They say “comparison is the thief of joy” and what better time to dive a little further into this saying than while we’re all still recovering from a Valentine’s Day hangover.
I would be lying if I said I never felt the pang of comparison and its little sibling jealousy. I’m a perfectionist, through and through, and I’m particularly hard on myself when I feel I’m not meeting my own expectations. In general, we can all get wrapped up in what others have – feeling either content or disappointed on how we fair. Days like Valentine’s Day don’t help much – everyone’s posting about their happy relationships and extravagant gifts. It’s very easy to feel sad and lose sight of all the good we do have. So what can we do to channel our innate nature and turn it into a positive?
Use it as motivation
If science says we can’t help feeling these things than why not use them to our advantage? I love doing this when it comes to fitness goals because it helps me gain perspective on where I want to be and what I need to do to get there. Aspiring to be like someone and not taking it as a reflection of your shortcomings is a great way to obtain that success you admire. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “They have __ and I’m going to work hard to get __ too,” as long as you’re not projecting ill feelings toward yourself and the person who’s already obtained whatever you’re after.
Pin Point where these feelings stem from
It’s easier to love than it is to hate so why you hatin’ boo? Why are you feeling jealous when you see your friend get a promotion and you’re stuck in a dead end job? Because you want what they have. But are you doing anything to change it? Learn to appreciate what others are doing for themselves then get back in your lane and work on your life. Trust and understand that nobody’s life is perfect and perhaps they’ve given up something to succeed – something that maybe you could never live without.
Realize there’s a bigger picture
Remember that the good always comes with the bad. When you see others having success realize that it normally takes dedication, and they probably worked countless late nights getting to that goal. What we see is often the end result after a long and difficult struggle. We hear, “Yay. I got the job!” You don’t realize it probably took a year and 37 interviews to get there. If it was easy wouldn’t we all be basking in wealth and living our version of the best life? Success, however you want to define it, is rarely ever handed to someone. Ask yourself if you really want it that bad and if you do, start making those small steps toward the life you keep wishing you had.
If you take anything from today’s post it’s if you must compare, try to appreciate how hard that person must have worked to get to where they are. Then put blinders on, and work on your own life just as hard. Comparison doesn’t have to be the thief of a joy if you use it as a fuel for your own happiness.