Stop Comparing and Start Living: 13 Ways to Get Over The ‘People Better Than Me’ Syndrome

We all have those moments. 

You meet someone who seems to have it all together, and you think, “Wow, that person is so much better than me.” 

Suddenly, you feel small, insecure, second-rate. 

It's an awful feeling, isn't it? 

But here's the secret: you're not alone. 

We all struggle with comparing ourselves to others now and then. 

And the good news is there are simple, effective ways to handle those “people better than me” thoughts when they sneak up on you.

Why Does It Seem Everyone Is Better Than Me?

It's an all-too-familiar feeling—scrolling through social media or talking to an impressive friend and suddenly being hit with pangs of insecurity. 

man standing beside large window looking out Are People Better Than Me

You start questioning yourself, wondering why others seem to have it so much more together. 

Where does that nagging “everyone is better than me” feeling come from? A few key culprits to consider:

  • Social media. We just see the exciting snippets of people's lives, not the full picture. Makes their realities look perfect!
  • Comparing your behind-the-scenes to others' highlight reels. But remember—they do the same messy, human stuff we all do!
  • Focusing on what you lack versus your strengths. Our brains tend to zero in on perceived weaknesses.
  • Impostor syndrome. Feeling like a fraud about your accomplishments is common.
  • Negativity bias. We give more mental weight to failures than wins.
  • Assuming others are confident when many also feel self-doubt. We can't see people's inner critic.
  • Extraversion bias. Outgoing personalities stand out more, causing inaccurate comparisons.

The truth is, nobody has it all figured out. We all feel self-doubt sometimes. Start focusing less on comparing and more on appreciating yourself! You have amazing qualities that make you, well, you.

Are People Better Than Me? 13 Ways to Get Over This Worry

It's nearly impossible not to compare yourself to others, especially those who radiate poise and talent. When we get stuck feeling inferior, it skews our self-perception. Here are 13 tactics to combat “people are better than me” thoughts and recognize your inner badass. Comparison is a thief of joy—learn to celebrate yourself!

1. Audit Your Social Media Habits 

What we see on social media rarely reflects reality. Yet the highlight reels of others can make us feel like everyone is living their best life while we slog along. Start being intentional about who and what you follow. Does viewing certain accounts spark inspiration or envy? 

Feel free to mute or unfollow accounts that bring more stress than joy. Remember that social platforms show carefully curated moments designed to entertain and impress. Apply a heavy filter to what you perceive as normal or better.

Consider doing social media cleanses as well, whether that’s taking a full break or limiting checking to set times. Remove the apps from your phone if needed. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. But is endlessly scrolling worth increasing self-doubt? Give yourself healthy boundaries.

2. Catch Those Comparison Thoughts

Our minds often make judgments so quickly we don't even notice. If you feel frequent pangs of “she's so pretty” or “he's so successful,” actively work to catch yourself making comparisons. The moment you have an ouch thought like, “I'll never be that good,” stop and ask is this useful? 

There will likely always be people accomplishing more in certain areas. But people have different interests and strengths. Comparing your persona to someone else’s highlight reel is neither accurate nor helpful.

Intentionally shift out of the comparison mindset when those thoughts arise. Remind yourself that your only real competition is yourself—stay focused on your growth. Avoid traps like saying, “I suck at that,” or “I could never.” Be gently curious about others' talents without measuring them against your own.

3. Get Clear on Your Own Goals 

When we don't have a strong sense of purpose and meaning, it’s easier to get sidetracked, thinking others are better. Do you know what makes you feel engaged? What are your core values? Do you have a vision for your life, even if there are unknowns? 

Figure out what matters most, whether that’s connections, creativity, knowledge, influence, service, variety, calm, or something else entirely. Get clear on your personal definition of success independent of societal measures. 

Journal about your interests, gifts, and what type of impact you want to make. Define what a fulfilling, meaningful life looks like for you. This clarity helps insulate you from worrying whether people are better and lets you live more intentionally. Redirect from comparison toward actualizing your unique potential.

4. Get to Know the Full Person

We tend to assign almost superhuman confidence and capability to some people. But everyone deals with uncertainty and periods of feeling inadequate. If you find yourself envying friends or colleagues, make an effort to understand their full story. 

