Five Ways The Comparison Trap is Killing Your Self-Esteem

women and self-esteem

I've often heard the phrase "comparison is the thief of joy." And boy, does it ring true! How many times have you witnessed the act of comparison literally steal your joy right from up under your nose?

Ever found yourself mindlessly scrolling social media and came across someone in your feed doing something amazing? Perhaps they just got a promotion or landed the job of their dreams. Maybe they just purchased a brand new car or home.  They could have even started that business they've been working towards for quite some time. And while we feel pride and offer heartfelt congratulations when our closest friends accomplish goals, oftentimes, it causes us to reflect on our own lives. 

Whether it's associates, sworn enemies, or strangers we've only connected with online, we can undoubtedly find ourselves comparing our paths to others. And with the constant access to other people's presumably perfect lives unfolding daily on our social media scroll, it's hard not to. However, if you make a habit of doing this too often, you may have fallen into the comparison trap. This never-ending loop of negative thinking will delay any real progress towards your own personal goals and ruin your self-esteem in the process, if you're not careful. 

In this post we will discuss the ways in which the comparison trap is killing your self-esteem and how to reverse it!


1. It affects your inner dialogue. Constant comparison traps you in your own mental warfare. It attacks you with nothing to silence the voice that's telling you you're being unreasonable. The various ways you begin to compare yourself with others causes you to play messages in your mind that may not be true. Those messages will lie to you, telling you that you may not be as successful as him/her because you're not as smart, as attractive, or as talented. These messages send you down a spiral of self-doubt and insecurity

2. It makes you doubt yourself and your worth.  The comparison trap sets off a self-doubt that can be hard to shake.  As these messages replay during your idle time, you begin to momentarily forget the things that make you great. Those intrusive thoughts make you undermine your accomplishments, belittle your experiences, and make you believe that you are inferior to another. 

3. Thus, it makes you shrink from the inside out. Once you start undermining your accomplishments and capabilities, you start living inside of your head and believing you're not capable of great things. You begin that slow process of sabotaging your own personal progress before you can even get started. 

4. It makes you blind to your own unique gifts, talents, and abilities. As you begin the downward spiral, you become so fixated on what's "wrong," you lose sight of all that is going well in your life. You no longer consider how far your hard work and dedication has gotten you. You seem to forget that your God-given gift has brought you so many blessings and opportunities in the past. You neglect the fact that your unique skillset has helped others along the way, as well.

5. It tricks you into believing that someone else's assumed happiness somehow trumps your own. Once the negativity disrupts your thoughts, it convinces you that you can no longer have whatever it is you desire. It urges you to believe you can't accomplish your goals because someone else has already excelled at doing something similar. 

And we all know that isn't true. Success can happen for all of us. Having healthy, thriving relationships is not something set aside for certain people. But, because we hyper-fixate on the lives of others, we lack the focus to improve ourselves. 


1. Spend some time with yourself to really get to know you. Also, shut out any other noise going on around you. Once you have silenced that inner critic, you can take this time to build yourself up, reminding yourself of all of your accomplishments, triumphs, greatest feats, best qualities, and anything to boost your self-esteem. The best project you will work on will be you. 

2. Seek out a mentor (once you've done some soul-searching of your own on your own). Collaborate with someone you admire. Spend time with others who feed you spiritually, nurture you, and remind you of your worth.

3. Share yourself and your gifts with others. Nothing makes one feel better than walking in their purpose and seeing others benefit from them walking in that purpose. It will inspire you to inspire others and remind you that your unique gifts and qualities matter. Your gifts are not only a blessing to you, but to others around you!

self-esteem in women

Please be aware, dodging the comparison trap is not a "one and done" thing, ladies and gentlemen. You will have to continuously encourage yourself. You must take the time to water yourself daily and practice self-care consistently. This is not to say you won't ever feel a pang of jealousy in your heart for another person. This doesn't mean that you won't compare yourself to anyone else ever again. But it will give you the focus and determination to write your own success story on your own terms.


Photos by Humphrey Muleba for Unsplash


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