East Riding Life Coach Helen Thorburn is a busy mum of two. Each month she will write about topics that all mums face, take two minutes for yourself to read on…

How to stop comparing yourself to others (and feel a lot better straight-away).

We all know we shouldn’t but it’s a difficult habit to break. It started when we were young and happens in the company of others or when we’re alone, scrolling on our phones. Parents of young children are even more inclined to do it. The majority of us, as perfectly flawed humans, just can’t help comparing ourselves, more often than not unfavourably, to others.  We know it’s impossible to come out well in a game where we measure the strengths and well-chosen highlights of other’s lives against the not-so-shiny elements of our own.  The end result leaves us feeling inadequate and at worst critical and judgemental of others. It’s a no win situation but we don’t stop. So how do we make the shift to a happier outcome?

Focus on yourself

So, if you do have to compare yourself to someone then make it a fair match. In the same way that I remember in maths at school we were told you couldn’t add an apple to a pear (or was that just me?) the same concept applies to us. We are all unique. The only person you can truly compare yourself to is you. So focus your attention on yourself and consider the following question:

If there was no-one in the world to compare myself to would I be happy with my life?

If the answer is yes then keep that at the front of your mind. At all times.

If not, then write down all the things that you love.

Are they currently a part of your life?

Sometimes we complete tasks that we consider a priority at that moment (sending an email, nappy change, household jobs… you get the idea) and we put the things we consider important in our lives (spending quality time with loved ones, hobbies…) to the bottom of the to-do list (or attempt to multi-task whilst doing them- a continuing area of development for me). Urgent tasks will always need to be done, but we need to be aware that the important things are essential to make our lives happy and fulfilling. If you feel you aren’t doing the things you love and consider important, think about why that might be and how you could fit some of them into your life.

Make your own path. This is your journey. No-one else can create it for you.

And if all else fails, remember that there is someone out there, possibly right now, looking up to the impression they have of you.


Helen Thorburn has worked in education for the past 15 years both as a teacher and in an advisory capacity. Having experienced the positive impact of coaching on young people’s lives through her work in inclusion, she has progressed to coaching adults. She is currently working towards her Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Life Coaching and is delivering her first well being retreat, in conjunction with Angela Stone Yoga instructor, this September at The Orange Tree in Rosedale. Look out for regular articles, when Helen will provide East Riding Mums with advice and tips on how to cope with modern family life.

Copyright 2015 Helen Thorburn