Have candid conversations to learn about their insecurities and challenges, not just wins. Ask insightful questions and actively listen without judgment. Seek an understanding of their motivation, creative process, and lessons from mistakes. You’ll often find the journey was messy, filled with detours and doubts. 

Peel back the layers on what makes someone tick. Recognizing their humanity helps temper assumptions and envy into compassion.

5. Celebrate Others' Success 

Cultivating an abundance rather than scarcity mindset is key. Viewing everything as a zero-sum game makes us petty and insecure. Instead, see the success of others as something that in no way limits your chances. There are endless possibilities and more than enough prosperity to go around.  

two women sitting on sofa drinking wine Are People Better Than Me

When you notice wins, big or small, in your network, show support through likes, comments, and verbal praise. Share resources that align with people’s talents and interests to thoughtfully fuel their growth. Connect people with similar passions. This builds community and gives back good vibes.  

Lift others up versus feeling threatened. Everyone needs encouragement. Your kindness may inspire them to help you succeed.

6. Focus on Appreciating Yourself

Carve out regular space for self-appreciation and gratitude. What do you love about your weird brain, your resilient heart? Make lists of your accomplishments, talents, values, and quirky personality traits. What are you damn proud of even if others don’t see it? 

Look back at old journals, photos, and memories that spark joy. What challenges have you overcome? What unique contributions do you offer? Who have you helped along the way? Consider keeping a brag book to reference on tough days. Filling your cup transforms scarcity thinking.

7. Mindfully Observe Your Thoughts 

Much of our suffering comes from buying into the storyline in our heads rather than what’s really happening. Our inner voice can be harshly critical even when there’s no real threat. Punchy judgments like “nobody likes me” or “I’m so stupid” often scramble our thinking caps.

Practice mindfulness to catch your thoughts rather than automatically believing them. Picture them floating by like clouds. Ask if each thought cloud seems helpful and true before taking action. This creates space to respond thoughtfully. 

Stay curious about your inner world without necessarily believing every passing notion. This builds self-trust and ease.

8. Set Smaller Goals

Reframing how you define success can help you stay intrinsically motivated day-to-day. Comparing your progress to others achieving big things can feel totally deflating. Instead, focus on personal growth through smaller incremental wins. What baby step could you accomplish today that edges you forward? 

Break down big goals into tiny, non-intimidating chunks. Each bite-sized win will compound and build confidence in your abilities over time. Small measurable targets provide structure – how many times per week will you practice that skill? Even 5 minutes counts. Consistency matters more than magnitude when cultivating new habits.

Celebrate the micro-wins wholeheartedly. Did you stick to practicing your instrument three times this week as planned? Major victory! Sign yourself up for that beginner's yoga retreat. Buy yourself flowers for finishing that proposal. Have a dance party for sending that email. Revel in your tiny triumphs.

9. Limit Input from Negative People

If certain friends, family, or co-workers constantly nitpick your efforts or can only comment on how others are smarter, more successful, etc., distance yourself from their negativity. 

Their fixation on comparison likely stems from personal insecurity vs. your worth. But exposure erodes confidence in unhelpful ways over time.

Politely decline conversations centered on measuring people’s relative talents or status. Leave situations where people compete for who’s best. Rather, proactively surround yourself with those who uplift others and believe in collective success. 

They’ll reassure you that all comparisons are misleading and unhealthy. Lean on your cheerleaders.  

10. Practice Random Acts of Kindness 

It’s easier to worry that “everyone is better than me” when your focus stays entirely inward. Shift from obsessive self-scrutiny to taking small acts of service focused on others’ needs. 

Find little ways to assist friends and strangers alike. Help that mom juggle her groceries. Let someone go ahead of you in line. Send a “thinking of you” text to an old friend.  

Acts of kindness release feel-good neurotransmitters boosting your mood. Helping others combats depressive rumination in powerful ways. 

And when you lift others up, you tend to feel more empowered and courageous yourself. You have value to offer here and now just as you are. Spread more goodness in the world.

11. Cultivate Self-Compassion 

The negative self-talk that fuels feeling inadequate springs from a source of inner criticism vs. wisdom. Rather than believing its harsh judgments, treat yourself as you would a struggling friend. Offer gentleness, patience, and care when you miss the mark, or things get difficult. 

Remember, you're human, just like everyone else stumbling their way along. Talk to yourself with the warmth and understanding you'd show a loved one – we all have tender spots. 

Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and vow to learn from them. Self-compassion still motivates growth but through encouragement rather than self-blame. You are enough.

12. Adopt a Growth Mindset

People with fixed mindsets believe talents and intelligence are finite. So, they label themselves and others as smart, talented, inferior, and so on. Those with growth mindsets see abilities as changeable capacities that can grow with effort. They focus on progress over time rather than fixed judgments. 

Shift your inner dialogue to a growth-oriented mindset. Don't define yourself as inherently lacking in any area but rather as “learning” or “developing skills.” Notice even tiny improvements to fuel motivation. Embrace failures and challenges as feedback driving growth versus confirmation you don’t measure up. Believe your capabilities can strengthen substantially over time through consistency.

Celebrate the journeys of both those ahead of you and those just starting out. We need various mileposts to guide us as we learn and refine our abilities bit by bit. Stretch yourself incrementally outside your comfort zone. Repeatedly exercising skills forges neural pathways, making skills easier over time. Progress builds momentum if you stay patient with yourself. 

13. Find Your Own Lane

You can only be the fullest, most vibrant expression of yourself, not anyone else. Comparing your route to others’ paths breeds discontent. Their definition of success and how they leverage their gifts has zero bearing on your worth or what you’re capable of. We each have unique interests and talents that provide ways we can contribute value in our brief time here.

Clarify your personal parameters of what brings meaning and fulfillment without worrying about societal acclaim. Perhaps pouring your creativity into painting feeds your spirit even if your work stays relatively unknown. Or raising empathetic children feels like your special contribution. As Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” 

Look more to admired role models as sources of inspiration rather than envy. How can you thoughtfully apply or build upon their contributions vs. ruminating on why you’ll never rise to their level? With over 7 billion people on the planet, there’s ample room for you to positively impact others without competing over some singular definition of greatness. Blaze your own worthy trail.

15 Affirmations to Say When You Think Everyone Is Better Than You

Our self-talk plays a pivotal role in how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. When we face those insecure moments thinking everyone else has it so much more together, affirmations can recenter our mindset. 

Here are 15 positive mantras to repeat when you start buying into the lie that you don’t measure up.

1. I release the need to compare myself to others. 

2. I set my own definitions of success and meaning.

3. There is more than enough abundance and prosperity available for everyone.  

4. I celebrate both my efforts and achievements while being patient with myself.

5. Challenges help me grow; failures teach me.

6. I compassionately accept myself exactly as I am in this moment.

7. Each person’s journey looks different based on their gifts and purpose.

8. The only competition that matters is with my former self. 

9. Every day, in some way, I’m getting stronger, wiser and more skilled.

10. I respect my own path and pace without criticism or urgency.

11. My worth comes from within, not measured against other people.

12. I aim to uplift others on their journeys as fellow travelers. 

13. Everyone encounters obstacles, setbacks, weakness, and self-doubt.

14. I release negative comparisons and turn inward to nurture my spirit.

15. My unique talents contribute value and beauty to the world in their own way.

Pick 2-3 affirmations that resonate most right now. Repeat them to yourself aloud or silently multiple times a day. Or pick a new one each week to turn into a personal mantra

You can even journal reflections on what each affirmation means for your life. Set reminders to meditate on these truths about your inherent worth and potential. Feel them sink from intellect into heart space. 

Use these affirmations to drown out the misguided chorus of that inner critic. Empower yourself with words of kindness, clarity, and wisdom whenever you doubt your abilities and gifts.

Why It's OK for Others to Be Better Than You At Some Things

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to be the best at everything. But that's an unhealthy and unrealistic standard bound to erode your self-worth. Each person has a beautiful constellation of talents and weaknesses that make them uniquely them. 

Maybe words come easily for you, but you envy your friend's knack for math and data. Or perhaps you shine creatively while your sibling has an instinct for savvy business decisions.

The truth is, nobody excels at everything. 

It's much healthier to celebrate each person's genius, including your own, rather than ranking who's better. Have compassion for your shortcomings and respect for each individual’s strengths. There’s beauty in our diversity.

Final Thoughts

The next time you catch yourself thinking, “Everyone is better than me,” remember that's your inner critic talking, not the truth. We all have moments of self-doubt and insecurity. Rather than buying into unhealthy comparisons, redirect your focus inward. Appreciate your one-of-a-kind talents while also loving those around you. There's more than enough excellence to go around.