Is it bad comparing yourself to others?

Don't fall for the "highlight reel" effect

Quote saying: Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than YOU.

Do you constantly see other people succeeding at everything they do while you don’t seem to progress?

Stop it! that is just a nasty habit that will make you less motivated in life. Comparing yourself to other people will only make you frustrated.

I had a friend of mine complaining on Facebook about how others are doing so well and that he is just stuck in his same routines and that he didn’t feel like he is accomplishing anything.

My suggestion to him and to you is that you instead start comparing yourself to your previous self. Now what does that mean? it’s simple really. Just ask yourself simple questions like:
Have you progressed in the past month? Are you better off than you were half a year ago?

These are the questions you should keep asking yourself. To be able to compare with your previous self you should also be tracking your progress in whatever aspect your currently trying to improve yourself in. I will write a post on how to effectively track your progress later.

It doesn’t matter how much your friends or competitors have advanced in the past year, it is all about how much you have progressed.

The Highlight reel problem

Another thing you will have to realize is that everyone who is something in any area, have worked their asses off to get there. What you see is the result of their years of training.

“The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steven furtick

Further multiplying the “highlight reel” problem is social media, where people only show the best sides of themselves: Vacation pictures, Great food, Out in nature etc. No one is posting about the time it took to make the food, or how long they had to drive or hike to get to the nice spot.
No one will post a bad picture of themself and everything is put through filters to make it look better.

Instead of getting frustrated and unmotivated by others success you should use it as a motivator to get to the same level as others. Reach out and ask them what they’ve done to become successful. It is always good to get feedback from those who know what they are doing.

Everyone wants the quick fix, but trust me: What comes fast goes fast. If you go on some miracle diet and loose 10 pounds in a week you are sure to gain those pounds, and then some, back.

You should learn to love the journey towards your goals instead of the goals themselves. Because when you reach your goal you are just going to find another goal that you want to reach. and then you are running at risk of getting unhappy with always being far from your goals.

It’s like with life: the ultimate goal is death, everyone will die, and you won’t enjoy the goal, but rather the journey towards it, in this case your life.

There is a quite awesome video on this subject by Yahja

If you have some questions or comments leave them below!


  1. Yahya, such an interesting refreshing post, loved the video, inspiring! What are you not seeing? You have your own very free likeable refreshing personality,you have your own style and thoughts, and people are going to be attracted to you by ‘law of attraction’. Being your own cool self, you will be successful on your own terms. Just believe in yourself! You come across as very authentic!

    • Yep.. It also a bit ties into the “haters gonna hate” mentality.. Don’t care about what others think of you and don’t compare yourself to others =)

  2. Funny — this is the third time this message comes to me today — somebody else’s video, my spouse, and now here. OK Universe — I get the message! The more we compare ourselves to others, the more we lose our own focus. Thanks for the post!

  3. Thanks Nathan for this post. You are damn right. I love the quote you use in your article. That’s a nice one “The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steven furtick

    I feel like Facebook can be somewhat depressing some time. Seeing everyone who seems to be happy even if I know that it is not true. Instead of comparing ourselves to other people I think we should focus on getting rid of our fear little by little each day and get out of our comfort zone. When I start comparing myself to other I like to refocus on myself by using the following question: “Am I facing my fears or am I running away from it?”. As long as I’m working on facing my fears no matter how small my progress may be I’m fine. What other people are doing is simply irrelevant. We are all trying our best with what we have.

    • Yes exactly.. When comparing to other you also run into the risk of comparing yourself to people who are much better off (e.g. economically), and then as a consequence you might also fall into the victim mentality where you wonder why good things are happening to other people and not to yourself.. I’m going to write a kind of followup to this post about how bad things really happen to everyone in this world and that it only matters how you handle it.

  4. I am so guilty of this. And I guess we all do this. Every single one of us has something to offer, something we have learned along the way, and there will be people out there that relate to us specifically. Great post and video thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Nathan love the quote by Steven Furtick. We really are only seeing people’s highlight reels. We really do need to remember that this is just the face they are showing us, we have no idea what is going on in the background.

  6. yes you are on your own journey, just focus on yourself

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