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12 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others



Become really successful when you are really happy.

She dresses better than me. He has a bigger house than me. She eats healthier than me. He works less than me. She this. He that.

What about you?

Did you forget about those amazing boots you bought yourself three weeks ago? Or that beautiful two-bedroom home you’ve made your own. Or that delicious donut you enjoyed for morning tea. Or how you’re next in line for a promotion at work?

Admit it. You did, didn’t you. And that’s the power of comparisons.

Do you often find you’re comparing yourself to others? Perhaps to a family member, a close friend, or someone famous on social media? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the club. And the sad truth is that it’s a reality for too many of us as we forget we can be anything but we cant be everything.

Some psychologists believe the desire to compare ourselves to others is a drive – one almost as powerful as thirst or hunger. Comparing yourself to someone else is never going to lead to good things. Doesn’t matter who it is or what comparisons you are making, it’s only ever going to make you miserable. It’s always between you and someone else which allows them to drive your behaviour.

When we compare ourselves to others, we’re often comparing their best features against our average ones. It’s like being right-handed and trying to play an instrument with your left hand. Not only do we naturally want to be better than them, the unconscious realisation that we are not often becomes self-destructive.

It’s much more consistent today as we find ourselves living in a world with 24/7 access to viewing the best part of everyone else’s lives. We know exactly how we measure up to others out there. At least we think we know. How do these beautiful, successful people live their lives? As smart phones remain within reach all day long, we have become susceptible to the exposure of this perception with no end in sight.

Doesn’t matter whose favour it’s in

While comparisons can be informative, they’re almost always discouraging because someone ends up on the bottom. More often than not, it’s you. And what you deem as being worse off is generally an assumption made on minimal facts, which just happen to be in the right place at the wrong time.

Those times where you’re on the top end of the comparison are not going to benefit you either. Being driven purely by the desire to tower over others is not a healthy way to motivate yourself and instil passion in what it is you are trying to achieve. Happiness and fulfilment should come from a place of genuine urge based on what you love and the things which matter most to you. Being on the top end of a comparison also becomes a reason to stop aiming high once you’ve made it. If you just wanted to be the best and you suddenly are, why get any better?

What Can I Do About The Comparisons I Keep Making?

Toss your phone to start! Don’t really need it, do you? Except to text people. And call people. And email your peers. And wake you up in the morning. And order groceries. And pay for lunch. And generate invoices. Have we missed anything? Let’s get real. You’re not throwing your phone out.

The alternative is to stop it. There is only one thing you will always be better at than other people. Being you. The comparison cycle is a game you will otherwise never win, so you need to break it. It’s much easier said than done which is why we’ve listed 12 valuable reasons you should end any comparisons you’re making, so powerful you’ll want to stop today.

This is why you can’t compare yourself:

1. Perfection Is An Illusion

Think reality vs highlights. Most people – and probably all people you are comparing yourself to – only post the good bits. One amazing image of a couple having an outdoors picnic can hide the arguments had before, during and after, the freezing weather, the McDonald’s in the basket and the mosquitos all over their necks. Not to mention any difficulties at work or illnesses they are battling. We just don’t know the whole truth. If you did, you might not feel so inadequate.

2. Comparison Kills A Good Mood

You head into the office with a killer dress and are feeling confident. Until your peer rocks up with an even better outfit – the one you couldn’t afford – and your mood drops. For the rest of the day your confidence is shattered, and misery takes over. In the meantime, your attention remains diverted from your amazing new dress which still exists. Comparisons are never going to be worth these consistent mood drops.

3. You Are Never Going To Be Them

Did you see the film The Change-Up? So, you know it was fiction, right? No matter how much you try to replicate someone or any aspect of their life, you will never become them. Save yourself the grief of trying and go back to doing you.

4. Other People Work Hard Too

Chances are, the person you wish you were has worked hard to buy that house, get that job, have that body, start a business or meet their soulmate. Nothing worth having comes easy and if you really want it, you’ll have to put the effort in and stick to it. Divert your focus to your goals and you can be as good as you set your mind to be.

