We all know that comparison is the thief of joy but yet, we can’t help but compare ourselves with people. I want to liken it to carbonated drinks (soda) or junk food; you know its bad for you but you can’t help but consume it.Comparison is the thief of joy - Theodore Roosevelt Click To Tweet
I’ve lived most of my life comparing myself to others. This is a habit that I’m still struggling to rid myself of. And I’ve come to realise that even the seemingly “perfect” people also compare themselves with others. For some of us, this comparison problem started when we were kids. Parents/guardians comparing you to your classmates or neighbours when you come home with a not-so-nice end of term report card or fail to get prices of prize-giving day.
Social media has also not helped, in any way. I tell anyone who cares to listen that I hate Instagram. Like, I really hate Instagram. The only reason I have not deactivated my account is because I need it for blogging purposes. In my opinion, Instagram promotes the “perfect” culture i.e. the perfect marriage, perfect job, perfect family, perfect physique, all around perfection. So, an ordinary Jane would see the picture of a perfect Judy, whose Kardashianesque body must have undergone a thousand and one filters, and begin to wonder why her life sucks and why she can’t be perfect.
Not too long ago, I was going through my Instagram feed (I have a couple of people I stalk there) and a particular lady caught my attention. Zoom! I went to her feed and saw that she
was is a medical doctor, married to a very handsome athlete and was blessed with two kids, a boy and a girl. Let’s just say that the pictures she put up made me question myself and also foolishly questioned God. She seemed to have the perfect everything. Until I read that her husband was a chronic abuser and they were living in debt. This is not to give you the impression that I was happy with her misfortune, no. It just made me realise that “only the person wearing the shoe knows where it pinches”.
According to the JollyMoments, “Comparison will cause you to overestimate/over value what someone else has and underestimate/devalue what you have or vice versa. You will miss the blessing and beauty of today if you are comparing yourself to someone else.” I totally agree. In fact, I couldn’t have said it better. I’ve read a lot of articles on how you can turn it around and use comparison to motivate yourself, but I often ask myself, why compare? Comparison makes you so miserable, and you begin to worry unnecessarily.
Take blogging for instance. When I first started, knowing my blog was barely a month old, I still found myself comparing the blog with others. I started asking all sorts of “am I doing it right” questions. I was miserable. This went on for a while before I decided to get my head out of my a%% and just blog. Every other thing will come – pageviews, subscribers, collaboration, it will all come.
1. Count your blessings – Focusing on what you have rather than what you lack helps a lot. It helps you appreciate where you are and look forward to becoming a better person. For me, it increases my gratitude level. Whenever I count my blessings, and remember that where I am today was once a prayer point, I open my lips and sing songs of gratitude to God.
2. Know yourself and be aware of when you start comparing yourself – A lot of people have comparison down to a “T” so much so that they are not aware they are doing it. When you are aware of it, you are able to control it and re-focus yourself on more important things.
3. Imperfection is actually great – Contrary to what
4. Focus on the greater things in life – Remember the saying “vanity upon vanity?” It totally applies here. The material things of life will fade away, but the greatest treasures are everlasting – love, compassion, happiness, humility, generosity etc.
5. Learn to celebrate your accomplishments and that of others – I remember when my very good friend told me that she had passed (in flying colours I must add) an exam that would allow her apply to her choice school to study for an MBA. I screamed!!! We hugged and hugged. I even did a little dance. Such was the excitement. I was, and am still, so proud of her and her accomplishment and told her so. Such words go a long way to uplift people.
Another thing I do whenever I reach a milestone or accomplish something is to spoil myself a little bit. When I surpassed 7000 pageviews on the blog, I got myself and my husband pizza with barbecued chicken. Yum!
I can go on and on and on but the bottomline still remains, comparison is not healthy. If you are looking for someone to compare yourself with, why not use yourself. Yes, compare with yourself. Look at your current position or stage in life and compare it with who/where you were last week, or last month or even a couple of years ago.
In the words of Bernard Grasset – “To love is to stop comparing.”