Iyanla Vanzant
Photo: Gary Lupton/Studio D
Q: How do I stop comparing myself with others?

1. Get clear about you.
A sense of self lets you see others' successes and become better, not bitter. List words that describe you: smart, strong, kind; mother, friend, visionary. Value yourself and you won't want to be like anyone else.

2. Seek meaning, not approval.
When you spend your life chasing recognition, you can also expect to spend it worrying about who's passing you by. If you work to advance your dreams, your place in the pecking order ceases to matter.

3. Know that everyone has her own strengths.
Our parents told us, "Sit up straight like your brother. Clean your room like your sister." The result? We learned to measure what we do by what others have done. But that isn't useful when every individual has unique gifts.

4. Emulate what works.
When someone does something well, assess what made her succeed and figure out ways to incorporate those traits in your own life. If that's possible, great! If not, refer to #1—and keep doing you.

Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN's Iyanla: Fix My Life and the author of Peace from Broken Pieces (SmileyBooks).

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