Comparison is the thief of joy.
I know that phrase to be true. For one, I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve also watched others fall victim to the same thing. In a world where everyone’s life is broadcasted on various social media outlets, it’s difficult not to note what someone else is doing and then wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing. Like, why am I sitting at work on a Tuesday morning with a lukewarm latte on my desk when other Miss Blogger is vacationing in Bali with her CrossFit husband?
Comparison: the representing of one thing or person as similar to or like another; an examination of two or more items to establish similarities and dissimilarities.
Success: favorable or desired outcome; the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
To state the obvious, comparison and success are not the same thing. They don’t play well together. In fact, they don’t even play on the same field and if they did, they’d probably be playing each other. Comparison doesn’t yield success or joy, and I would actually argue that comparison prevents those things.
For example, I truly love following other bloggers and Youtubers, cheering them on and allowing myself to be fully captivated by their stories. I guess they’re relational. Maybe their days seem more interesting than mine, at times. I also just love organization videos, especially for closets or bathrooms (if y’all have any top vids on this, please share in the comments!). But when I spend too much time thinking about my life, my career, my journey and how it’s different from theirs? Then I don’t feel too hot about my next planned post or the outfit I decided to wear that day. Maybe I rethink a blog idea, saving it for later because I’m just not sure anyone would want to read that right now.
There’s clearly a fine line here. Celebrating someone else’s success, listening to their good news or watching their life unfold in positive ways does not detract from the goodness and amazingness of your own! That is unless you compare yourself to that person, in which you kind of just squash your own happiness. I’m sure we’re all guilty of at times; I know I am.
With the “rise of social media” (looking at you, Instagram!) it’s quite difficult to get through the day without putting yourself next to a bikini model, famous actress or that girl from college who just got engaged. It’s tough. When we see others who are experiencing some qualified definition of success, it’s almost an automatic reaction to compare our journey to theirs.
Oftentimes we lose sight of the mini-victories in our day to day lives by focusing on what everyone else is doing, and that can make it difficult for us to take pride in our own lives. For example, y’all know I’m not one of those huge bloggers making $4.2 million a year with 300M followers on Instagram. I struggle with comparing myself to these successful ladies who pretty much look like they have it all together. As a fellow blogger, I know they don’t. But on the interweb? Yep, looks like it.
I just want you to know, whoever you are, that your success, importance, and beauty are not defined by anyone else’s standards but your own. Hell, you don’t even have to set standards for yourself if that’s not what drives you. But it might help.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be in the practice of not comparing myself, my story, my blog, even my Instagram with anyone else. I really encourage you to take this challenge with me. We’re all on different journeys in this so-called life, and isn’t that an amazing thing? Really, how boring would it be if we were all going on the same ride?
It is my hope that you are encouraged in your story by reading this post. I hope that you can focus on the amazing things happening in your own life. It’s incredibly important to measure success by the way YOU define it, period! If you can spend a few minutes focusing on what you want out of your life (I promise it’s not as overwhelming as it sounds), write it down. Put your ideas on paper. And if you catch the comparison bug in the future, promise to only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. I’m no expert, but that’s how I try to stay on track and meet some of my biggest goals.
You would probably agree with me that a wonderful world would be made up of people who are able to celebrate other peoples’ successes without getting lost in the maze of the comparison game. We are all on different journeys. We all have different stories. And wouldn’t it be plain awesome if we could all share the joy with each other?
As always, would love to hear y’all’s thoughts here. How do you handle comparison on your journey to success? What does success look like to you? Or, what are some super awesome victories you’ve had lately, big or small, that we can celebrate together?