Is comparison stealing your joy?

goals mental skills Apr 20, 2021

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Social media has almost set us up to compare our real lives with those carefully curated and shared on platforms designed to judge. (Don’t believe me? Think about the origins of Facebook!). And social platforms are perfectly designed to deliver posts, products, and content to make you feel lesser, like you should be doing more, somehow.

This isn’t new, of course, but lately, I’ve seen another layer of judgment popping up - the pandemic opinion. That is, the people who are not yet ready to venture out, judging those who are ready. Jealousy and comparison are alive and well.

When we compare our outcomes to others, one person “wins,” and the other “loses.” This is typically accomplished in a couple of ways. When you negatively judge someone, you push that person down, thereby making yourself better. Conversely, you can also lift yourself up, making yourself better-than.

Now, don’t get me wrong (please!), I love a good Facebook celebration post!!! New titles, big Qs, and small victories all make my heart launch confetti! Celebrating and comparing are NOT done with the same intent behind them. And while we are all relegated to additional separation these days, I want to be able to celebrate - even virtually - with my friends far and wide who are doing amazing things and are getting back out there with their dogs!

We need to remember, there is more than enough to go around; it’s an abundant world out there full of an endless supply of Q ribbons and title parchment.

I have said this many times before, we need to be each other’s cheerleaders! We need to remember there is an infinite number of paths through this life. We are better to keep our eyes on our own paper, our own path, than to continually compare our journey - complete with successes and failures - with someone else.

Flipping Jealousy

Often our jealousy comes from our own wanting. We get jealous because we want that thing too. Instead of feeling less-than, use your emotional response to inspire you. Are you jealous that someone is out there getting a CD leg? Ask yourself where that’s coming from. Do you want a CD leg? What are you doing to get one? You may not be ready to compete, but you could be practicing so that your team is ready once you do trial again.

Comparison and jealousy will not only steal your joy, but they will divert your focus in the wrong direction. You are not in a competition with someone else’s Facebook life. Your mission is to get the most out of your life. To set your own goals, blaze your own path, surrounded by people who cheer you on.

Keep celebrating without an ounce of defensiveness. The world needs more celebrations, confetti, and champagne. I can’t wait to see what you do next. My pom-poms await!

Want more? Here’s a related blog post: Strugglebus.

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