as valid and important as the needs of others.

Especially if you are a nurturing, empathetic person, it can be hard to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.

If you don’t value yourself and your own time, health, space, and energy, then it's impossible to be truly assertive and to commit to pursue what you want in life.

The first step toward true assertiveness is to value yourself like you would a dear friend.

Beginning to genuinely value yourself is one of the best ways to start building self-esteem.

9. Use Scripting

If you have an important situation coming up where you're hoping to be more assertive, such as a conversation about job advancement, or confronting a family member about past behaviors, you can try “scripting” the conversation ahead of time.

And yes, it sounds corny, but just trust me, it can actually help.

You of course won’t need to memorize a dialog word-for-word, but taking some time to think about and possibly write out what you might want to say, can help you build the confidence to go for it.

It will also offer you the security of feeling prepared.

Try using the following outline to build your conversation:

 

Event:  Tell the other person how you see the situation or problem.

Feelings: Tell the other person, clearly, how you feel about the situation.

Needs: Tell the other person what you need from them

Consequences: Describe the impact of your request.

 

10. Practice Composure

It can be difficult to stay calm in the most important of situations.

Whether you have a tendency towards aggressiveness or passivity, both of these ends of the spectrum come from letting emotions control you and the situation.

In the beginning when faced with a potentially adverse situation or emotionally charged encounter, try giving yourself adequate time to construct an assertive response.

If something particularly emotionally triggering occurs, you can tell the other person you need time to think it over.

This will prevent you slipping into overemotional and less effective communication, and give yourself a chance to advocate in an assertive and productive manner.

 

celebration - assertiveness

 

 

In the End, Assertiveness Allows Us to Demonstrate Self-Confidence and Assuredness.

 

Being assertive is truly an act of respect towards yourself.

Assertiveness is empowering, and so helps us to be less anxious and stressed, more assured and confident.

If you are looking for additional resources on how to become more assertive, check out the following titles:

The Assertiveness Workbook, by Randy J. Paterson
Your Perfect Right: Assertiveness and Equality in Your Life and Relationships, by Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons
Assertiveness: How to Stand Up for Yourself and Still Win the Respect of Others, by Judy Murphy

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