How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

The Trap of Comparing Yourself to Others

How do you stop comparing yourself to others? This is a common trap of constant comparisons and one that seems to be increasing in the modern age.

In the modern day, it is very easy to compare ourselves to others. In the past, once we went home from school, we didn’t know much about each other’s lives. Now, thanks to social media, we compare ourselves to others much more. We can see how people live, what they eat and where they go on holiday. We can comment on how happy they look, how beautiful their families are and what a great life they seem to be having! In the process, we might unconsciously compare ourselves to their success.

And of course we know that what we see is the curated ‘perfect’ version of themselves and their lives. Very few people put up photos of themselves on social media looking haggard and grey, tired and frumpy. And let’s be honest, it’s not what most of us want to see!

Consciously, we understand that the images we see and that we ourselves portray to the outside world is our ‘best version’, and yet unconsciously, we can fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others.

Here is a question for you:

How often do you compare yourself unfavourably to others?

This is sadly, a sign of the times – the desire to do better and want more has been perpetuated for decades in the West and it has now filtered across the globe. This problem has always existed, as it is a normal part of human nature to compare ourselves to others. It’s a way for us to measure how we are doing by looking at our peers, to see whether we are achieving the goals we consider the right ones for ourselves.

Can Comparisons Ever be a Good Thing?

Comparing ourselves to others can be a positive thing. Gentle comparison can increase healthy competition and spur us on to create and achieve more. This is the positive side to comparison, because it allows us to make a judgement about where we are compared to others. This does not necessarily have to be a negative idea. It becomes negative or worse toxic, when it makes us feel bad about who we are. If you are able to take it lightly, it isn’t always a problem for everyone.

Is Comparing Yourself to Others a Problem?

I always say to clients, if it’s a problem for you, then it’s a problem. If you can’t stop comparing yourself to others, read on for my tips. Comparing ourselves to others happens across age groups and sections in society – it is not just an issue associated with a particular age group, gender or section of society. Sometimes the issue of ‘comparisonitis’ can present itself as imposter syndrome which can often show up in the workplace.

The Role of Social Media

Comparing ourselves is becoming more prevalent across different ages, genders and social groups. Consequently, this can have a detrimental affect on our mental health. As more of us spend more time looking at the lives of other people, we are naturally more inclined to think about what they are doing. This can encourage us to draw parallels with ourselves – and sometimes compare ourselves unfavourably.

Tips on How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

  1. Remember that what we see is the curated version! Do you post photos of your home looking messy? Or videos of your kids throwing a tantrum?
  2. List all of YOUR personal achievements, accomplishments and any of the difficulties you have overcome.
  3. List your ambitions and dreams. This helps you remember where you have come from and where you are going!
  4. Look at your most popular photos on social media and consider how good your life looks from the outside to someone else, who’s looking in.
  5. Consider the problems some of your friends are facing. Would you swap your problems for theirs?
  6. Remember that we never really know what’s going on behind closed doors. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  7. Focus on yourself. Think about the areas you you feel need development. Come up with a plan to help you create those changes.
  8. Work on your self-esteem. I have a number of low-cost workshops coming up which could help you.
  9. Seek help from a professional for support and guidance.
  10. Get in touch to find out how I can support you with building your self-esteem.

I leave you with some quotes:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life is a minute spent wasting yours.” Unknown

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique, be memorable, be confident, be proud.” – Shannon L Alder


…and I would add: Be yourself x

You can connect with me in lots of ways:

Phone: 07961 389 030


or book a time to talk here

You might enjoy this article from Action for Happiness on Being Comfortable with Who You Are


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