5. Nobody Is Perfect

And that includes you. Comparison leads to rating perfection on the number of followers someone has, or how much they can lift. Perfection means having things as good as they can possibly be. So technically, there can always be more followers and heavier weights. Technically.

6. There Will Always Be Someone Better Than You At Something

Harsh, but true. And the sooner you accept it, the happier you will be. And just because they are better than you at one thing, does not mean you are any worse off than them. Use this to your advantage! Ask them for help or advice or start discovering other things you are great at – which you will actually discover. All you need to worry about is working hard and trying your best. Whatever is meant to be will fall into place for you at the right moment.

7. Your Relationship With Gratitude

We’re sure you’ve head this before. No doubt the saying of 2020, practicing gratitude comes with endless benefits. Among them, is making less comparisons to others. When you are grateful for what you have, you won’t need to know what else is out there. Degrees, relationships, families, travel experiences and financial achievements are commonly overlooked in these situations! As are the smaller things such as pets, access to nature, flexible work schedules and so much more. Ok so Chris Hemsworth has a mansion and is ripped. You’ve got the best family and are able to walk on the beach every day. As far as you’re concerned you’ve got some amazing things going on in your life and are blessed.

8. Striving For Consistent Contentment

Imagine you are always in a state of joy and satisfaction no matter the circumstances. It’s possible, as long as you stop comparing yourself to others. Once you stop, you will be happy with your place in life, with no regard for what others are doing with theirs. Your enjoyment surrounds what you have today and you are no longer focused on what happens tomorrow. You are in a state of consistent contentment.

9. Remembering Your Strengths

It’s easy to forget what you’ve got or achieved when all your energy is spent observing what other people have. Just because someone is married, and you’re not doesn’t make them any better than you. Divert your attention to what you’re proud of. That degree you worked hard for, your most recent promotion at work or the mighty bond between you and your three sisters.

10. Benefits From Restricted Social Media

Put the phone down.

Comparison through social media has a massive effect on our mental well-being. Placing boundaries will protect you from any toxic content you are being exposed to which encourages the comparative behaviour. Start by unfollowing any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, which may include people you know. Don’t be afraid to turn your phone off. It will turn back on. We promise. Try this at times where you are vulnerable to scrolling, such as when you go to bed, or when you want to be present over social catch-ups or family dinners.

If you’re worried about becoming unresponsive through messages, let your close friends know you are restricting your social media, so they are able to text or call you directly like the good old days. When you feel obligated to check your accounts, ask yourself why? What do you need from Instagram right now? Perhaps you are bored or lonely. Tackle these problems with alternatives such as going for a walk or calling a friend.

And one more hot tip, hide the apps in a folder within a folder within a folder on your phone. When if comes to accessing them, you won’t be bothered, and it will also serve as a reminder as to why they are there.

11. Competing With Yourself Is Better Than Competing With Others

Respond to those “I can’t” thoughts by showing yourself you can or reminding yourself that you did. Where are you compared to where you were this time last year? Or five years ago? No doubt you’ve learnt, improved, accomplished and created many things. And what’s to stop you from leaning, improving, accomplishing and creating more? Nothing. If you stop comparing yourself to others!

12. Set Yourself Free

If there were only going to be one reason you need to stop making comparisons it would be this one. Set yourself free from focusing on others, the illusion social media creates and the life you think you’re missing. Restore the peace in your life by remembering happiness comes from within where there are no cameras or other people moseying around. The only person in the world you can ever be sure is truly happy – is you. 

Ready To Stop?

These powerful reasons are just scratching the surface of why comparisons are never helpful. Weaning yourself from is not going to be easy as the opportunities surround us in everything we do. Keep reminding yourself of these reasons to stop until your brain automatically recognises the thoughts simmering around your mind and puts a direct halt on them. Focus on all the things you stand to gain by not making the comparisons and remember real success in life is happiness.

Danni Shafik is a viral content writer for Execute Digital. She began her career as a journalist with a quick transition into writing as she has always told compelling stories throughout childhood and beyond. Danni loves creating viral content with varying topics, angles and audiences and endless opportunities to think outside the box for maximum engagement. Outside of writing, Danni enjoys reading, the beach, live music and exploring the great outdoors.