Why Comparing is Stupid, and How to Stop

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our ‘behind-the-scenes’ with everyone else’s ‘highlight reel’” ~ Steve Furtick.


Comparing yourself to others can be the most self-limiting and pointless thing you can do.

Yet we all do it, or have done it at some point in our lives – we compare ourselves to others and gauge where we are based on what we observe them to be doing.
Of course, part of comparing is a natural human tendency, and an important part of critical decision-making, however it becomes dysfunctional when it stirs envy and jealousy, and reinforces an unrealistic and negative self-image. And when this happens, there is never a win. I mean, how often do we compare ourselves with someone less fortunate than us and consider ourselves blessed? More often than not we do the exact opposite – compare ourselves with someone who we perceive as being, having or doing more.

And this just leaves us coming up short.

So how do we kick the habit of comparing? Well, here are a few ideas:

1. Learn from a rival’s positive points

Get your mind off of what you perceive you lack and try to learn from everyone you meet. Yoko Ono says, “Transform jealousy to admiration, and what you admire will become part of your life.” An inspiring credo to live by.

2. Stop being afraid to be yourself

Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you. Whatever size, colour, gender, race, or nationality, don’t be afraid to be yourself. God made you, and He loves what He made.

3. Forgive and learn

Learn to recognize that holding a grudge only ties you down from what you really want out of life. Untie the knot and set yourself free. Better yet, analyze and learn what actually hurt you, and use the experience to become a better you.

4. Give to others what you most desire for yourself

Echoing the timeless words of Jesus, if you want your work to be valued, value others’ work. If you want love, give love. If you want a successful career, help another’s career to flourish.

5. Cultivate gratefulness

Try to appreciate the grace of both the hurdles and the joys you’ve been given in this life. Instead of comparing, try to appreciate what you have rather than focus on what you’re lacking. And when you do this, I guarantee you’ll feel better about yourself, and about this world.

18 Replies to “Why Comparing is Stupid, and How to Stop”

  1. Tom, this is a good post for Monday morning. Another version of what you said is in 2 Corinthians 10:12: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”


  2. Hi Tom,

    I would like to quote this post of yours in my comment on another blog I read regularly. (http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/)

    I know I could simply re-blog with the options you’ve offered or quietly paste a link, but I’ve chosen to ask your permission for the following reasons:

    i. My daddy and mummy told me asking people before I use their things is the correct thing to do.

    ii. I like connecting people. That’s one of the ways I try earning brownie points with The Dude Upstairs.

    Oh, there’s another reason.

    iii. I don’t want to inadvertently land up being Schweitzer’d. 😉


    So, may I please?

    Thank you for your time, Tom.



      1. Aaaand I’m gone!

        Oh, one more thing. Thank you, Tom! Just in case Daddy and Mummy are doing their POTS (Parents Over The Shoulder) thang, you know? 🙂


        P.S.: The Hook has to clear comments with links in ’em. So my comment might not show up right away …. although I am headed there right away.


  3. Beautiful post, thank you very much. I use this idea, if i compare myself to another one, ilook for thevquality im comapring, if im intersted in it, i put a plan to learn, ore abour it and be someone better with it, if not, i dont need to compare:-)
    Thanks for the beautiful post.


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