Comparing yourself to others

It’s so easy isn’t it? To just sit and scroll through social media and think “wow they’ve done well since uni, why haven’t I?”. Thanks to social media and the constant stream of news, we see a lot about who’s doing what and how young they were when they set up their first business. But just how do you stop comparing yourself to others?

Unfortunately, this post isn’t like my others and I don’t have the magic formula. I could just do my normal post research and see what other ideas people have but there’s no point pretending I’ve got it all worked out and I can squash my thoughts of comparison. Because I can’t and it’s something I really struggle with.

I suppose that’s why I want to write this even though I don’t have any advice. It is so common to compare yourself to other people and I know that everyone struggles with it at times. Especially in this age, as I say, where you can see the filtered versions of what everyone is up to on social media and how well they’re doing.

Personally I don’t think Instagram is the worst for comparing yourself to others, especially not with careers. LinkedIn is where I find myself in a black hole of comparison and wondering how on earth someone my age can have achieved so much with their career. I find it really useful to see how someone has progressed in their job, but it also makes me feel so behind.

This post has probably got to the point where you’re thinking, but you’re 21 you obviously don’t need to have it figured out yet. So I hope other graduates and students understand what I mean when I say that we’ve been convinced, or rather deceived, that getting a degree will mean we’re in our dream careers, achieving promotions every year and have aced it all by 25.

Some of my ideas of how to stop

One thing that helps me with this whole thing is trying to remember that it doesn’t matter if your friend is a successful doctor if you’ve never considered becoming a doctor. Why should I worry or be envious about someone else that’s doing something completely against your goals? It doesn’t matter if something is defined as successful if it isn’t what you want to find success with. Or so I tell myself but then I still end up thinking why wasn’t I set on a career in law or medicine from a young age.

Comparing yourself to others - graphic reads no one is you and that is your superpower
No one is you and that is your superpower

I do find that being aware of the issue helps. I know when I’m comparing myself to others and that allows me to stop sooner than just wallowing in those feelings of self-doubt and comparison. Some things I try to tell myself when I feel like this are:

  • I’m on my own path, which will probably bend away from others and seem like I’m heading in the wrong direction but I need to stick with it
  • It won’t help me in any way to compare myself to others or think negatively about their success
  • I’m allowed to mute accounts on social media that make me feel rubbish

It is really easy, especially as a young adult, to compare yourself to people. As a graduate, we all have our degrees now and we are ready to take on the world and see where we get. But sometimes people can edge ahead, they happen to know the hiring manager at a top firm, they got into the industry or market at the right time. There’s always things that put people ahead, but it’s important to tell yourself that your time will come.

If you have days or times where you feel a bit inadequate and find you’re comparing yourself to others, don’t worry. As long as you know that you’re doing it and are aware that it isn’t good, necessary or justified, it’s alright to have those thoughts.

Just remember…

You are good enough, you’ve got your own path in life and things happen for a reason.


Although there probably isn’t much to go off here in terms of solving the problem, hopefully it can help just one person realise that it’s only natural to have thoughts of comparison and self-doubt.

If you’re struggling at the moment, you can take a look at my other self-care posts here.

This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. hsiller77

    I needed this today! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Maddie

      You’re very welcome! 😊

      1. travelogged135

        I completely agree with your post. Social media is a boon but on the other hand it can turn into someone’s worst nightmare. Comparison and competition have taken a toll on people’s mental health and well being. We should be satisfied and grateful with the position we are on in our lives today. There are many people who don’t even get the privilege of getting education due to lack of money and resources. Thanks for sharing!

        1. Maddie

          Thank you for your insightful comment, I couldn’t agree more. Thank you 😊

  2. Clarissa

    Thank you for the post, this is a topic everyone struggles with at times. I think you’re right that just being aware that you are doing it is the first step. I know that it can help me to step away from social media for a bit when I get caught up in self-comparison.

    1. Maddie

      You’re welcome! Yes it’s definitely good to be aware of it and aware of what things trigger that!

    1. Maddie

      Thank you 😊

  3. Jeffrey

    Like that you were honest and I really enjoyed your post. I’m not yet a graduate but I try not to compare myself with guys who have made it while still studying. Everyone has their turn.

    1. Maddie

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s really difficult to not compare yourself, especially to graduates. Your time will come!

  4. Great post! I also have found myself comparing myself career-wise with people on LinkedIn more so than Instagram so I agree with that and I find that it’s a normal feeling but it’s okay as long as you still see how far you’ve came in your own career and count your own accomplishments. There’s always something great about someone’s work ethic regardless at what level they are or you are and if they do not have everything already at this X age.

    1. Maddie

      It’s definitely the worst place for it, glad you agree! Yes we need to reflect on what we’ve achieved too. Exactly 😊

  5. Em C. Writes

    What a wonderful post! It’s so nice when you realise that being comfortable in your own skin is so much better than comparing yourself to others! Thank you for sharing, this has really lifted my mood xxx

    1. Maddie

      Ah thank you so much 😊 I’m glad it has helped you xx

  6. Amani

    Love the post! It really is easy to compare yourself to others, even subconsciously and have that bring you down.

    1. Maddie

      Thank you 😊 yes I agree!

  7. Em

    What a lovely post. This is exactly the positivity that I need in my life! I find it hard not to compare myself to others. Blogging has made that very clear to me as I am always comparing my stats etc. to bigger bloggers despite only doing it for a month. This post is very inspiring and motivating. Thank you for sharing!

