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.


About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • lisa Anne

    Hi Henrik

    this is a great article and a timely reminder of what (in principal) I already know but sometimes forget to practice. For me, who does not have paid work, but works hard for family, it is sometimes hard not to compare and berate myself for seemingly, not achieving, what others achieve in their careers. Tomorrow, I am travelling back to the other side of the world, after a long summer break, and your words remind me to be joyful about what I have, and what I can bring to my family. I am reminding myself that being a Mom is a very important job, and one I do well : ) Thank you, Lisa

  • A. K. Burman

    I have gone through your mail. It is really very helpful for individual life, if carefully follow it.

  • Delphina

    Love the positivity blog , they are a big help to my way of thinking

  • Comparing ourselves to others is such a bad habit to have. All it really does is get in the way of our own happiness and appreciating what we do have. I like the saying that the only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. Of course, it’s easier said than done to stop comparing ourselves to others, but the more we can be aware of when we are doing it, the better our chance of stopping ourselves from doing it.

  • Edith

    Super refreshing and true! Thank you.

  • Christine Namusia


  • Saunak

    As always this article also helping me in my real life,I always make compare myself to others.But by using your steps I find that it is very usefull to remove this habbit.
    Keep guiding us

    • shantanu sinha

      It’s really feel good when we compare our self only from our past to our present.
      Thanks for publishing good motivated guiding articles.

  • Barbara Hunting

    As always Henrik you hone in on the importance of how we treat each other as “human-beings”. If we have negative self-behavior then we will radiate this same negative energy. I work in a highly competitive academic milieu and I remind myself of “how you treat people” will come back to you– always. thanks for the timely reminder at the beginning of a new semester–it helps us all get off to a good beginning.

  • Lynne

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. I like to read your blog it gives me a lift and reminds me to think positive thoughts and put things in perspective

  • Juanita

    Thank you! A hug from Denmark

  • Godfrey Wande

    You are right Sir ,everyone is unique on his /her own way so comparison to other peoples modes of lifestyle may end up ruining ones confidence in whatever he /she does.It’s a very useful article thank you so much.

  • Agreed – we definitely can’t win if we’re always comparing. There’s always someone with more. I try to appreciate where I am and learn from the people I admire. It can be a balancing act, but well worth it!

    • Holly Walker

      You are so right. Comparing to someone else is a no win situation, there is alwasy someone who has more. So I am going to start today and compare myself to myself.

      Thank you

      Holly Walker

  • Thank you everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments and for sharing your own experience and advice! :)

  • A simple yet elegant post. You are absolutely right that comparing yourself to others just leads to reoccuring bitterness in the long run. Someone will always “have it better than you.” I put it in quotation marks because it is all relative.

    I think being compassionate towards others and comparing yourself to your past self is a great way to happiness. Thanks for the reminder to not compare myself to others. I needed it : D.

  • Tewelde

    i really find ur writing helpful they are practical advice! keep it!!