Don’t Compare Your Life to Someone’s Highlight Reel

Don’t Compare Your Life to Someone’s High-Light Reel“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
Lao Tzu

Today I’d like to focus on a negative habit that creates insecurity within, erodes self-esteem and can make you feel quite unhappy with your own life.

It’s something that has sprung up as we have moved a part of our lives on to the internet and social media.

And that habit is to compare yourself and your life to other people’s highlight reels.

What do I mean by that?

That it’s so easy to start comparing your life to the lives of friends, old classmates or celebrities of all sizes as you each day see how perfect their homes, kids, love lives are and how filled their lives are with wonderful moments.

But is that their whole lives that is shared on Facebook and Instagram?

Usually not.

It's just the highlight reel of that person’s life. The positive moments.

And it’s natural thing really, to want to share such moments or days with your friends or followers.

Now, for some people this may develop into something destructive.

Into a way of creating a more perfect image of one’s life to get that hit of instant gratification as people add positivity via comments, likes and upvotes.

But everyone has problems at times.

They fail. Get sick. Have flaws, bad days or negative habits.

No matter who you are or what you look like or do.

I have those issues too. Just like anyone else.

I still stumble and fall on some days. Doubt myself or am pessimistic from time to time. That’s human.

So don’t strive for being perfect or measuring yourself against someone else’s highlight reel.

Here are three healthier steps you can take instead:

Step 1: Compare in a smarter way. 

There will always be people who have more or nicer things than you.

Or are better than you at something. No matter what you do.

So if you want to compare then do it in a way that won't make you feel envious and inferior.

Do it by comparing yourself to yourself. See how far you have come. Look back at the obstacles you have overcome, what you have learned and how you have grown.

Step 2: Spend your energy and time on what matters the most. 

Step by step spend the hours in your day and week on building habits that will make you a better person and a happier one too.

For example, aim at being optimistic 70% of the time if you have been it maybe 50% in the past month.

Or spend more of your weekly free time on your favorite hobby or on sharpening a valuable skill. 

Step 3: Let go of what drags you down. 

If necessary unsubscribe or remove social media accounts from your flow if you feel they are dragging you down and lowering your self-esteem. Even if those things might also be entertaining right now.

Life isn't just a highlight reel no matter who shares it.

So look beyond that, remember that everyone is human and stop comparing yourself to that limited view of someone.

In the long run you’ll be happy that you did.


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.

  • Henrik you are an ultimate life saver..

  • Drashti Haria

    Thank you for the contribution and yes I was practicing it earlier too but somehow I use to compare in some or the other way but this article helped me out in understanding it better way.

  • Mae

    You really help me alot

  • I couldn’t agree more.
    Well, most of the people are following other’s success stories and trying to compare themselves to some else’s success.
    That is something we should let go in the first place if we were to succeed.
    Thank You for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Truly enjoy reading all your messages they are amazing as they inspire and motivate me

  • Hello; you have opened a very successful topic. That’s very good that the people getting awareness via your page.
    I have been following your page for a long time and I find it really useful. I am very happy to read the text of valuable people like you. I wish you continued success. Yours truly.

  • alveena sajid

    in Facebook etc its a m0ment that gets captured and we presume the whole life of that person like that and feel ourselves down..
    Well said

  • Sanju

    Really, it will help. Thank you Henrik.

  • Chidera

    I am in a race against myself and not another. Thanks Henrik

  • Frederick T Jaum

    It is truly amazing to read such articles like this during this trying times. We are pretty sure that in one way or another, all people is affected and there would never be a perfect life as of this moment. So instead of stalking to someone else’s posts, just think of our own and better ourselves, think of something that will help us go back to normal, atleast.

  • Marcia Marques

    Thank you ever so much! This was so appropriate as I have just had to listen to someone bragging about their success and wonderful life!

  • Anna

    Great article to the point thanks Henrik!

  • Hemanth Meda

    What have we done to deserve you and your valuable blogs. Thank you.

  • Great article Henrik.

    Be who you are. Be who you were meant to be.

    Everyone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.
    Khun Greg


    Oh.. My word thank you for the great words, to be honest I used to be in this way in great heights but thanks to God that I am slowly emanating from it.
    I love your words.