    Em x

    https://loveemblog.blogspot.com/2020/05/yum-yum-tree-fudge-review-sour-apple.html

    1. Maddie

      Ah thank you! Yes I’ve found that it’s actually so common in blogging, especially when there’s so much to compare to with others. You’re welcome 😊 xx

  8. Maisy

    Everyone needs to read this. It brightened my morning <3

    1. Maddie

      Ah thank you, I’m so glad! 😊

  9. John Aiwone

    You’re keeping a very important conversation going Maddie. I find it quite refreshing that you’re honest about having struggles rather than solely coming from a place where you’re giving the impression that you’ve got it figured out. Because the truth is the ability to not base your self worth on others is a skill that takes time to master. Easier said than done. Social media has changed the game. In that influencers and entrepreneurs have redefined what is possible at certain ages and periods of our lives.

    Having said that it’s good that you’ve got some affirmations together to keep yourself in the positive frame of mind and I hope you keep reminding yourself of the good things you’ve got going.

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

    1. Maddie

      Thank you so much Johnny that’s so nice of you to say! I don’t ever want to come across as if I have things all figured out, as it’s far from it. I hope that speaking the truth and talking about issues like this can bring comfort. I completely agree about social media, it’s made it such an easy problem for us all. Thanks again Johnny, means a lot 😊

  10. Jaya Avendel

    Comparison killed me for a long time, especially on social media. A lot of posts can actually be toxic if you start looking past their real intentions and begin instead to feel jealous over someone else’s success.

    Being grateful for what I have helped purge the negativity though I will be honest and admit it sneaks back in at times. Now that I am aware of it, though, it is much easier to stop it. 🙂

    1. Maddie

      I’m so sorry to hear that Jaya. I’m glad that you’re more aware of it now and can stop those negative feelings. You’re doing great! 😊

  11. Nyxinked

    This is such a helpful post. I struggle with comparing myself to others and it’s really damaging to my self-esteem.
    Thank you for these helpful tips. I’ll need to start putting them into practice.

    1. Maddie

      Thank you, I’m glad it’s helpful to you and I hope it can stop you from comparing yourself to others – there isn’t any need 😊

      1. Rohan

        Well said Maddie. This applies to everyone. Even now with a steady career and business I still compare myself to others. Thinking how is it so easy for them to succeed so quickly and it’s taken me so long. In the end of the day, this is my destiny and the path I chose so no need to compare to others, just live your life as you have it planned out. Thanks again.

  12. deeply shreded

    Really Beautiful read it was!! Means we are hurting ourselves by doing that so, and is it fare to treat yourself like that? Not at all, Thank you for sharing this Maddie…😄

    1. Maddie

      Thank you so much! It definitely isn’t fair!

  13. Emily

    This is such a great post and something that so many graduates need to remember! I can definitely relate to the feeling of comparing myself to others but thus post reminded me that I am on my own path, thank you!
    Em (planningwithem.com)

    1. Maddie

      Thank you very much 😊 that’s really good that you know you’re on your own path!

  14. Lauren Kenny

    Thanks for sharing this Maddie. It’s so important to set your own goals that reflect your own skills because everyone is different 🙂

    1. Maddie

      Thank you Lauren! Definitely 😊

  15. On The Fly Blog

    This is so relatable for everyone at all ages I think. Remembering that we’re all on our own path is really good advice – I keep comparing myself to friends who want completely different things in life. Thanks for sharing such an open and honest post!

    1. Maddie

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you! It’s so easy to do that even though our goals don’t match up! 😊

  16. Lisa Jones

    I am so guilty of falling into that black hole of comparison and it’s awful! I do get sucked in sometimes on Instagram and it makes me feel just terrible. I have to make sure I take a step back, realise what’s I’m doing and be thankful for what I do have. Not always easy to do though!

    1. Maddie

      It’s really good that you’re aware of that! It isn’t easy to stop but knowing that you’re doing it is a start 😊

    1. Maddie

      Thank you 😊

  17. James Tasker

    I’ve always compared myself to others, even before social media was a thing, I think it’s just something we all do, and sometimes it’s not a bad thing. For some of us it could encourage us to work harder to achieve our goals and ambitions, but just as much it could be something really negative in our lives. I really liked this post and has got me thinking.

    Hope you’re keeping well

    James.

    1. Maddie

      Sorry to hear that you struggle with this. It is so normal to feel that way, and yes it can be used for positive. I’m glad you enjoyed the post😊

  18. Inside The Voyage

    What a great post! Such an important message that people really need to stand by ☺️

    1. Maddie

      Thank you very much, definitely! 😊

  19. Meg

    I love that quote “no one is you and that is your superpower”, I think I need that framed! I’m going into my 3rd year and sometimes the comparison gets to me. I need to remember that everyone feels like that and to try harder not to compare myself to others.

    1. Maddie

      Haha it would make a nice print! It is so common but try your best to make a conscious effort to stop 😊 you can do it!

  20. Dave

    Great post. The prevalence of social media makes it so difficult nowadays to avoid making these comparisons.

    1. Maddie

      Thank you. It really is!

  21. Rebecca.Reads.

    I really needed this. It’s so hard to fall into a spiral of comparing yourself to others. Seeing how people you went to school with have done so well for themselves, owning their own home and having families and feeling like you were somehow left behind. But it’s so important to remember that we’re all individuals and that you don’t have to have it all figured out and be on the same path as everybody else. I have to remind myself that my time will come, and I should stop beating myself up about it.

    Lovely post thank you x

    1. Maddie

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading this 😊 I completely agree, it’s so easy to feel that way. Definitely, it’s all about how you talk to yourself 😊

  22. Charlotte Louise

    I have such a bad habit of comparing myself to others but it’s posts like this that reassure me of my own self worth and keep me positive! Thank you for sharing!x

    1. Maddie

      I’m so glad it was helpful to you 😊 xx

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