09 February, 2024

Comparison is a normal human behaviour – especially at certain ages and stages of life.

People in their teens and 20s are particularly prone to comparing their path to that of their peers and worrying they’re falling behind.

Maybe you see your friend’s promotion as a sign you’re not progressing fast enough in your own career. Or maybe you can’t scroll past an influencer’s gym pic without wishing you looked the same.

Comparing ourselves to our peers (and strangers on social media) can cause serious damage to our life satisfaction, self-esteem, and mental wellbeing.

We hope these tips help you stop comparing yourself to others so you can better enjoy what you have while working toward what you want.


Give yourself a digital reality check

Don’t compare someone else’s highlight reel to your everyday experience.

Social media has become such a normal part of our lives that we sometimes forget to separate it from reality.

It’s easy to get disheartened by a feed full of other people’s biggest wins and best moments. Remind yourself that people generally post their life’s highlights, not the struggles or mundane moments behind the scenes.


Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad

If scrolling your socials is leaving you feeling inadequate, it might be time to cull your follow list.

Following aspirational accounts of people living the kind of life you’d love can be inspiring and motivational – to a point. But if you come away feeling worse for it, reconsider your reasons for following.

Do these accounts make you feel positively pushed to work for the things you want? Or do they make you feel resentful and frustrated about your own situation?

Make sure your social media feeds are bringing you more joy than jealousy.


Water your own grass

Comparison can distract us from our own goals and self-development.

If you spend more time yearning for someone else’s situation than working on your own, it could help to focus your time and energy into actions that make you feel more fulfilled.

Reflect on what’s important to you in life, the short-term and long-term goals you’d like to achieve, and the steps you can take to get there.

Having a plan in place can help you feel more in control of your circumstances and more excited about your future.


Learn to love yourself

Comparison often has us focusing on the things we don’t like about ourselves.

Make a conscious effort to silence your inner critic by:

  • Challenging negative thoughts – Ask yourself if these thoughts are true, or if your mind is just playing tricks on you because you’re upset.
  • Focusing on your strengths – Make a list of all the things you like about yourself and keep it somewhere you can see it every day.
  • Spending time with people who lift you up – Nurture relationships that make you feel good about yourself and reconsider the connections that leave you feeling self-conscious.
  • Treat yourself like a friend – Build self-compassion by talking to yourself like you would a loved one and being gentle on yourself when you make mistakes.


Be grateful

Don’t lose gratitude for all the good in your life by comparing it to someone else’s.

Practising daily gratitude isn’t just a passing wellness fad. It’s shown to have plenty of tangible long-term benefits such as increased energy, improved sleep quality, and reduced inflammation.

You can practise gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal or simply mentally listing off three things you’re grateful for each day before you fall asleep.

It’s great to have goals for the future, but don’t forget to be grateful for what you have right now.


Humans are social creatures, and some comparison is normal and healthy. But if comparing yourself to others leaves you feeling insecure or resentful, it might be a sign of a deeper issue.

Our counsellors can help you explore your feelings and address underlying issues in a safe space. You can call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment or learn more about our counselling services here.

Does social media have you wishing for a different life? You might find this blog post helpful: Can social media cause anxiety?