Why We Should Stop Comparing Ourselves To Everybody Else

we should stop comparing ourselves to everybody else

“Stop comparing yourself with anybody. Compare yourself with yourself, for yourself, and by yourself. We are uniquely pottered and purposed by our maker!” – Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

How many times a day do we compare our insides to someone else’s outsides?

Whether I was with my friends, in a work environment, with my family, or in public surrounded by strangers, I used to almost always be comparing myself to the people around me.

If I saw someone who looked “successful,” I would automatically assume that they “have it all together” and that they don’t ever struggle with the same basic human tendencies that I can fall prey to. I didn’t know at the time that “success” is relative; one can have money and no self-love, tons of self-love and no career, and every other pairing that there is.

I used to compare my relationship to everyone else’s, wondering if they were happier than we were. I used to wonder if they experienced fear, doubt, or pain in their relationships. I would see reels of social media highlights and wonder how those couples looked so good. I seldom thought about what might be going on behind closed doors.

Related: How To Know If You’re Being Too Hard On Yourself

I compared my level of education, area of study, and career accomplishments. I looked at my blog and told myself I haven’t written a book yet, so I really haven’t done anything. I used to get in my car in the morning and wonder how people work for themselves or start their own business and get to make their own schedules (update since I first wrote this article: I’m about to embark on the journey of self-employment with my private practice)!

All of these comparisons would ultimately eclipse the gratitude and self-efficacy I had for who I was. But what didn’t I see?

stop comparing yourself to other
Stop comparing yourself to others

I didn’t see the massive amount of work and fear that goes into success, whatever that means to a person. I didn’t see the fear, self-doubt, and small failures along the way. I didn’t see the tears and the sweat and the number of hours that someone put into their journey. I didn’t see the sacrifices they may have had to make to get to where they are today.

To me, success has to begin internally.

I once heard a yoga teacher say at the end of a rigorous class while laying breathless and corpse-like on my mat, Gratitude is not a byproduct of happiness. Happiness is a byproduct of gratitude.”

Related: 15 Things You Should Stop Doing To Yourself

I needed to spend less of my life convincing myself that once I completed this or got that, I would feel more whole. I needed to let go of the notion that other people were better or worse than me. In the words of Ram Dass, “We’re all just walking each other home.”

So what does comparing do for us? Comparing ourselves, belittling our worth, or minimizing our strengths can validate our core irrational beliefs that ultimately we are not good enough, we are unworthy, or we are not reaching our peak potential.

What would it look like for us to take each other off of pedestals? To stop assuming that everyone else is better or worse than us and recognizing that we are simply all on the same journey? To acknowledge that we are both all the same and all unique, at the same exact time?

To do this, try to bring a level of mindfulness to your internal narrative:

  • What areas of life are you comparing yourself to others the most?
  • What is lacking in your own life that you would like to expand?
  • What would it be like for you to stop putting other people on pedestals and instead let them come crashing down to the beautiful mess that is the human experience?
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Hannah Rose, LCPC

Hannah Rose is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Advanced Clinical Relapse Prevention Specialist, Licensed Clinical Supervisor, and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She has extensive experience working in the field of addiction and treating patients both individually and as couples with anxiety, depression, codependency, relationship issues, and spirituality. She utilizes a myriad of techniques from therapeutic approaches to help her patients navigate their way to inner peace while combating negative self-talk and anxiety. Hannah wholeheartedly believes in mindfulness-based stress reduction. Using an insight-oriented, psychodynamic approach, she helps her patients to navigate through their journey into wellness. She knows the non-negotiable importance of a therapeutic relationship and aims to cultivate a safe space of trust, compassion, and empathy.View Author posts