How to stay motivated and let go of comparison

We’ve all had those days where we feel like we’ve run out of steam. Any motivation we had seems to fly out the window and we can’t stop comparing ourselves to others. The odd day of this can often be put down to tiredness but, if you’re feeling like this day after day, it’s time to take some action.

Here we outline some steps to try to pull you out of your motivation slump and stop comparing yourself.

Listen to this article:

Ask yourself if you need a break

This is always an excellent place to start. With the pandemic hitting and many of us shifting to remote working, taking time off may have slipped off the radar. When we’re not able to book holidays or make plans with loved ones, some have thought ‘why bother taking time off?’ and before you know it, six months have passed without a proper break.

Look back at the year so far and ask yourself when the last time you took time off to really relax was. If it’s been a while, get something booked in. Even if all you do is stay home, making space for rest is important and has a big impact on motivation. You may find when you finish your break that you’re refreshed, revitalised and ready to go.

Get clear on your why

When we talk about motivation, we have to consider our purpose behind what we’re doing. Whether it’s work or home-life related, why do you want to do the thing you’re trying to do? What is the deeper purpose here? 

If you work within a company, what’s their purpose? How do you contribute to this? And how does your purpose align with theirs? This doesn’t have to fit together neatly, but if you’re finding it difficult to pinpoint why you’re doing what you’re doing, you may want to ask some bigger questions.

Once you’re clear on your ‘why’, write it down and put it somewhere you can see it regularly. This visual prompt can offer a boost of motivation when you need it. 

Set goals (big or small)

When we don’t have something to aim for, it can be easy to lose motivation. We don’t have a clear direction so we can stray off our path to what we want, getting lost along the way. Setting a goal, no matter how big or small can make a big difference in getting us from where we are to where we want to be.

Taking your ‘why’ into consideration, consider setting yourself some goals to help with motivation. Looking for goal setting tips? Here’s our ultimate guide to goal setting

Create rewards

To make the act of goal setting even more motivating, be sure to think of a reward for when you achieve your goal. This doesn’t have to be grand, but a small incentive can do wonders for your motivation. Think about ways you can treat yourself and what would feel most motivating for you. 

Get some accountability

Some of us need more than rewards to keep us going. Creating a sense of accountability can be incredibly helpful here. You could do this by telling loved ones about your goal, getting an accountability buddy (where you meet and hold each other accountable for your goals) or by declaring your goal somewhere public like social media.

Lots of people also turn to coaching to help with this. Having regular sessions offers accountability and the space to talk through any blocks you’re coming against. 

Celebrate your wins

As humans, we naturally have a negativity bias. This means we focus on negatives more than positives. This can be a common cause of demotivation as we only see what’s going wrong and wonder why we should keep going. Recording and celebrating your wins, even the small ones, can help to tip that balance.

Try to get into the habit of reviewing your progress regularly and noting your wins. Celebrate milestones, when you achieve goals and the times you’ve listened to yourself. Over time, this habit will help to boost confidence and motivation.

Focus on your own journey, no one else’s

When we’re feeling unmotivated, comparing ourselves to others can happen quickly. We wonder how they have the energy to keep going, why they’ve been successful and we haven’t. When you find yourself doing this, say ‘stop!’ out loud. This breaks the cognitive pattern of comparison and gives us the opportunity to change our behaviour.

Come back to your ‘why’ and remind yourself that everyone grows at their own pace.

Shut out external noise

If you’re finding it difficult to shake comparison, don’t be afraid to shut out the external noise. This may look like muting or unfollowing people on social media and/or restricting the type of content you consume. Try to make space to be quiet so you can tune into what you truly want, not what you think you should want.

Get curious about your comparison

Another way to approach comparison is to get curious. Ask yourself why you’re comparing yourself. What’s at the root of it? What do they have that you don’t? What quality do they have that you’d like to emulate? How can you take positive steps to bring more of that quality into your own life?

Sometimes we can turn comparison into a compass, guiding us towards what we want. Trust your gut here and follow what feels true to you. 

Hopefully these tips will give you some ideas to get started with. If you think having the support and accountability of a coach would serve you, use our search tool to find a coach you resonate with today.

Share this article with a friend
Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Senior Writer for Life Coach Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
Show comments

Find a coach dealing with Motivation

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals