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ways they fall short," says Shaw.
"What they don't realise is this mindset can mean they don't present themselves well in a given situation.
"They can be self-deprecating, and
[the resuli is] they're not taken very
seriously. For example, they can be so sure they won't get a job that they
under-prepare and undersell themselves."
So, how does one stop themselves from
going "postal" and starting up an antiNatalie Portman blog? The first step,
Shaw suggests, is to explore the reasons why you're comparing yourself to others. "lf it's because you're hurt or disappointed, or it's in an area you have never felt particularly confident, then it's
important to get a good friend to talk this through with you; someone who really sees the best in you, so you look at things from better angles," she advises.
"When I feel my life isn't as great as so-and-so's, I tell my friends about it. lt's so comforting to hear that they suffer the exact same kind of anxieties," says 27year-old Lee. "No matter what, there'll always be someone who's doing better lthan you], but the key is to keep doing your thing regardless. Their success doesn't have to equal your failure."
Next, you need to make sure you're
making the right comparisons. lt's pointless to liken yourself to a lawyer friend if you're training to become a chef. lnstead, look at a range of people in a similar field to yours, rather than focusing in on just one person.
As Shaw points out, "lt's important
think, 'My ex seems to prefer this or that ... so l'll do that to win him back'."
"lSelf-comparisonl is only motivating
if you use it to harness your own abilities
and stretch yoursell not to criticise and punish yourself," warns Shaw. lf all else fails, make an effort to focus on the positives in your life and how these measure up to others. Chances are,
even being a talented Hollywood actress has its drawbacks in comparison.
not to use a comparison to negatively view yourself and change as a result.
For example, it's certainly no good to
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