Comparison is the Thief of Joy
You can be honest, do you sometimes find yourself comparing your life to that of others? If you do, I am betting that does not make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and it definitely doesn’t lead to your most powerful days. Comparison is the thief of joy. If you stop comparing you can learn to LOVE your life. Women are bombarded daily with images of the lives of the rich and infamous and there are endless opportunities for us to look at how others live, work, dress, dance, etc. So this concept of not comparing isn’t going to happen without your decision and intention. Here are some ideas for getting this thief under control.
Make it a Fair Fight
There are plenty of things wrong with comparing but the first issue is that we always compare our INSIDES with the OUTSIDES of others. How do I know? Because it’s impossible for us to know what’s really going on in the lives of others. I know before I step out in the world, I do everything I can to put my best foot forward. Before you object, I am not talking about putting on airs or being phony. I am talking about the healthy, natural practice of being my best me and building my brand everywhere I go. Lots of people do that.
But when you see me brand building and being fabulous, you may not know that all sorts of mayhem erupted in my house 30 minutes before I left to meet you for lunch. And you don’t have to know. But if you decide that my great hair day is evidence that my life is awesome and your life sucks… see how that could be a problem? It’s not fair for me to compare my worst characteristics with your best.
Decide to Evaluate Only What Matters
If you can’t help but notice the lives of others, friends and strangers, then let’s agree that we will only pay attention to the things that REALLY matter. So, if you are harboring some discontent right now about your address or the size of your house (just as an example) because you have friends whose homes are bigger or on ‘better’ streets, stop it. Does your house provide shelter? Do you have some creature comforts in your house that you know others wish they could have? I bet you do.
If you just evaluate your house based on what it provides you–safety, shelter, comfort, rest, entertainment, etc. you will appreciate it more. You may be feeling better about it already. Who is to say that bigger house you’re drooling over would be ‘better’ anyway? Your tax and utility bills would probably be much higher and there could be mold hiding in the walls. (Eek!) I’m sure there are things about your house that you would like to change and that is ok. If you really want to change something do it, if it’s important to you.
But ask yourself, why is it important? Does the size of your house really matter? Are you a more powerful or confident person if you have more square footage? Does your family feel more loved? Does the bigger house give you more free time to spend on the things that make your heart sing? OK, so maybe that bigger house is not important. Let’s decide what really matters and then work on getting more of that in our lives without comparing.
Comparison Gives You Wrinkles
Some of you are ready to stop right now so my work is done. Comparison gives you wrinkles because worrying steals your peace. Every time you have a negative thought about a skill or talent or possession that somebody else has, you wrinkle your forehead and stew about it. You are training those facial muscles to show age and discontent. True story! This negative virus can seep into other areas of your life and impact your health. You could use the time you are spending focusing on other people and focus on your fabulous self!
Instead of watching a show about celebrity homes, you could take a walk or write a letter to a friend. Instead of wondering why a friend got promoted at work and you didn’t, use that time to learn a new skill or indulge in a hobby. Your time for promotion is coming, so why not enjoy right now without worrying about the future? Often these thoughts of discontent come at night, making it more difficult for you to fall or stay asleep. Guess what sleep deprivation does? Makes you wrinkle. I’m just sayin’, the choice is yours.
Blinders Aren’t Just for Horses
Comparison is the thief of joy because like most thieves it is sneaky, and it takes what matters to us when we are not looking. If you stay focused on yourself, recognize that what people present to the world is not the entire story, and decide what is important to you and forget the rest, you will immediately increase your confidence and satisfaction with life.
You can’t spend your day comparing if you put on ‘blinders’ and guard your mind. Today, if you choose to stop comparing, you will give yourself permission to let go of all that negativity. Did you catch the word, choose, in that sentence? During our day-to-day activity, we forget that we can choose to create the lives we deserve.
I saw this great blog post the other day, “A Helpful Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others“, by Joshua Becker. Absolutely click that link and check it out. My favorite insight from that post is that we are too unique to compare fairly. Yes! Today, I am going to spend some time thinking about how fabulous I am and reminding myself of a couple of my special and unique qualities. I’m not going to pick the easy stuff, I am going to dig deep and remind myself of the good stuff that only I bring to the party. Then when I’m on that fabulous cloud I can remember how wonderful my life is and how thankful I am for all that I have. What can you do to begin to love your life more? Let me know in the comment box below.