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There’s a quote from Theodore Roosevelt I love.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
It’s totally true… but it’s hard to remember when I scroll through my Facebook feed and all my insecurities rise to the surface. When I think of all the goals I want so badly are coming so much more easily to others.
“She’s having a second baby? Lucky!”
“How come they can afford a nicer house than ours?”
“Oh, she’s upset because her husband’s working late? Bummer. At least she sees him more often than I see mine…”
Don’t lie – I know you’ve done it, too. I mean, if you haven’t, way to go. But with social media, I bet more people than not have gone through the same periods of envy because everyone else seems to have it easier.
It’s a hard habit to get out of, but it’s important – because getting in this cycle of thinking makes you absolutely miserable, no matter how good your life actually is.
3 Ways Comparing Yourself To Others Destroy Your Happiness
It makes you less grateful for what you have.
As a police wife, your life looks a lot different from the way you might have pictured it as a little girl. And probably a lot different from most of your friends (unless all your friends are also police wives, of course.) And in some (well, a lot) of ways, it’s a lot harder than their lives might be.
But if you look at the blessings in your life compared to other people’s, your focus is going to be less on making the most of what you have, and more on griping about what you don’t.
Normal is relative. The key to rocking this life is accepting your life as your normal and loving it for what it is (and treating yourself to a nice hot bubble bath and chocolate when it’s just not possible.)
When your focus shifts, less work gets done where it matters.
When you’re focused on what other people are doing, you’re wasting time that could be spent making your own life better.
I’ll admit: when it comes to blogging, I sometimes fall victim to this. I waste more time than I’d like to admit feeling jealous because it seems like others have it more together than me, are more successful, and just better at it.
But guess what helps me more than that? Putting my head down and getting some work done.
If I spend my day moaning about the unfairness of things, I won’t get where I want to be. That’s true whether it’s your marriage your comparing, a hobby, your parenting, anything.
Stop focusing on what other people are doing and put that energy where it belongs.
You don’t really know what you’re comparing yourself to.
The other day in my Facebook group for moms, we had a pretty eye-opening thread. We all talked openly about our struggles: about the times we thought we weren’t good enough as a mom, about our failures, about the things we wish we could be better at, and the things we thought we were the only ones who struggled with.
It was amazing.
I mean, so many of these women were ones who made me feel so jealous when I saw their posts. To hear that they fail in many of the same ways I do was eye-opening, to say the least.
I’d always heard to take what you read on social media with a grain of salt, that it’s just a highlight reel, but that discussion was extremely powerful in how I view social media posts now.
Always, always, always remember that when you see a status on Facebook, you’re only seeing a part of the picture, not someone’s complete story. You probably have more struggles in common than you realize.
Comparing yourself to others really does take away your joy. I know it’s a hard habit to break (after all, I wrote this just as much for myself as anybody else), but today is the day to work on recognizing it and working on replacing feelings of envy with feelings of gratitude. 🙂
When do you struggle the most with comparisons?