Comparison is the thief of joy” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
New year, new habits, right? Not only new habits, but new goals, new behaviors, new commitments, new disciplines, new techniques, new strategies (and a lot of other ‘new’ stuff, too).
Have you ever compared yourself to someone else and came up lacking? Have you looked at the strengths and talents of others and compared them to your weaknesses and ever felt good? Of course not.
It seems like the purpose of comparing ourselves to others is to keep us stuck, to dampen our enthusiasm, to help us quit before we reach the target.
And this comparison is our excuse and reason to quit. And as Teddy Roosevelt describes above, it robs of us joy. So, when we look at it that way, comparing ourselves to others is silly, isn’t it?
I’ve made a number of videos so far and I really enjoy making them. But when I compare them to the videos I get in my email from top-level million dollar coaches, mine seem amateurish and don’t measure up. Theirs look so professional. They don’t stutter over their words. They seem so confident and at ease.
But it’s not really a valid comparison is it? They may shoot in a studio. They may have a teleprompter, they may have staff that edits out the parts where they do stutter over their words. So it isn’t a fair comparison. Instead of getting depressed or jealous and thinking I should stop making videos, I need to a) stop comparing and b) notice and appreciate that I have a lot to offer.
Last month I was talking with a friend who had a bad case of Facebook Envy.
She was reading the posts of her friends who seemed to be going places, doing things, and having such great experiences and my friend was down in the dumps and feeling sorry for herself. Compared to those Facebook friends, her life was dull, uninspiring, and uneventful.
Luckily, I was able to help her re-focus on her strengths and blessings. Plus, I reminded her that on Facebook people usually only post the good stuff and not how they are lonely, unhappy, or crying themselves to sleep at night.
How do I compare thee? Let me count the ways: looks and appearance, athletic ability, job title, income level, house size, worldly success, clothes, lifestyle, number of friends, vacations, relationship status, how well the kids turned out, college education, number of toys and gadgets, and so on and so on.
And even though we know that comparing ourselves to others will rob us of our joy, we do it anyway!
I don’t know if it’s possible to stop comparing ourselves with others or not. But here’s what I suggest:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein
Janet Is an acclaimed spiritual teacher, inspirational speaker, and effective coach / mentor. She easily blends humor and encouragement with practical tools and innovative approaches that empower people to get off their excuses, believe in their own potential, and create fulfilling, inspired, and badass lives.
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.