Comparing is a nasty habit. When we compare ourselves to others, we get hooked into the belief that we’re better than or less than someone else. Comparing creates animosity, resentment, jealousy, and competition. Living with this attitude can be very detrimental to your happiness and overall sense of peace. How can you be peaceful when you’re constantly comparing yourself?

Underneath the desire to compare is a deep-rooted sense that we are not enough.

When we feel an unconscious sense of lack, we project that lack onto others so we won’t feel so badly about ourselves. It’s a vicious cycle. For instance, maybe you’ve been single for a while, and you often compare yourself to other people who are in relationships. This act of comparing sends you into a tizzy reiterating all that you don’t have, and it makes you feel worse about yourself. Or maybe you’re someone who compares yourself to celebrities and notable figures. You always see yourself as less than, and, in effect, you feel incomplete. Understanding this pattern is the first step toward transforming it.

Once you’re aware of your comparing habit, the next step is to take action toward changing the behavior.

The moment you witness yourself compare, simply say, “The light I see in them is a reflection of my inner light.” Even if you don’t believe this affirmation or if you think it’s too new agey, simply do it. The action of perceiving oneness in the moment can release you of the need to compare. Even for an instant, you can be set free. That is a miracle.

Let’s drive this exercise home with a little recap. Step One is to witness how you compare yourself to others. Become familiar with the behavior so you can recognize it when it comes on. Then Step Two is to shift the behavior in an instant with the affirmation, “The light I see in them is a reflection of my inner light.”

Practice this tool as often as possible and pay attention to your shifts. The shifts may be subtle at first, but you’ll feel relief in an instant. Set yourself free from the comparison cycle and be at peace with who you are.

Featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as a next generation thought leader, Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Gabrielle is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the book May Cause Miracles—A 40-day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness. Her earlier titles include Add More ~ing to Your Life—A Hip Guide to Happiness—and Spirit Junkie—A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles (published by Random House). Gabrielle is also the founder of the social networking site for women to inspire, empower, and connect.

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