3 ways to make healthy comparisons

Comparing apples with apples

As humans we’re hard wired to rank ourselves against others. What probably began as an evolutionary survival strategy has morphed into an art form thanks to our 24/7 immersion in social media.

Comparisons can be brilliant motivators, highlighting or reflecting your strengths and aspirations. They can also be an opportunity to celebrate the wins and windfalls of those you love. 

However, if comparisons usually leave you feeling ’worse off, worse at and worse than’ pretty much everyone, perhaps its time to change the way you make them.

Here are three ways you can reframe your approach to what science tells us is a perfectly natural but often utterly unhelpful behaviour.


1. Compare yourself to the whole of humanity. Feelings of doubt, fear, unworthiness and vulnerability are part of the entire human family’s collective experience.  

If ranking yourself against others saps your motivation and confidence, chances are millions of people everywhere feel exactly as you do right now.  This includes all the shiny successful others whose achievements may appear at first glance to dwarf your own modest haul.

2. Catch your self and smile. When you start comparing yourself unfavourably with others remember who you really are – clever, imperfect evolving you. Check to see that you’re comparing strengths with strengths. Dazzled by another’s apparent awesomeness, our sense of self can stumble so we lose sight of our talents and abilities. Sidestep this tendency to focus on fragility and failings by asking yourself:

‘What do I admire about this person and how do I demonstrate these qualities?’

Refocus your energy on being the best version of your incomparable self and draw inspiration and the odd wry grin from channelling the attractive attributes of others.

3. Get a reality check from a member of your ‘cheer squad’. Talk to a trusted friend or colleague. It is always enlightening and perspective restoring to see ourselves through others’ eyes.   

Interested in skillful support to set and achieve your goals? I can help.

By Jo Green, Career Coach

I know how it feels to be lost in your career. That’s why I coach, to create learnings, action and help others get stuff done! Career transitioning can be lonely and confusing. I walk alongside my coaching clients to support them, be their cheerleader and challenge them to make the changes they want in their life. 

Drop me a note to organise a free 20 minute consultation to chat about your career change and how coaching could help.