Stop Letting Comparison Steal Your Joy

Stop Letting Comparison Steal Your Joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

 Teddy Roosevelt knew what he was talking about when he said this, and the man didn’t even have an Instagram! 

 If this statement was true way before the advent of television and the internet, can you imagine the weight these words carry today? Research has shown that comparing oneself to others often leads to a lack of confidence, feelings of envy and jealousy, general discontent, and even depression. 

 Basically, you’re going to get the raw end of the deal when you focus on comparison, babe. 

 And there are an infinite number of ways to compare yourself to others. 

 Just today, I compared my legs to Carrie Underwood’s muscled masterpieces she walks around on, as well as thought about how weird I look in hats when I saw my friend post a cute photo wearing a toque. 

 Why do I look like an egghead while she looks like a style maven? Why can Carrie belt out a banger AND has legs looking like they were carved by Michelangelo? 

WHY, WHY, WHY??????

While these comparisons can sound silly and harmless, they add up and have an impact. 

So, let’s put an end to these intrusive and negative thoughts, shall we? Let’s focus on some self-love and watering our own gardens. 

Here are a few tips on how to stop comparing yourself to your friends, people on social media, and everyone in between:

1. Recognize the moments when you’re focusing on comparison

Don’t let yourself get stuck down a rabbit hole of comparison. Recognize when you’re having these thoughts and that they’re negative. 

If you’re scrolling social media and thinking, “wow, she’s way prettier than me” or, “this person’s life is way cooler than mine,” do yourself a favour and give yourself a slap in the face. 

A figurative slap in the face, of course. And maybe it sounds harsh, but it’s necessary. Give yourself the wake up call you deserve.

Is negative self-talk normal, or is it simply normalized? Chew on that for a bit. 

2. Practice Gratitude

It’s fantastic to strive for betterment and to have goals, but it’s even more important to be grateful for what you already have. You’ll be in such a better mindset to achieve your goals when you feel positive about yourself. 

And you can find gratitude literally anywhere! One of my favourite things to do if I’m feeling low is to write down a gratitude list.

And I don’t mean writing down the typical things, like being grateful for one’s health, home, and friends and family. Sometimes you have to be a little more loose with your gratitude in order to truly feel it!

Some of the things I’ve written on previous gratitude lists include:

“I’m grateful for how smooth this pen is. It’s making writing this list more enjoyable.”

“I’m grateful for the Bill Burr joke that made me laugh last night.”

“I’m grateful for all the crunchy leaves I stepped on during my walk earlier.”

Your list can be full of silly and seemingly trivial items and that’s perfectly fine. It can make you realize how much happiness you can find all around you, if only you’re open to receiving it. 

 Cheesy? Oh, f*ck yeah. But so worth doing. 


3. Walk away from it

I mean this literally: walk away from the comparisons you’re making. 

Get a change of scenery and clear your mind. Put the phone down and go for a walk. Put on some feel good music and dance it out (a$$ shaking IS self care, ok?) 

Maybe you need to take a break from social media and delete your accounts for a while! Trust me, I’ve disappeared from social media countless times, and the memes are always going to be there when you get back. 

It also never hurts to remind yourself that NOBODY is perfect

Why are you so flawed and everyone else is perfect? No really, ask yourself that question. Why are we so eager to dissect our own flaws, while acting blind to the flaws in those around us?

I promise you that Rihanna looks just as startled and unflattering when she accidentally opens her phone to the front-facing camera.

So, let’s stop with comparison and focus on ourselves more. It’s not always easy to learn to love yourself, but the effort and time are hella worth it - after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, baby!

For more self care ideas and tips, check out the Self Care Bucket List. Have some fun focusing on YOU and what makes you great!



Photo by Bich Tran

Sarah Welsh

I’m a Canadian freelance writer, with my main focus being content writing and creative writing. Though currently based in the U.K., I’m a big lover of writing from beachy locales and backpacking whenever I can. I’ve always got to have music on, and dancing while I write is what I’m all about. If you’re a fan of the little things in life and infusing humour wherever you can, we’ll get along just fine.

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