stop comparing

There is an automatic habit in many or us to judge ourselves in relation to others. It is as though we seek reassurance by comparing ourselves and our efforts by standards we did not set. Learning to spot this habit and stop comparing is one of the most liberating things a person can do.

When you stop comparing yourself with others it sets you free to discover who you really are, to grow. There is always someone richer, better looking, cleverer, and happier. What matters is you, your life, and how you live it. You cannot focus on any of that if your aspirations are led by what others appear to be or to have achieved.

Phony influence

In an age dominated by social media, the impulse to compare ourselves with others is almost unavoidable. The curated snapshots of seemingly perfect lives can leave us feeling inadequate and craving for more – more beauty, more success, more excitement. Recognising and breaking free from the cycle of comparison is vital for cultivating authenticity and finding genuine contentment.

Social media platforms connect us, but tend to present a distorted reality. Behind every flawless photo or triumphant post lies the mundane and the messy, conveniently edited out. This selective representation can lead us to measure our worth against an unrealistic standard, eroding our self-esteem and fostering a sense of inadequacy.

Embrace who you are

We must shift our perspective and focus on cultivating our real personality to counter this. Authenticity begins with self-awareness; developing an understanding of, and accepting, who we are. This includes honestly understanding our strengths and accepting our ‘imperfections’. It involves embracing our unique journey without constantly measuring it against others. This shift requires us to understand our values and set personal goals that reflect our true selves, rather than those dictated by external influences.

Remember that what you may see as ‘imperfections’ might have nothing to do with how others see you. Focussing on what you are good at, what you do right, and any strengths and talents, will help you develop a healthier perspective. Unless they are clearly holding you back, leave your ‘imperfections’ to themselves and simply ignore them.

The more thinking time you give your imagined ‘imperfections’, the more of a preoccupation they become.

Once you have begun to stop comparing yourself, another practical step towards fostering authenticity is to curate your social media feeds consciously. Be selective, eradicate anything that doesn’t inspire and uplift you. Opt out of any that trigger envy or self-doubt. Strive to create a more positive online environment. Also, experts recommend limiting your screen time and engaging in real-life interactions that ground you in reality and enhance your sense of self-worth.

More to think about

As you learn to stop comparing, there are other ways to enhance your sense of wellbeing and positive direction in your life without needing to measure yourself against the unreal standards derived from social media. Practical steps include:

Social activities

Engage in social activities you enjoy. Whether it is sport, exercise, drama… or any of a range of interests, hanging around with others benefits us in many ways. It can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness, reduce stress and improve your self-confidence and self-worth.

Practising gratitude

By focusing on what we have rather than what we lack, you can cultivate a mindset of abundance. Regularly acknowledging and appreciating the small joys can begin to shift your outlook, fostering a deeper sense of contentment.

Develop a kindness mindset

We all know the saying “It’s better to give than to receive”, and research supports this. Being kind and compassionate can significantly benefit well-being and happiness. It may even extend our lifespan. Kindness helps reduce stress and improves emotional health. By thinking and acting kindly towards others you can experience a greater sense of wellbeing and self-worth.

Breaking free of comparing

Breaking free from the trap of comparison and embracing authenticity allows us to live more fulfilled lives. It empowers us to celebrate our individuality, connect meaningfully with others, and find genuine happiness beyond the superficial allure of social media. In doing so, we not only enrich our own lives but also inspire those around us to do the same.


Image courtesy of Freepik

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.