Comparisons Have No Place in Your Recovery - Brazos Recovery

Comparisons Have No Place in Your Recovery

From a very young age, we are taught what success is and how to achieve it. As children, we look up to our elders as role models. Some associate having fame and money with being whole and accomplished. Society and popular culture program us with ideas of how we should look, what we should do, act, and how to be “normal.” Sometimes, situations prevent us from being that way, or we simply want to step outside of that box to do something different.

We, as a society, look at others as a reflection of ourselves to project a reality that might not truly resonate with us. Negatively comparing yourself to others may produce various unwanted and potentially harmful mental and emotional health effects. The effects of comparison are usually adverse and are illustrated in various ways that can shape one’s life into something unwanted and unhealthy.

Why We Compare Ourselves to Others

It seems we are always thinking of how we can be better. This can either be healthy or unhealthy. A healthy comparison is using tools others have used to benefit yourself. You can model yourself around the actions someone successful has made and make similar steps to make your own version of what success looks like for you. This is a good way to look at comparison because it can motivate one to strive to make positive achievements.

When looking at others and wanting to be like them, it is because you see something that you feel you are lacking. An unhealthy way of comparison is looking only at your faults and comparing the not-so-strong parts of yourself to someone who is considered advanced and “on top.” You can be happy with working at simply doing what is possible for them at this point in time. Comparison is only negative when you make it that way.

How We Talk to Ourselves

The language we use when talking about ourselves is a very key thing to notice. Anxiety can become an endless amount of thoughts and feelings we don’t know how to cope with. Using language to talk to ourselves negatively can add distress to our mental health as a result.

The expectation you create for yourself may be based on an outside entity or person. If you are unable to meet those expectations, you can feel like you are doing something wrong. Disappointment due to an unreachable expectation can affect your mental health and life satisfaction.

The course of the language you use when speaking about yourself usually stems from another voice. This voice might come from something that was said to you as a child that you’ve held onto. That belief could then lead to navigating life from an inauthentic place. When you approach life with a judgment created by someone else, it might lead to struggles with accomplishing goals.

Giving up the Urge to Compare

We live in a massive world that will always tell us how we should be. It is possible to use the information given as a driving force or inspiration to achieve the life we once thought impossible. We can look to someone for guidance and support in a healthy way.

But, giving up the urge to compare begins with becoming aware of when we are envious of the lifestyle of another and then looking inward for gratitude for our own skills. When we create awareness of how our feelings and emotions change when compared, we can recognize the harm. Once aware, we can begin to accept that everyone is uniquely different.

This begins the process of self-appreciation and acknowledgment for what you can get out of life. Everyone’s goals are different, and they are equally good at their own passions.

The Ways, You Can Honor Yourself

It’s okay to know that you can be a better version of yourself. It is always possible to become more knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled in things you want to do and discover greater ways to be. Through methods such as therapy, you can strive for more in a healthy way as long as you are aware of the damage you risk when comparing yourself to others.

Although, that is not going to be looking through the lens of how another one behaves and who they are. There is a unique way that you can feel whole within yourself to be satisfied emotionally, physically, and energetically. Ultimately, you will find more out of life by appreciating what you have versus what you lack. Find ways to be content with who you are and how you show up daily, and you will be able to grow.

It can be a mental struggle to find gratitude for the things you have. It is challenging to see others happy when going through a difficult time or not achieving what you wished for. However, comparing yourself to others based on beliefs you were told to be true is useless to your emotional well-being. You can be inspired by others and still value your own talents and contributions. Your ego may tell you that if you are not equal to or higher than someone according to society’s standards, you are less than or inadequate. That is far from the truth. You are capable of fulfilling what you seek, and with Brazos Recovery you can receive support and mentorship on how to make that possible. We are here to provide you with the tools needed to improve yourself without comparison. Create change for your mental well-being by calling (254) 232-1550.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.