How To Ditch the Comparison Trap and Live in the Moment

by Ali Gilkeson

Have we become a generation obsessed with capturing the moment instead of living in the moment? Instead of embracing your child’s first steps or blowing out their candles, we get distracted by capturing the moment rather than just being in it. Fully present. How will people see how good my child is if I don’t record and upload it to the world? How will people know what a fantastic job I’m doing?

The comparison thief loves to sneak into our minds without warning and steal our joy or peace. And with social media flooding our lives, it’s easier than ever to find someone “better” to compare ourselves to. Constantly measuring ourselves against others can be an exhausting mind game — one we always lose. We either walk away feeling inadequate or get a false sense of fulfillment, believing we are better than others.

As a mother who raised three children on the road while touring in a band, I constantly struggled with this battle. I watched other young mothers who had their kids on perfect sleep schedules and fed them nutritious foods like avocado and chia seeds. Meanwhile, mine were on a schedule based on sound check times and flight departures. They ate whatever was accessible, often food from a packet or shared in the green room. The more I watched others, my peace and contentment that I was doing my best in whatever circumstances disintegrated. It left me feeling like I was “not enough” as a parent. So, what did I do?


I learned the art of letting go. At the start of each day, I reset my mind and recited the mantra: I am who I am. I am who I was created and intended to be. I asked God every morning to help me love and appreciate myself and give myself the validity I sought instead of looking to others to do that. Getting your mindset right at the beginning of the day sets you up for a successful day of less comparison.


One of the biggest things that helped me stop comparing myself was finding out who I was and accepting her. Acceptance will kick that comparison mindset right in the face.

Feelings of “not enough” began to creep in when I once visited a friend’s perfectly decorated house. Everything was in its proper place, and all I could think about was how my home looked like a train had just gone through it! We have all been there. Feelings of failure instantly arose, but I’ve accepted my humanity. We are all imperfect beings deserving of love, respect, and appreciation.

In that moment, I closed my eyes and hit my reset button. I started complimenting my friend on how hard they must have worked to make their home look like this, and the comparison began to fade. Celebrating the other person and accepting myself was the opportunity to start again with the truth. I am enough.


I limited my social media input. I stopped following accounts that made me feel inadequate or insecure and set a boundary about my time on those apps. They can become a wormhole and suck up the precious time we have. Set a timer if you must. This makes the apps less accessible on your phone, so they are not as easy to tap into. Better yet, set your phone down and engage with the people whose opinion truly matters: your family, your kids, your friends.


The sense of feeling out of control grows the more we practice comparison. My own need for control was directly linked to my fear of inadequacy. I began to train my mind to trust that I did not need to plan, control, and schedule everything. All I needed to do was show up and be present. I won’t worry about recording a moment with my kids for others to see. Instead, I’ll focus on seeing — and appreciating — it for myself. I want my kids to be able to look into my eyes during life’s big moments, not see me behind a phone.

You mustn’t let someone else’s seemingly perfect life stop you from accepting and loving your own. You can approve of yourself; ultimately, that’s the only approval that counts.

Comparison cannot compete against that.