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When You Can’t Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

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I can’t help but compare myself to others. It’s like a subconscious habit I have and am not able to stop before it’s too late. I often find myself forcing my eyes to the floor to avoid looking at people or shaking my head to try and get rid of the negative thoughts I have about myself. But sometimes it’s so overpowering that nothing helps and I’m ultimately left thinking about how I’m not good enough and will never be good enough because there’s always somebody that’s better looking or better at something than I am.

I understand this pattern of thinking is incredibly unhealthy for my self-esteem and bad for my mental health, but it feels like I can’t help it. My mental health is not great as it is (I battle with the highs and lows that come with bipolar disorder), so this kind of thinking does not help. And unfortunately I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this way, living with a mental illness or not.

We live in a world where it’s so easy to compare ourselves to others. Take social media for example. In the click of a button I can see “perfect” abs, “perfect” guitar playing, “perfect” anything and it can get exhausting after a while. Especially when you’re constantly comparing yourself to others and are trying to live up to their standards. Not to mention society’s expectations. So here’s what I have to say to my fellow comparers.

Everyone is dealing with their own issues and is on their own unique journey. You can’t compare yourself to others because you’re different. Everyone is different. So you can’t compare. You simply can’t. All that matters is that you’re doing your best. Your best may not necessarily be someone else’s best, and that’s OK. You are the only person you should be comparing yourself to because the only person you should be trying to be better than is who you were yesterday.

I often talk about how I strive to be “perfect,” but always end up disappointing myself because I can never reach those standards. And I’ve come to realize that’s because perfect is impossible. There is no such thing as perfect. It simply doesn’t exist. And we need to stop striving to be something that is unattainable and need to learn to accept ourselves for who we are. There is nothing wrong with any of us and we as a society need to learn to teach self-love instead of hate because it’s so important to love who you are. So important.

So from now on, that’s what I’m going to do. Stop comparing and start loving. Because at the end of the day I’m all I’ve got, and I think I’m pretty lucky to have me.

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Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure
Originally published: October 16, 2017
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