Why comparison is the thief of joy and how to stop comparing yourself to others
I hope you have had a glowing week and are managing to stay balanced during this crazy time! I have been doing lots of cooking in the kitchen in the lead up to Christmas for a little ‘me time’ whilst Shay sleeps which has been blissful… Speaking of which, have you tried my Christmas pudding recipe yet? Trust me when I say that it is a total game changer and your friends and family would never know that it’s actually pretty good for you. 😉
Last week I shared why I have introduced Switch Off Sundays in to my weekly routine and how it has really helped me to feel refreshed and clear headed through out the week – so now I wanted to talk about something I think that we are all immune to every now and then: Self comparison.
Now there is a famous quote you have probably seen circling social media…
”Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Sound familiar? And more significantly – can you relate?
It’s true: When we compare ourselves to what others have, or simply how they are, we are essentially making ourselves feel down right inadequate and deflated – with a low self esteem to match. With social media being a platform to flaunt every aspect of our lives, high expectations to be earning a certain amount, to own the latest materials and to look a certain way – it’s only inevitable that as humans we are going to give in to the trap that is self comparison.
One thing I would like to say and I want you to take from this post is the reminder that you are oh-SO special. Everything about you is beautifully unique… And you know what? You are good enough.
Whilst it is easier said than done – it is possible to admire what your friends have with out feeling the need to put a dampener on your own life. As we go in to the new year, how about we make it our goal to replace those thoughts of self doubt in our head (who needs ’em, anyway?!) with thoughts that make us embrace self worth, self care and self LOVE! Despite what society says – it is totally okay to love yourself. After all, when we feel good about ourselves it radiates a certain positivity that is infectious; inspiring all of those around you to do the same.
Sure, simply stopping the habit of self comparison doesn’t happen overnight – but if you can follow these simple steps to overcoming the ultimate thief of joy, then you are already making a BIG step forward. I hope they help you, babe!
WRITE A LIST OF ALL OF THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF, AND YOUR LIFE!
I know this might feel a little weird at first – but when you become aware of all the great things you have going for yourself, you will feel instantly uplifted. Ask yourself, what makes you different? It can go a lot deeper than the way you look (although acknowledging the fact that you actually really like your legs/eyes/butt can’t hurt!) – it can also be the fact that you have an amazing family and friends, a job that serves you and a talent that really makes you special. There is no limit to how long this list can go… So just go for it and see what a positive impact it can have!
…NOW WRITE DOWN WHY SELF COMPARISON IS UNECESSARY
It inflicts feelings of self hate, wastes time, deprives us from joy and basically, there is absolutely nothing to gain from self comparison. That’s just a few reasons to start you off!
Now you have come to terms with how pointless it is to line up our lives with someone elses – it does kinda seem stupid, doesn’t it?
PRACTICE GRATITUDE – AND LOTS OF IT!
Be thankful for everything that you have and the small every day things that happen in your life. Be it the daily coffee you grab on the way to work, the kind bus driver who brightens your dull morning with a smile or the candlelit dinner you had with your closest people in the evening; there is always something to be thankful for. Acknowledge them as they happen; that way you are constantly counting your blessings… And soon, you’ll be doing it without even knowing! Not a bad habit to develop, right?
PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND GET SOME AIR
Next time you feel those self comparison thoughts creep in, get outside and take a walk. The fresh air, the beautiful surroundings and the endorphins you’ll get from moving your body and connecting with nature is the ultimate way to kick any negative feelings right where they came from – and you can also use this as a chance to put the last tip to practice!
THE ONLY PERSON YOU SHOULD COMPARE YOURSELF TO… IS YOURSELF
Okay, this might sound a little contradictory – but hear me out! Think about it… If we only compare ourselves to ourselves then we are not only benefiting our own lives but also helping others along the way. Double bonus! How?
For example, you can constantly aim to take care of yourself better on a physical and mental level. You can set yourself the goal to be more mindful, to be more prepared with your meals or to practice yoga for 10 minutes every day. These are all things that challenge you but benefit you at the same time! Sound achievable? Along with this – you could also strive to be a better person; perhaps to make more of an effort to go out of your way to help others or to make someone who looks like they’re having a bad day smile. When we help others and we consistently reflect on how we can improve our lives, we are already on track for a happier healthier version of ourselves. You got this, babe!
I would love to hear what you guys do when you feel low down to self comparison. I am sure we could all do to be more open about it and share any tips – so go ahead and leave a comment below with how you overcome it!