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.


Free Exclusive Happiness Tips

Join the 80,000 people that subscribe to the Positivity Newsletter and you’ll get practical tips on happiness, self-esteem, productivity and more each week.

You’ll also get these three guides for free:

  • 21 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.
  • 7 Steps to Stop Being So Lazy.
  • 10 Things You Can Do When Life Sucks.

100% privacy and no spam. You can unsubscribe anytime.

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.

  • Narola kavita


  • Santosh Shrikhande

    Thank for the wonderful Post… I’m facing this problem from a long time. I will try definitely try to follow these habits..

  • I agree with step 2 Henrik.

    We should focus on comparing ourselves to ourselves. Self improvement is important for our individual growth.

    Comparing ourselves to others will only cause us stress and anxiety because someone else will always be better.
    R.G. Ramsey

  • Aks

    Thanks for the points. I have been avoiding comparison with others, but recently there was an instance which I want to share here, it was opposite meaning, the front or the opposite person was comparing his own self and to have a edge over me, because of his insecurities, as he was not able to match my caliber, had started playing cheap games in front of management to showcase that he was not less than or rather proving that he has more caliber than me, where he fell on his face no doubt, and I was humble to coperate with him and worked as team to accomplish the goal. But my concern here is that, or rather what disturbed me was his behavior of suddenly sideling me n starting off silent competition of proving his own self, which makes me feel demotivated n it makes me to stop to that person, but in corporate world it doesn’t work so, so please could u advise as to how do I protect myself from such person who wants to lead rat race but I being least interested in becoming part of it.

  • Step 2 the best the only person we should be comparing is ourself. We should try to be better each and every day. Great advice

  • lilian

    Absolutely true we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others

  • Daisy Hartwell

    It’s my life-long problem! Thank you for your blog and all these wonderful tips!

  • Muskan

    It is very helpful thanks for sharing it

  • Ruth

    This was extremely helpful. I find that when I fall into the comparison trap nothing is right in the world so I have to shake myself and remember I am me and am happy being so.
    Thanks for the refresher course!

  • Vivek

    Why do we compare ? Animals can’t compare and they are happy.
    Probably the reason why we compare is that we are unsure about how good or bad we are doing. Hence we use others as a yardstick.
    We need to contain this unsureity– if that is a word — to avoid comparison.

  • Thank you very much.
    This is an excellent approach in life, considering all the frastrations we are faced with on a daily basis.
    I appreciate this greatly.

  • Minoru Koshima

    ??????? I feel so happy after reading this/these blog. Thank you
    Kind regards

  • Bernard Mwase

    I agree with you on step 2. For example if one is alone and looks in the mirror, the image that pops out is that of ourselves (me included in this case), and not of the other person that we compare to, and so, this becomes a reminder that the only person we should compare ourselves to is the one reflected in the mirror and not one whose image isn’t. From my understanding about this problem, one of many reasons we ‘struggle’ to let go of this trap, if I may call it is probably we have not discovered ourselves yet, that’s, in terms of how far we have developed. If only we can one day, look at the photographs of our past and compare with what we are today, I am certain that we would come to near realisation of the truth, and who knows, we could slow down and eventually ‘ stop punishing’ ourselves for nothing.

  • Anonymous

    Really loved to read your posts.. it’s gives a new life to me.. I am very addictive to compare my self with others in every aspect of life .. whether it’s career, financial or physical appearance I always used to compared .. And this habit of mine destructs my self esteem. But whenever I go through your posts it works like medicine to deases.. one thing is for sure it’s really helpful but the issue is still there with me I couldn’t get rid off this habit permanent..?