Are You Stuck In The Self Destructive Cycle Of Compare And Despair?

May 12, 2017 Kerry Sutton

“Reality is always KINDER than your thinking.” ~ Byron Katie.

Have you noticed that every time you compare yourself to someone else, a little more of your self-esteem is eroded away? In the past this competitive need to have what he or she has was referred to as ‘keeping up with the Jones’s.'

Today social media has almost normalised this corrosive habit of comparison.  We are bombarded with a continuous stream of other people’s highlights – their latest purchase, celebration, success, who they spend their time with, and where. Nothing is left to the imagination.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel. ~ Steve Furtick


This was highlighted in one of the Dove films. Women were sketched by an FBI-trained forensic artist based on their self-description and then by a strangers description of them. The results were amazing…

Just as much as we see in others, we have in ourselves. ~ William Hazlitt


♥   A double edged sword –  In a society that craves connection, social media is a wonderful means of strengthening existing relationships, and building new ones. However, the opposite is also true. When you compare your daily life with the highlights of online friends, you can feel disconnected and alone.

♥   Comparison is the enemy of connection – It feeds insecurity,  mistrust, defensiveness and judgment. Whereas, genuine relationships based on acceptance cultivates personal growth, inspiring and empowering you to become the best version of yourself, and to do the same for those around you.

♥   Comparison stops you living a full life –  "When your focus is on what you're not, you miss out on discovering who you are." It's akin to taking the unique potential you have been born with and burying it in the back yard. Instead of an expansive life, your life becomes increasingly smaller.


   Press pause – When you catch yourself comparing. Stop! And ask yourself, “What’s going on for me right now?”. “What’s this about?" This practice of stopping and noticing is mindfulness, and its the beginning of connecting to your inner voice.

   Be kind to yourself – Are you really hard on yourself? If your answer is yes, then you will need to develop your self-compassion skills. The first step is taking notice of how you speak to yourself. If its not something you would say to someone you love, then don't say it to yourself.

Like many of us you may have missed out on learning self-compassion as a child. If that's you, it's not too late. You can begin today.

   Practice gratitude – Begin a daily gratitude practice. This simple practice is a powerful tool for refocusing on what really matters to you. Its not just a clever idea, studies have found it to positively affect both your physical and emotional health.

Become the best version of YOUDiscovering your authentic self is a life long journey. Refocus the energy you would normally use on comparing and despairing to reconnect with yourself. Ask yourself, "What makes life meaningful for me?" "How do I want to be in my relationships?" "What would I like others to say about me?"

It takes courage to ask these questions, but you owe it to yourself. And trust me, once you start you will never look back. You are unique, but only you can unlock this potential.



Lets Talk

If you are struggling with self-esteem issues and need the support of a caring counsellor, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

0403 064 874


4 Comments on “Are You Stuck In The Self Destructive Cycle Of Compare And Despair?

  1. Thank you Kerry – that’s a useful and gentle approach to trying to be kinder to ourselves. I was particularly struck by your comments on the way we can talk about ourselves – and how we would never use these words about another.

    1. Thank you Trilby. Yes they are such simple, yet powerful strategies for living an authentic life.

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