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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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…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Azhrar

    I guess the idea of comparing ourselves with the previous ones is amazing, as we can realise how far we have gone towards our aims and dreams. I’ll definitely start using these tips, cause I also suffer from comparing myself to my succesfull peers time by time. Thanks a lot !

  • Rhonda Geiger

    Those are all good ideas just need to put them to work in my life. So I can move on to better things and places. Thanks

  • Wal

    It’s a very good article. Brilliant thoughts about how we should think about ourselves and other people.

  • Sharon

    What about becoming a people pleaser? Trying to please people too much

  • Susan Cooper

    I always look forward to reading your posts! Whenever I compare myself to others I always fall short and I can be my own worse enemy by far. I usually end up with feelings of self pity and those are very destructive for me so to get back on track and get some gratitude back I can use Comparison in another way by seeing someone who is in a worse way and realize how far I’ve come on my journey.

  • Elli

    I look forward to reading your positive blog. You cover a lot of different subjects so you can reach all of us. I believe people should read and listen to more positivity because what you put in, you put out. Feed your mind happiness and you will be happy. Thank you for sharing your good thoughts.

  • Great reminder. With social media, comparison is even more amplified. I’ve heard someone say that you can’t compare your middle to someone’s highlight reel, and I always try to remember that. You don’t see how hard someone worked to get where they are. Focus on your own goals & your own path.

  • Positivity is priority and it needs to be prioritized in order to fulfill a delightment to your living.

  • Cynthia Wilson

    I love your blog! It is always right to the point without the fluff. I can read and gather much wisdom quickly. Keep up the excellent work. I appreciate your work!

  • Sharon

    Hi Henrick!
    You always hit the nail on the head with your inspirational and thought provoking articles.
    I try daily to tell people how awesome and great they are. It’s always a win win! You rock Henrick and thanks for assisting us in striving to be better than we already are!

  • Mark

    Great article. One observation – Even comparing with yourself can be toxic! At 42 I compare my body and fitness with when I was 25! Self-acceptance is key.

  • Geoff Longstaff

    Really good reminders Henrik, its easy to slip back into the negative comparison mindset.

  • Anna

    Thanks Henrik, good advice just remember “you are not better than anybody, you are not worse than anybody you are as good as everybody”. If you focus on this quote and change your behavior you will feel better about your life.

  • Lynne Hauser

    Henrik, the universe continues to amaze me! You & Clare Downham are 2 of my favorite people to follow. This is a link to Clare’s message today:


    I hope you enjoy it!

    I especially love the Mark Twain quote:
    “Comparison is the death of joy.”

    Thank you for improving my life experiences!


    • What a lovely thing to share Lynne. I love it when we see those beautiful synchronicities in life.

  • Comparing ourselves to others is a losing proposition.

    Some people are born into more fortunate circumstances than others.

    We all have our own abilities and challenges in life. Comparing ourselves to others who have their own challenges will only lead to depression, or delusions of grandeur.

    We are all unique. Embrace it.
    Jason Andrew