August 23, 2018 Felicia Durling

5 Ways Comparison Lowers your Self-Esteem

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”

-Theodore Roosevelt

When we compare, we rob ourselves of joy and hurt our self-esteem. In early recovery, it is easy to look around and feel that everyone else has their lives so ‘together’. Learning to accept that recovery is a part of life, for things beyond addiction, is a practice in accepting God.

God works all things for good, and nothing happens in His world by mistake. Comparing might make us feel like we are deficient. We may start to think that God must have missed part of the package with us, or that somehow some are more special than we are. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God knew us and loved us before we were born. God’s plan for us is more remarkable than we are able to conceive. You are not a mistake. Nothing about you is mistaken.

  1. ‘Stalking on Social Media’: All the world’s a stage in social media and we are all fantastic actors. While some people are incredibly open and expressive about the personal details of their lives, others put on an award-worthy show of perfection. Online profiles gives us the chance to define ourselves- that is part of the appeal. Spending hours pursuing someone’s profile pictures or posts is a sure fire way to fall into comparison. Who are we to assume we know what someone was thinking, feeling, or experiencing during every moment of their online lives?Contrary Action: stop spending time looking at other’s profiles or trying to make yours seem perfect. Live your life authentically in the real world, and your praise will come tenfold in ways more worthy than ‘likes’.
  2. Other people’s bodies: Most people experience shame, guilt, and insecurity about their bodies. Looking at celebrity photos or those of our friends don’t tell the whole story. “Why do they have that body and I don’t” has a lot of answers. Genetics and God’s beautiful mastery makes each of us a one-of-a-kind. Imagine the work that goes into looking like everyone else. Celebrities spend a hours upon hours a day working on their physical appearances, as if it were a full time job. We don’t know what pain and suffering our friends might endure to look the way they do. We also don’t know whether or not they feel as insecure.Contrary Action: practice seeing everyone as a unique creation of God’s artistry.
  3. Criticizing your own body: Spending time looking in the mirror is lost time. Your body is on a journey, much in the same way you are. It has been changing since the day you were born, and it will continue to change for the rest of your life.Contrary Action: use a dry erase marker to write positive things about your body on your mirror. Read these affirmations every day.
  4. Judging: Putting others down in our minds is like consuming poison for our souls. Though it may seem to make us feel better, deep down we are making ourselves feel worse for not acting with grace. We have one judge. Here’s the secret: it’s not us! A smile or a scowl, we have no idea the volumes of stories one’s life has to tell.Contrary Action: Believe that God works in everyone’s life. It is a choice you have to make and practice.
  5. Magazines and Advertisements: Simply put, it’s mostly fake. Photoshop and digital alteration are used to make you think you have to look a certain way or own a certain product. Advertisements are curated on the marketing scam that you are imperfect, but you can be perfect with ‘this’ product. Be wise, and rise above the silly falsehoods.Contrary Action: Set a goal for a period of time to not buy and read magazines. Try to skip advertisements online or ignore commercials on TV.


The Center for Life Change is committed to helping patients make bold and positive changes in their lives that heal their self esteem. If you’re ready to seek treatment and recovery, contact us at 951 775-4000.

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