Why Comparisons are Crushing You, and How to Fix it

Healthy competition is cool, but comparisons can crush us. So if you do one good thing for yourself today, do this: Remember what you have to offer. Let me say that again with some emphasis: remember what YOU have to offer. That means you stop looking around the room and thinking destructive little thoughts, such as: I wonder if my ass would look that good in those jeans. Is it the jeans? What brand is she wearing…(you do the giraffe-neck stretch to peak at the label, glad you’re wearing sunglasses so your eyes are untraceable). But maybe you’re not so vain. Maybe you don’t obsess over body parts.

How Comparisons Crush Us 

If you’re like me, you make a slew of subconscious comparisons every day. You compare your to-do list to see how you measure up with the productive folk. Because everyone knows that busyness equals godliness. The busier you are, the more important you must be. Get that woman (or man) a medal who can work double digit hours and sleep under 6. Never mind the Prozac. Never mind the high blood pressure. I read an article somewhere that mentioned a study involving a group of people carrying large travel cups of coffee. Those surveyed said the people who carried them appeared more successful than those with no coffee. Apparently, caffeine indicates a hurry-up-and-go lifestyle. Starbucks, you’re so chic.

Ashamedly, I’ve compared kids — mine to my friends’. Mine are cuter of course, (moms are required to say that), but are they more respectful, better behaved? Probably not. Yes, it’s incredibly unfair to make those comparisons, but I believe they come from a place of insecurity — that small accusing voice that says, “You suck and if your kids fail the world will know it.”

Often, comparisons come from a place of insecurity…and dissatisfaction. If we were truly happy with our progress, physique, relationship, career status (insert your own idea here), there’d be no such thing as the the green-eyed monster. I’ll rephrase that for the urbane reader: there’d be no such thing as a hater. If we knew how awesome we were, we’d stop looking around with our mental measuring sticks.

So if you do one good thing for yourself today, do this:

Remember to be authentic and give yourself permission to be who you are, flaws included. That doesn’t mean we exclude healthy competition. A bit of that makes great motivation!

So maybe you’re not as thin as her, smart as him, financially stable as them. You have something to offer that they don’t. Figure it out and show it off. Because the world doesn’t need anymore Joneses.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” ~Theodore Roosevelt

10 Comments
  • Ashley LaMar
    April 8, 2016

    Yes!!!! Falling in to the comparison game can kill us. I once rebranded like 4 times in one year because I kept falling in to that trap and feeling like I had to change a billion things. Ugh. It was the worst. Things are good now because I finally decided that being true to myself is the only way I’ll ever love what I’m doing.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 8, 2016

      So true, Ashley! It’s a lesson we all have to learn in order to live our unique purposes. Thanks for commenting!

  • Jessica Bradshaw
    April 8, 2016

    Absolutely! I was so much unhappier when I played the comparison game. Now, I celebrate with others and I am a much better person.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 8, 2016

      That’s great, Jessica! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Shann
    April 8, 2016

    Great reminder! I often compare myself, my blog, and even my kids too. All it does is give me anxiety, so I need to stop, and just enjoy where I’m at.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 8, 2016

      So true, Shann!Glad you stopped by. Thanks for reading.

  • Rosemond
    April 8, 2016

    Comparison truly is the thief of joy. We never compare ourselves unless we don’t measure up. In our age of social media, the comparison game can get so out of hand.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 8, 2016

      I agree, Rosemond. We forget that people’s lives aren’t as shiny and pretty as they appear on social media. Thanks for stopping in!

  • Molly Stevens
    May 17, 2016

    Someone told me once that comparison is the root of all unhappiness, and I have thought of this repeatedly throughout my lifetime. As I age and have built some confidence, I find myself comparing less and less. And feeling happier. It is such a joy and freedom to be happy for someone else, to give up jealousy and celebrate success for others. This is a wonderful post Rica!

    • Rica Lewis
      May 17, 2016

      Thank you, Molly. I love it that you not only stopped comparing, but also found joy in seeing other people succeed. That’s huge!

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