Feel Secure With Healthy Self-Comparisons

Learn how to use comparisons healthily, and practice making upwards and downwards comparisons.

Even though we know we shouldn’t, it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others when trying to figure out how well we are doing.

Others can reflect how beautiful, talented, financially well off, or even skilled we are.

We get good information from making comparisons, but the benchmark we use to do so can determine how well (or badly) we feel we are doing ourselves.

This can even influence our motivation and how we feel about ourselves after that.

Next time you start comparing yourself to another person you respect, use an upward comparison to motivate yourself to do better.

Look to those you admire and respect and who are similar (don’t compare apples to oranges).

Let’s try an example.

In the space below, write down something you want to improve.

Then write down the name of someone you admire who serves as a good example to follow.

To acknowledge your progress and abilities, use a downward comparison; look to those less advanced than you but on the same journey.

Using comparisons at the right time can keep us engaged with our goals and stay motivated.

Let’s try it again.

Write down somewhere that you think you have recently made progress in the space below.

Then write down the name of someone who is on a similar journey but has not yet reached your level of progress.

Are your points of comparison encouraging?

Or are you choosing the wrong people against which to do so and feel worse as a result?

It may be time to change your reference points to those just above and below you.


Remember to use self-comparisons in ways that are helpful to yourself!

How did the activity make you feel?