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Compare Yourself Only to Yourself

Stefanie Schornsheim 1

Can you relate to this?

„There are people who are more successful. I am not good enough.“

„There are people who are suffering more so I should not complain at all.“

Those were the thoughts that I constantly had.

In a world where people die from „real“ diseases, I did not accept that my anxiety disorder is „real“ too. And when looking at work topics, I only saw people who are more talented, more successful, or more confident than I was. So who was I to even try to land a new job?!

What I did was a mistake that I believe many people with anxiety do: We compare ourselves to others.


Original photo by Isaac Smith

Comparing yourself to others is, first of all, unfair. You never know how many times they failed, what their situation is, what history they have, how their relationships are going, or how they perceive their life.

Most of the time we tend to compare ourselves when we start to people who have been on their journey for a long time.

In a video game, this would be like comparing a level 1 character with basic gear to a level 20 who already invested hundreds of hours into the game to achieve a high rank with lots of fancy gear.

What we need to do is find our own scale. Just think about the following:

Imagine a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 is the lowest and 10 is the best. Let’s say this scale is for happiness. If I would ask you how you feel today and you’d say seven – that says nothing. Because it is your own interpretation of the scale. If I would say „oh, I feel like a seven too“, we could still feel totally different. What seven means to you is different than what seven means to me.

It comes down to our personal pain and stress levels. A task that is easy for you could be overwhelming for someone else. A cold can be easy to deal with for you but for others, it’s the worst. Someone who is used to exercise can probably lift more weight or work out longer than someone who goes to the gym for the first time.

You see, comparing results and progress only makes sense when you look at where you were yesterday and where you are today. Track this instead of looking at the green grass in other gardens. Focus on your lawn and nurture it until it looks like you imagined it.


If you want to track your progress in any field, you can develop a scale for yourself. Write down every day or every week what you achieved, or how you felt, based on your scale. A method I enjoy using is a tracker in my journal.

Original photo by Prophsee

You could have a square for each day and write in a number how you feel or you could draw a diagram. Find something you enjoy and include it in your evening routine. Look back at the day you had and pencil in the number of your average feeling. At the end of the week or month, you can compare your current self to the self of the past.

This method works for everything you want to achieve. If you want to work out more, paint a square each day you exercised, meditated, reached your goal of how much water you wanted to drink, and so on.

Let me know in the comments how you are using habit trackers ⬇️

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