Comparison is the Thief of Joy
"Comparison Is the Thief of Joy" Theodore Roosevelt, argues that comparing your work, your life, or whatever else will only serve to make you unhappy.
Powerful quote don't you think? And from my post on Instagram it seems most of us deal with comparing ourselves to others as some point in our life's, others more often. Unfortunately I am one of those that spends a lot of time browsing the internet and social media feeds , comparing myself, my work , my lifestyle with others. What good does this do for me? None whats so ever!
Since childhood I have been told that I am not good enough, my grades could be better, not pretty enough, not slim enough , the list goes on , by family members and boyfriends since I can remember. It's led me to never take compliments well, and on the flip side too seek recognition for anything I do, from cooking, to wearing a new top, to business ventures. I need to be told I am doing OK.
Motherhood comes around and we spend the next 5 years comparing our children to other children by how fast our baby walks and talks, reads on their own, does up their shoelaces. Deep down we know our children develop at different rates and they will get to their own milestones when they are good and ready. In a world of social media where every like counts its a pretty damaging place we can get ourselves into. Comparison is generally the fast track to unhappiness. It’s a recipe for misery. All it does is keeping you focused on what you don’t like about yourself and your life.
So how can we change this shift in our heads and remind ourselves we are all unique individuals with our own stories to tell, our own lives to live in our very own and special way.
Here are my 5 top tips to stop comparing yourself to others
- Do a social media detox. This sounds scary I know, but social media is the biggest problem in todays world when it comes to comparing ourselves with the unreal "instagram" world. We all do it, we all wish we were that person , living that life in those tiny squares. There are lost of apps out here that can help minimise your time spent on social media ; Freedom and In Moment are two worth having a look at.
- Turn comparison into inspiration. Those images we see on social media, there is a back story to them and probably not so glamorous as the final image. We tend to focus on their success and not on the thousand of hours spent getting there. Be inspired by their hard work and let this motivate you to try harder at reaching your goal. My plan is to move to the South of France , part of achieving that goal is I must be able to speak French. I have weekly French lessons, taking me one step closer to achieving my goal. Looking at someone sitting in France living my life is not going to happen if I don't do anything about it !
- Look at your past . I bet you have achieved so much already. Be proud, write down a list of achievements you are proud of, big and small. You will most likely surprise yourself with your list. Pin it up somewhere prominent to remind you.
- Meditation and exercise. Such a great way to spend quiet time with yourself , away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Empty your mind of all that negativity. Headspace is a great app that I highly recommend. My son uses it as well and has found meditation helps with his anxiety. Taking yourself outside for a walk in the fresh air, helps boost those endorphins and will, I assure you make you feel so much better.
- Be grateful for what you have. Oprah said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Never a truer quote. Stop wasting valuable time putting yourself down and start improving your life and well being with positive people around you and positive thoughts.
I need this reminder as well and will definitely be listening to the headspace app again, and doing a social detox . The weather is perfect for a walk outside, wrap up warm and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy nature.
Would love to hear how you deal with negative comparison in the comments.