How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

We are taught from a young age to stop comparing ourselves to others. Yet, it’s much easier said than done. There are endless ways in which we tend to compare ourselves including our jobs, income, house, grades, likes on Instagram, and the list goes on. Not only are there an infinite number of areas in which we can compare ourselves to others, nowadays because of social media, it would appear that there is also an infinite list of people we can also compare ourselves to.

First-hand experience has taught us that comparison leads to unhappiness. It allows us to focus on what we don’t have or what we aren’t happy with about ourselves. It’s true that there can be some benefits to comparison. For instance, it could drive you to succeed in fulfilling your own goals. It may even reassure you that if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too. Nevertheless, it often leaves us feeling frustrated, “why not me?” It can also make us feel anxious – “am I doing enough?” The energy we spend on these thoughts is predominantly negative. It eats away at our precious time, zaps at our motivation and fills us with self-doubt.

This reaction is not unusual. According to a study concerning envy in adulthood, more than 75% of people reported feeling this way in the past year. Below are five proactive approaches to stop comparing yourself to others, and regain control to focus on your own path.

white paper with be yourself everyone else is already taken print
Photo by Matej on

Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Establish the triggers

The first step is to acknowledge when these feelings of envy generally come about. Is it after a session of scrolling through your LinkedIn feed? Perhaps it’s after glancing at your friends’ Instagram stories. These observations teach us a lot about our values. Let off some steam or seek to understand these comparisons by getting it down on paper. Write about how they impact you, is there a goal that you could perhaps establish in order to achieve that in your own life, or is the comparison simply a waste of time. Become aware of the triggers and analyse them accordingly.

Practice Gratitude

Thankfully, practicing gratitude can override these negative emotions. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, take a look around you – think about who and what you’re grateful for. It may help to write these down or even make this a collective activity. With your family, friends, or partner, create a gratitude jar. Find a mason jar, decorate it to your liking, and fill it with at least one thing each day that you are grateful for. With the current situation, you could consider creating a virtual gratitude jar through a Whatsapp group. When you find yourself slipping into comparison mode or self-doubt, reach for the gratitude jar to uplift you.

Identify your Achievements

When focusing on others, we tend to focus on their strengths and, consequently, we ignore our own. This is a lose-lose situation that can be proactively turned into a win-win situation. Go ahead and identify your own achievements to reflect on your skills and talents. Begin to list all of your recent (or not so) achievements, no matter how big or small. From helping a friend to doing a workout with zero motivation, take pride in your achievements.  

motivational simple inscription against doubts
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

Embrace the Inspiration

Behind everyone’s success is a story. We tend to focus on the outcome as opposed to the hours they spent working hard and making sacrifices for their achievements. Instead of focusing on envy, embrace it as a form of motivation. Who are the people you aspire to be like? If you know them, reach out to them. If it’s someone in the public eye, do your research and find out about their story. Let them be the inspiration for what you can be, do and achieve.

Friend or Foe?

There are two options when it comes to self-talk – friend or foe. You know that voice inside your head that tells you every insult under the sun? This one’s the foe. If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself. When you succumb to comparison mode, be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself by acknowledging and reminding yourself of your unique values. Give yourself pep talks that build up your confidence, and instill you with positivity.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.” – Zen Shin

There will always be someone more successful, more intelligent, or more beautiful than you are. The key is to appreciate your uniqueness, focus on strengths. Take control of where you put your energy. Use it to believe in yourself and create the life you desire and deserve.

You’ve got this!


  1. amandakaybradley says:

    Great advice! Comparison can steal so much from us if we aren’t careful about our mindset and the impact it has on our lives. I think gratitude is such a great way to re-focus on yourself and your own goals instead of what others around you are doing. Thanks so much for sharing – so inspirational!

    1. Thank you – yes, mindset is everything. You’re right, it’s so important to focus on our own goals.

  2. I really like this post. Self talk, identifying our achievements and practicing gratitude is so important to our well-being

    1. Thank you so much, yes thankfully there are so many practical things we can do to help overcome it

  3. Wioletta Lech says:

    Thanks for such an inspirational read. I love all the points that you listed, especially the one about practicing gratitude.

    Being grateful for the things I used to take for granted allowed me to see how much I have in my life and that it’s all up to me how I use this potential.

    I actually wrote a similar blog post myself. If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link:

    1. Thank you, yes gratitude is so important – it’s easy to take things for granted when we’re so used to having them in our lives. Amazing, I’ll check it out!

  4. Ashley says:

    This is something that I have been struggling with a lot lately being on social media more and putting myself out there. Thank you for this.

    1. Yeah I find it can be a struggle after looking at social media too. I set the timers on Instagram and that really helps me! Thank you 🙂

  5. Great tips on such an important topic – thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Wow, this is great advnice, thank you for sharing! I think I also sometimes fall into this trap, so this is a great reminder. I especially liked the part about triggers – I think I have to do some soul searching about this one!

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, I know what you mean. Triggers do require some analysis for sure.

  7. Kelly says:

    Comparison is the thief of joy. I cut back on how much time I spend on social media, and it’s done wonders for me. I try to live more in the present rather than look at what everyone else is doing!

    1. Me too! It is actually such a relief to not compare myself to others so much on social media. Instagram was (still can be) my downfall!

  8. I have always loved this quote “comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt.

    1. Me too, it sums it up very wisely!

  9. Kimberlie says:

    I’ve never thought about identifying my achievements, but live this idea. Thank you.

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  10. Kayla says:

    This is really great advice we all could use!

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