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“Comparison is the thief of joy.” How many of us have heard that before? I used to constantly compare myself to others—people on Facebook, people at school, strangers, pictures in magazines, and the list goes on. I didn’t realize just how damaging this was to my self-esteem.

A lot of us compare ourselves in an attempt to feel better, but it usually has the opposite effect. Someone else is always smarter, better looking, more successful. We often compare our shortcomings to everyone else’s best features without even noticing it. Think about it: Is that really fair? What if the roles were reversed?

Whether it is your looks, relationship status, or lifestyle, comparison is never a fair game. Each one of us has a unique journey with our own struggles and imperfections, and that’s okay. That’s what shapes who we are. There is no way that I could know what you have been through, so I have no place to compare myself or my life to yours.

You know things that nobody else does. You have learned more from your own experiences than anyone else could even fathom. You have something special living inside you just waiting to hatch. The world needs it, and only you have it. Only you can set it free.

Every minute that you spend comparing yourself to others is a minute that could be spent nurturing yourself, helping others, learning, growing, and contributing your gift to the world. One way to end the comparison game is to think about what you have to offer.

Write down five things you like about your looks, your life, and your relationships. Keep them somewhere you can access them as often and easily as you need to. People who do great things don’t have time to degrade themselves—it’s draining and useless. Use your time to set goals for yourself and work to reach them.

You are incredible. Be you. Be incredible.

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