3 Simple Steps to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others (and Start Empowering Yourself)

“Comparison is the death of joy.”
Mark Twain

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
Lao Tzu

One of the most common and destructive daily habit is to constantly compare your life and yourself to other people and their lives.

You compare cars, houses, jobs, shoes, money, relationships, social popularity and so on.

And at the end of the day you pummel your self-esteem to the ground and you create a lot of negative feelings within. And perhaps also outside of yourself.

So what can you do? How can you get a handle on this habit?

Well, today I'd like to share 3 steps that have helped me to move away from this – it does take some time though so be patient with yourself – and towards a healthier outlook and view of myself and life.

Step 1: Just realize that you can’t win if you compare yourself to others.

Just consciously realizing this is helpful.

No matter what you do you can pretty much always find someone else in the world that has more than you or is better than you at something.

Yes, you may feel good for a while when you get a nicer car than your neighbor.

But a week or two later you’ll see someone from the next block with an even finer car than yours.

Step 2: Compare yourself to yourself.

Instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself.

See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.

This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done.

You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.

You can make this habit stick by for instance taking a few minutes each day or just each Sunday (or any day that fits you) to use a journal to write down how you have grown, how much closer you are to your dreams and goals now and what you have overcome and learned.

By doing so your thinking will over time shift and your thought patterns will automatically become more focused on comparing you to you rather than to other people.

Step 3: Be kinder towards other people.

In my experience, the way you behave and think towards others seems to have a big effect on how you behave towards yourself and think about yourself.

Judge and criticize people more and you tend to judge and criticize yourself more (often almost automatically).

Be kinder to other people and help them and you tend to be kinder and more helpful to yourself.

So focus your mind on helping people and being kind.

Focus on the positive things in yourself and in the people around you.

And appreciate what is positive in yourself and in others.

This way you become more OK with yourself and the people in your world instead of ranking them and yourself in your mind.

You are OK and so are they.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • This is a beautiful post. And it is so true! Self realization is amazing and this will most certainly save people wasted energy! Why not spend that energy on self reflection and working towards making a better version of you (which is your #2 point!). All of this is exactly how I try to live life and I’ll tell you, when you stop trying to be someone else it’s a lot easier to see just how amazing you are! Thanks for sharing – this was great!

  • kavita singh

    Thankyou henrick :) for such a lovely post. You know just a few moments ago I was going through this negative phase by thinking that “when I will reach my goal” by looking others who have already reached that place. And after a second your post came. Now I have realized that ” Do not compare your first chapter with someone’s tenth” Or don’t compare yourself at all :D! Keep inspiring :)

  • karin

    Thank you so much for your beautiful and inspiring words ! Seems like more people suffering from comparing themselves (myself imcluded) to others. It’s really evident on instagram and truly sad that many feel inferior. Thank you so much especially for the exercise on how to appreciate ones own progress. I will use it and pay it forward./Karin

  • Ishmael

    Helpful tips.Accepting of individualism helps a long way in understanding uniqueness.Great article ,Henrik.Keep it up.

  • very much impressed and learnt many new things…

  • This article is spot on – thanks for posting! It can be disheartening if you think you are not doing as well as others, but the truth is, there will always be people in a better or a worse position than yourself. We are individuals rather than carbon copies of each other. The competition is between you and your progression towards achieving your goals. As each week goes by ask yourself whether you are any closer towards achieving your objective. Be true to yourself and follow your own path. Good luck!!

  • Nikki May

    Thank you for writing this one.

    I really enjoyed the read! Have a great day!!

  • I really love the Mark Twain quote. It’s so true, comparison immediately depletes our joy. I so agree that the first step is to change our attitude and, as you say, realize we can never win when we compare ourselves to others.

  • Maria

    So true!!!

  • Sivaani

    Hi, Its practically very tough to apply in our life. but once we started and get used to it, the result will be awesome…. Let me try to implement the same.Very nice article. Many thanks Henrick..

  • slova

    Spot on!
    That’s exactly the root of all our problems!

  • Often media enables this type of thinking, implying that you should have created something like Facebook, Apple, Google, or have a stock portfolio like Warren Buffett. I am not Jobs, Gates, Brin, Zuckerberg, etc.
    “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” ~Jane Austen.
    Right now, I am eliminating negative influences from my environment. There are certain sites on the internet that I used to frequent that are full of negativity, that I no longer visit, for one. It is a gradual process, but, one can always work on improving themselves.

  • Really like this article Henrik, particularly the second point. We often forget when comparing ourselves to others just how far we have come in our own lives. I’m terrible for not recognising my own achievements but I’m trying to be kinder to myself and remember my own journey instead of watching someone else’s.

  • Marqo

    “Judge and criticize people more and you tend to judge and criticize yourself more (often almost automatically)”
    Promising line of action :)

  • Alicia

    The world would be such a better place if the comparison issue did not start within families when parents start comparing siblings. Why can’t you be more like your brother, sister…. we can’t because we are all individuals with different personalities and abilities. We were put on this earth for a purpose and we all have different contributions to make. As a teacher I have seen so many students with such low self esteem and inferiority complexes because they have been told by their parents that they should be like their sibling in a particular field and no matter how hard they try, they don’t succeed since they have different abilities. Some excel in sports , others in science, maths, music ……and in combination we make the world such a wonderful place for so many. Wonderful topic, I hope it reaches many people. Thank you,wonderful blog.