Imagine this: you wake up in the morning with intention. You already know what you want to accomplish that day. Not only that, but you know what part today plays with your bigger dreams. As you go about your routine, you feel a lot of freedom and peace because you aren't dependent on others' opinions of you. You know how to focus on yourself and not others.
Sounds nice, right? Sure, but for most of us, it's not the norm. The majority of people spend tons of time thinking about what others think of them and not very much focusing on their goals. We find it challenging to think outside the box or do something that others aren't doing, such as paying off debt or starting a side hustle.
We might feel like we're unsuccessful if our closets aren't filled with Chanel and Gucci. Our decisions can easily be based on what we see on Instagram instead of what we truly think.
Check out why we usually focus on others and how you can focus on your own life to become more successful.
Why do we tend to focus on what others achieve?
It's important to understand why we pay attention to what other people are doing, especially those that we believe to be more "successful" than ourselves. So let's look at the biggest culprits and what they lead to.
Since the invention of social media, a lot of things have changed. While it isn't solely responsible for the way we now measure ourselves against other people, it definitely made it easier to do.
Hop onto any social media platform, and you're likely to see pictures of friends on fabulous vacations, people with expensive outfits, and generally a lot of "success". Of course, what we see on our socials and what's reality are different. But we don't perceive that when we're looking at perfectly posed photos of someone on a beach sipping a cocktail.
The Pew Research Center claims that more than half of adults with social media such as Facebook or Instagram say that they check out these platforms at least once a day. This means we are constantly seeing what others are doing. Scroll through these sites and see the success, funny moments, and great photos of others.
Never mind that it may have taken them half an hour to take that picture they look so casual in. We have no idea if what we see is true or not, and yet we begin to compare ourselves to it.
Enter comparison, the unwelcome guest in most of our lives. It can disrupt our families, careers, and general happiness by making us believe that someone else is better off than we are.
Psychology Today explains that social comparison theory was constructed by Leon Festinger. It claims that people decide their value by seeing how they measure up compared to others. In other words, if you drive a more expensive car than your neighbor and have a nicer house, you could think you're winning at life.
Comparing ourselves to other people is not always good for us. After all, why compare yourself to someone who has totally different talents and abilities, as well as a different lifestyle? None of us are the same, so comparison is unhelpful and can even be harmful. Plus, it's just plain distracting.
What does it mean to focus on myself?
You may be asking," If comparison isn't good, then how do I focus on myself?" For starters, you need to know why this matters and what it means.
Focusing on yourself is not selfish!
Some may think that to focus on your own life, you must only care about your own feelings and goals, and not others. This isn't true. If you don't care about other people, that's selfish. But that isn't what is meant by focusing on yourself.
What it means is to stop comparing yourself to other people. Don't be concerned about what they're achieving or how it stacks up with what you're doing. This will only keep you from improving. Instead, it's best to focus on your own goals and dreams and let other people focus on theirs. That way, you can all be successful.
Helps you succeed
When your goals are based on what you want and how you've decided to spend your life instead of what others are doing, it helps you succeed. Since your measurement of success is based on your own ideas and not other people's, you can live with freedom and try new things.
It can help others
Successful people that care about others can make a huge difference. If you stop the comparison game and focus on your own goals, what can you achieve? Can you start a charity? Make more money and give it to a worthy cause? Volunteer? You'll have a lot more time to help those in need when you aren't busy living in a world of competition.
How to focus on your own life and not others: Why it's important (benefits)
What makes avoiding comparison worth it? Check out these parts of your life that could improve.
Easier to make decisions
If you want to know how to focus on yourself and not others, make choices faster. Have you ever heard of choice overload? GCF Global explains that when we have too many choices, it's more difficult for us to decide on one thing, so we don't really decide.
Guess what doesn't help with choice overload? Looking at what everyone else has. This happens a lot through social media and can also occur in your everyday life by shopping online or gathering too much information.
When you choose to focus on yourself and what you want rather than every option available to you, it will likely make it much easier to make decisions.
There's a lot of freedom in caring a bit less about what others think. For example, comparison may tell you to buy those Louboutin heels, even though you're in debt. Freedom will tell you to rent somewhere affordable and get a second job to pay off what you owe.
Even if it's not as glamorous at first, it's a lot more freeing for your mind to think in this way. You only have to consider your own ideas (and your family's) about your goals, rather than the whole world's.
Guess what comes with making quicker decisions and feeling free? Confidence. While other people may spend time wondering if they're good enough or if they measure up, you already know that you're enough.
If you're working towards your own goals and defining success on your own terms, you may wind up feeling a lot more confident in your lifestyle than others do in theirs. It's a huge part of how to focus on yourself and not others.
When you have a strong conviction or desire to work towards something by your own choice, it may feel even better to actually reach that goal. Since your reward isn't based on what others think or if they like your photo on social media, you can instead appreciate a job well done by your own standards.
Tips to focus on your own life
Do you like the benefits you're hearing about? Here are the practical steps for how to focus on yourself and not others.
How to decide what you want
To stop comparing and focus on your own life, you must decide what matters to you. Forget about all the distractions and consider what would make you the happiest and would benefit your family the most. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want my life to be like when I retire?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- How much money seems like a good amount to me?
Tuning out what others think
To stop comparing and tune out what others think, you may need to make some changes. These could include staying away from social media when making decisions, pausing to ask yourself why you care about a particular product or item and reminding yourself of your own goals.
Tell yourself that your life is your own. In twenty years or even a few months, you may not care whether so and so agreed with your decision. What's going to matter is if you follow your dreams.
Making financial choices for yourself
Write down your financial goals. This works in tandem with your other dreams for your life. Then, think about how you'll reach your goals, including how much money they'll take.
Basing decisions on your vision for your life
Once you've decided about your life goals and financial choices, it's time to follow through. This means that even if you see others being successful or feel left out, you stick to what you believe. Know that with time and hard work, you'll get where you want to be in life. And it will have nothing to do with comparing yourself to other people.
Conclusion on how to focus on yourself and not others
Letting go of comparison is challenging. This article gives you the basics for how to focus on yourself and not others, but where do you go from here? It's time to make financial plans and get organized! Without comparison holding you back, you'll feel lighter and your goals will be that much closer.