Stop Comparing Your Life to Others and Start Loving Yourself [Confessions of a Twenty-Something]

I am obsessed with blogs. I follow fashion blogs, food blogs, wedding blogs (wishful thinking, obvi), and mommy blogs. I even have my own blog. I just love reading about other people’s lives and getting advice on how to style my house, clothes and life! But here’s the downside to reading so many blogs (if you’re anything like me): you’ll be envious.

I read posts about a blogger’s amazing vacation to Italy with her hot husband and adorable child, and I’m just like, “HOW?” I looked through photos of a woman’s amazing Victorian house with TWO wrap around porches and I am just like, “UGH!” I hate-read until I could not hate read anymore. I scrolled and clicked and read these blogs, wishing that my life could be how theirs appear to be. These blogs are supposed to be helpful and entertaining. They’re not supposed to make me hate my life and wish I could afford a $400 dollar dress.

I would just scroll and scroll and scroll and feel worse and worse and worse. I compared my life to these people’s lives and felt unsatisfied. I felt inadequate. My inner monologue was pretty depressing. “I could never make my wedding that beautiful.” “I could never pull off that hairstyle.” “My kids will never be that adorable.” It was completely self-destructive!

Once I realized that I was comparing my life to strangers who write blogs, I began to see that I do this with the people in my life as well. I was constantly comparing my life to that of those closest to me. I was envious of my friend’s jobs, my sister’s financial stability, my Facebook friend’s happy photos of their exciting lives. As each person got a promotion, an engagement, went on a vacation — I just began to spiral. I thought to myself, why can’t I be like that? Will I ever be that happy? I just compared and contrasted myself against all these different things until I fell into a negative funk that I could not get out of.

Why was I so set on comparing my life to others? Why couldn’t I be content and happy in my own skin? With my own life? The joy was being sucked out of me because I was reading some damn blogs. Enough was enough. I realized that the constant comparison was going to get me nowhere.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

When we constantly size ourselves up against others, we leave room for disappointment. We take the joy away from our lives. We lose our inner peace. We leave room for self-criticism and judgment. We wish we were at talented as our friend, as skinny as our coworker, and as put together as our neighbor, and with each wish of being better, we tear ourselves down. We take away our happy. We get pulled into this vortex, falling and swirling around with negative thoughts and self-loathing.

We have to stop comparing and start realizing that life is just apples and oranges. We all have different strength and weaknesses. We’re all made up of different flaws and qualities and talents. Some things we’re amazing at, and some things we totally suck at. You might have amazing hair and your BFF has wild, frizzy hair. She may have a killer singing voice and you can’t carry a tune. We all succeed and struggle in different areas. We all have problems. We’ve all got flaws. They’re just different from someone else’s, and that’s okay!

The true key to stop comparing is to just love instead. Instead of being envious or getting down on yourself, just love them and love yourself. Be happy for the lady with the amazing Victorian house. Be happy for yourself that you too have a great home to live in. When you start to get on that comparison kick, when you start believing someone is better than you, more beautiful than you, smarter than you, funnier than you, or more put together than you, just stop.  Send love. Send positive thoughts to them and to yourself. The more you love yourself, the less you’re going to compare yourself to others and feel crappy in the process.

So take that anxiety, that fear, those thoughts that rustle around in your head and tell you you’re not good enough and shake them off. Remember that you’re awesome and beautiful. Look in the mirror and repeat after me, “I am special. I am beautiful. I have great qualities that make me worthwhile. I am lovable. No one can offer the world exactly what I possess. I am cool chick/dude. I am me.” Smile. Breathe. Repeat. There will be no need to compare yourself to others when you’re happy and content with yourself.

Katie recently finished her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks incessantly about Ryan Gosling and hummus here!



    1. mrsantonucci says:

      I totally agree with you, but I think thats normal human reaction (to compare with others) sometimes!! but at the end your only and one competition should be with yourself and try to be better each day because we have a life to enjoy!! and we are responsible to make it beatiful and live that with passion!! That's what I think!:)

    2. rface says:


    3. Sarah says:

      ''I scrolled and clicked and read these blogs, wishing that my life could be how theirs appear to be.'' I have to emphasize APPEAR TO BE. The truth is, like you said we all have problems, flaws and such… You never know what is really going on behind closed doors. These people may have serious issues they may not feel obligated to talk about, you never know. It's easy to only post pics of yourself at parties, smiling and at the beach, the ones where you're the skinniest you've ever been and wear your very best outfit. So being jealous/envious is rather counterproductive, as you don't really know these people and therefore can't really say that their life is THAT great and better than yours. That's what I think in order to stop the comparison. Fantastic article, great topic, btw.

      Good luck and lots of happiness.

    4. Brittney says:

      Thank you for writing this. I think it’s something we need to remind ourselves about, and not take away our joy because another has joy in their life!

    5. This is a really great post. I have a thing in my brain that tells me "when you're skinnier, you can have all that". It's crazy, I know. But I just feel that one day, when I start dieting more or something, I'll be able to achieve all that I see on blogs. I know it's not even true, but I think I'm probably not alone in having dangerous thoughts like this.

    6. sjules1 says:

      LOVE this article. I find myself doing this far too often and it really does but a damper on your mood. Gonna take your advice and let a little more love in.

    7. Joanne says:

      Honestly, as nice as it is to see an article that addresses a problem, it doesn't offer a real solution. If you've been in this spiral for a long enough period of time, you can't just pull yourself out of it by looking in the mirror and saying, "I'm awesome." You'll scold yourself for acting like an idiot or something, then go back to being miserable and jealous.

      This article had good intentions, but the "positive thinking" solution is overused in these kinds of articles.

    8. Robyn says:

      Such a great article. I'm exactly like the negativity you speak about in this article. I was even diagnosed with clinical depression because of all the negativity I was feeding myself and because of those negative jealous voices I once had in my head. i'm on the road to recovery, and I must say it's not that easy but I know in the end it'll be worth it!:)
      S/O from South Africa over here!

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