The saying goes “comparison is the thief of joy” but does it always have to be? I don’t know about you but I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talk negatively about comparison lately, but is comparison really as bad as everyone says it is? If you think about what the act of comparing really is, it’s about finding similarities and connections between two things not saying whether or not one is better than the other. So when we compare our lives/careers/blogs to others we should be looking at what we have in common and seeing this positively. The problem is that many of us focus on how someone else is better than us and this is the problem with comparison. By only looking for reasons why something is better than your’s comparison will be a negative experience, hence the saying comparison is the thief of joy. But…
- What if we change the change we compare ourselves to others?
- What if we seek joy in comparison?
- What if we look at the positive effects of comparison?
Turning Comparison Into Joy
As a blogger, I spend a lot of time reading and looking at other people’s content. Many of the blogs I read are by bloggers I’ve followed for years. I’ve seen them start out and grow their blogs over time, and many of them are now doing this full time. These bloggers get some amazing opportunities to work with great brands and travel around the world staying in beautiful hotels. I see the designer clothes and bags and the fancy events shared on Instagram (remember to take things you see on Instagram with a pinch of salt – it’s their highlight reel not the behind the scenes). It’s easy to get jealous when you see these things and hear about the amazing opportunities others are getting. I know that these amazing bloggers have worked hard for these opportunities and to create the lifestyle they have. But knowing about someone’s hard work doesn’t stop feelings of envy. The only person who can do that is you. But what if instead of looking at others getting amazing opportunities and feeling jealous we looked at the positive side. Someone in our industry who started the exact same way as us (on their bed with a laptop) has all these great brands wanting to work with them and you could too.
The only person who can stop feelings of envy is you
We should see others achieving their goals as a positive and inspiring thing and us it as motivation to work on our on goals. After all, we now know it can be done. Look at how you’re are similar and consider how you can create these opportunities for yourself instead of thinking you aren’t as good as them. Because we’re all doing a fantastic job. Sometimes we find ourselves comparing our chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty. Obviously, they will have achieved more because they’ve been at it longer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same thing if you want to.
Let’s celebrate the achievements of others and seek joy in seeing others do well. See their success as them creating more opportunities for you in the future. Blogging in an industry which is growing every day and as more brands become aware of the power of bloggers there will be more opportunities for all of us. So instead of feeling jealous of other’s opportunities be grateful that they are blazing a trail for more opportunities for everyone in the future. Channel your feelings of envy and jealousy into being more productive and working hard to achieve your own goals. If you find it hard to stop feelings of jealous and find they led to self-doubt read my post on overcoming self-doubt. We need to focus on finding joy in comparison on jealousy and envy.
Feeling Joy Not Jealousy
It’s not just bloggers who find themselves comparing their success to others, we all do it at some point in our lives. Maybe you recently lost out on your dream job to someone you know or your best friend just announced her engagement while you’re still single, or maybe you’ve been trying for a baby and someone close to you announces they’re pregnant. It hurts to see someone else get something you really want whether that’s a job, marriage or family. But their happiness and achievement has no effect on whether or not you will also get the same thing. So instead of feeling jealous and angry you should feel happy for you friends. Listen to your friend tell you about her new job, while you continue the search for you perfect position. Help your best friend plan her wedding and enjoy standing next to her on her big (after all your bound to be chief bridesmaid). Embrace being an ‘auntie’ and enjoy all those baby cuddles without the nappy changes. You want your friends to achieve their goals and be happy as I’m sure they do for you.
There’s a Scottish saying “what’s for you won’t go past you” which basically means that if its meant to be then it will be. So you might have missed out on something today, but that might be because there is something better for you right around the corner. Everything happens for a reason.
Look How Far You’ve Come
Remember that while you may find yourself jealous of someone there is a good chance someone else is a little jealous of you. Sometimes we focus too much on what we don’t have and what we still want to achieve. And while that can be a great way to motivate yourself towards achieving your goals. Sometimes stopping and looking at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved is important. Someone is probably looking at you and your achievements and telling themselves that’s what they want for themselves.
How we decide to feel is up to us. It is possible to watch someone achieve things we want and still feel happy for them. Just because we want it to doesn’t mean we should be jealous or hurt by their achievement. We should turn these feelings into something positive and worked towards our own goals while celebrating the achievements of others.
The jumper worn in the pictures in from Finsterre (responsibly made) and the skinny jeans are Oasis.