Is Comparison Really The Thief of Joy?

November 16, 2016

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…

Is comparison really the thief of joy or are we to blameTurning 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.

Can we compare our work to others and look for the positive connectionsFeeling 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.

You can compare yourself to others and still feel joy

The jumper worn in the pictures in from Finsterre (responsibly made) and the skinny jeans are Oasis.

Is comparison really the thief of joy? Is comparing yourself to others a negative bringing feelings of envy or can you find joy in comparison? Click through to read about how we can all find the joy in comparison and that we are in control of our own feelings.

4 responses to “Is Comparison Really The Thief of Joy?”

  1. I actually find comparison inspiring rather than demoralising. I love looking at bigger bloggers and realising that they’ve come all this way off of their own back and with hard work. It makes me want to work harder and look forward to the future of my own little blog!

    Steph –

  2. Lucy says:

    This was so beautifully written! It can be really hard not to compare yourself against others, so I loved the positivity of this post! <3

  3. Caroline says:

    Such a great post and well written.. 🙂
    It’s so easy to compare and look at others success with green tinted sunglasses, but as you say, you have to remember that it’s only a % of that person’s life. You don’t see the late nights, the lack of sleep, the time that they don’t get to spend with their loved ones and friends, the reality of them actually living more in PJ’s than Burberry’s newest collection..
    I’ve said it so many times, that I’ve fallen out of love with many bloggers recently due to not being jealous of their success, but that I feel, they’ve forgotten their roots. It all becomes too perfect. I want the rawness and reliability back.


  4. Heidi says:

    Really good post Jen. I think sometimes seeing Insta-lovelies portraying all the good stuff, can get a little too much like flicking through the glossies with stories or homes of celebs lives. Yes, we definitely only see the good side. I always try to be real, being 50 I don’t see any other way tbh. I always think to myself..’ we all look pretty rubbish first thing in the morning, when we’re ill, or having a sh*t day’. It should be about keeping things real though, some of it is a little too perfect. Mind you, some of the top bloggers work extremely hard doing what they do, so I doubt life is that perfect, and if it is, it doesn’t last forever.
    Enjoyed the depth of your post, well put!
    H x

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