Why comparison makes anxiety worse


Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

In the case of anxiety, comparison can quickly eat away at our self-confidence.


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The pitfalls of comparison

Chances are we will fall into one of two traps:

1. Judging ourselves for not being good enough

  • thinking others are braver than us
  • or they cope better
  • or they are more together


2. Judging others to justify why they may appear to be doing better

Watch out for phrases that start with "at least they…” or, "it's alright for her because..."

We may bounce from one trap to the next. Feeling bad about ourselves can easily lead us into criticising others.

When we push someone down , we may feel better for a short while. But it won't sustain us . While we are focused on fault finding in others, we are losing the opportunity to better ourselves.

The only comparison we need

Is to ask “How am I doing today, compared to yesterday?”

Ask yourself: What small action can I take today to help me be better than yesterday?

Journal out your thoughts and write down anything you did today to help yourself move away from anxiety.

Take small steps to support yourself everyday and you will feel them grow and lift you up over time.