The Psychology of Comparison: Why It Leads to Feelings of Insignificance and How Coaching Can Help


    In this blog post, we delve into the intriguing world of comparison, a common human behavior that often leads to feelings of insignificance. Understanding the impact of comparison on self-esteem is crucial for personal development and mental health.

    Understanding Comparison

    Comparison, in psychological terms, is the act of evaluating oneself against others. It plays a significant role in human behavior, shaping our self-perception and influencing our decisions. Society often fuels comparison, with cultural norms and expectations setting benchmarks for success and happiness.

    The Psychology Behind Comparison

    The human brain is wired to compare as a means of understanding the world around us. However, this can have a detrimental impact on mental health, particularly when it leads to feelings of insignificance. This link is often due to unrealistic standards or perceived inadequacies.

    The Negative Effects of Comparison

    Comparison can lead to feelings of insignificance when we perceive ourselves as falling short of others. This can have long-term effects on self-esteem, leading to issues such as anxiety and depression. Real-life examples abound, from the student who feels inadequate due to their peers’ academic achievements, to the employee who feels undervalued in comparison to their colleagues.

    The Role of Social Media in Comparison

    The rise of social media has amplified the impact of comparison. Platforms showcasing idealized lives can exacerbate feelings of insignificance. However, managing social media use, such as limiting time spent online and focusing on positive content, can help reduce comparison.

    The Benefits of Self-Compassion

    Self-compassion, the practice of being kind to oneself, can counteract feelings of insignificance. By acknowledging our strengths and accepting our flaws, we can cultivate a healthier self-image. Practical ways to foster self-compassion include positive self-talk and self-care activities.

    The Power of Mindfulness

    Mindfulness, the practice of being present and accepting of our current state, can combat comparison. It fosters a healthier self-image by focusing on self-acceptance rather than self-evaluation. Techniques for incorporating mindfulness into daily life include meditation and mindful breathing exercises.

    Coaching as a Solution

    Coaching can play a pivotal role in addressing comparison issues. A coach can help build self-esteem and reduce feelings of insignificance by providing guidance and support. The benefits of coaching extend beyond immediate relief, contributing to long-term mental health and well-being.


    In conclusion, comparison is a deeply ingrained human behavior that can lead to feelings of insignificance. However, through self-compassion, mindfulness, and coaching, we can counteract these negative effects and foster a healthier self-image. Remember, seeking coaching is a proactive step towards better mental health and self-esteem.

    This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as psychological advice.


    Siobhán Cahalan is the driving force behind Wisdom and Vision Ltd., blending over two decades of global executive experience with profound spiritual insights to redefine leadership coaching. As an accredited coach and visionary, Siobhán empowers individuals and organizations to lead with integrity, purpose, and deep personal awareness. Connect with Siobhán to embark on your transformative journey towards authentic success and holistic growth. Contact for coaching inquiries.