Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How true that statement is. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others that we miss out on seeing the good in our own lives. We have so many built in opportunities to compare ourselves with others that before long we can not only miss out on the joy that is rightfully ours, but become very discouraged.
Comparing everyday “real life” with facebook or Instagram
Imagine a great day. I imagine being able to wake up at my own leisure, taking a nice warm shower, and enjoying a relaxing breakfast with my family. Next I’d like to do a little yard work. The smell of the fresh cut grass, being out in the sun, and working in my flower beds are very enjoyable. Lemonade sounds good for a little break. Next I need to fix a costume for my daughter who’s in a play. We have lunch and head to the pickleball courts. The competition is fierce and we have a lot of fun. When I get home I need to do a little laundry. While it’s washing, I get out a quilt I’ve been working on and finish the last row. It is turning out great and I’m so excited to have had a little time to finish it. For dinner we’re going to light a fire in the backyard and have a weenie roast. We sing around the fire and enjoy one another’s company. We play a few games, hit the showers, and head to bed. What a great day it has been! Before I go to bed though, I think I’ll look at a few things on facebook.
I got to spend time with family, accomplish some things I needed to do, and spend a little time doing something I have wanted to do for quite a while. I enjoyed the sunshine and smiles. I’m feeling great about my day until I start looking at facebook. Wow! One friend is in Hawaii on the beach, while another is at an amusement park. All of the sudden my day doesn’t seem as great as it once did! As a matter of fact, it seems rather dull. Somehow my focus has become blurred. I’m not really seeing things as clearly as I should. I have to remind myself that facebook is just little glimpses into someone’s life, but they are usually the really sensational glimpses people choose to post. Don’t get hung up on facebook. Feel great about what you are doing!
Comparing yourself with others
It is so easy to look at others and compare ourselves to them, especially when we are trying to lose weight. A lot of times we compare someone else’s middle of the journey to the beginning of our own. Journeys are not created equal. They are unique. No one’s journey is going to be the same as yours. What’s easy for one person is super hard for another. We don’t all lose weight in the same way. Some people have the good fortune of having the weight just fall off them, or so it seems, while others struggle to lose a pound. Enjoy your own journey and let others enjoy theirs.
Comparing yourself with the media
The media paints such an unrealistic picture of what beauty is. How many people in “real life” weigh what super models do? I don’t know of a one. Let’s not forget to mention what a great program Photoshop is either. The media also portrays that happiness depends on how you look. It’s easy to get caught up in that thinking, which diminishes all the other things in life that can make you happy.
Comparing yourself with yourself
We also need to be careful not to get sucked into the good old days syndrome, and comparing ourselves today with what we looked like in high school or some other time in our life. The fact of the matter is that bodies change over time. Your weight from high school may not even be a realistic weight for you now. The other thing that plays into the story is life is different now. I’d like to go back and be as carefree as I was in high school. In some ways life was a lot easier then.
Let’s celebrate ourselves and others
It’s easy to see how comparison can suck the very life blood out of you. Let’s change our thoughts to celebrating. Celebrate your own special qualities. Let’s celebrate how far you’ve come in your journey! Remember that someone else’s success does not take one thing away from all the hard work you’ve put in. You are amazing, so don’t let comparing yourself make you think any less!
Find all the good in your life this week and take time to celebrate all you are. Keep up the good work!
Let’s do this together! We’ve got this!