“Comparison is the thief of joy” -Theodore Roosevelt
What do I think that means? When you compare yourself to others it robs you of your confidence. I grew up in a household where comparison was just the way it was. I was compared to my sibling, my classmates, my cousins, and I was compared to this ideal version of a child that my father valued. In most cases, I was the one not measuring up. I was a very sensitive child and I took everything to heart and never questioned whether it was right or not to be compared to others. It was just my reality and I started comparing myself to others. The space of constant comparison caused resentment and jealousy to develop and fester. For me, that led to being very judgmental of myself and of everyone else around me. I had low self-esteem and also suffered from anxiety. The thing was that I thought it was normal and everyone did it! I still remember when I first had the realization that it didn’t have to be that way. I was talking to my friend and she has two siblings and she was really supportive of her sisters and not jealous of them at all. She didn’t even think about comparing herself to her siblings or to others, what would be the point? I was shocked! What a new concept that was for me!
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that I didn’t need to compare myself to anyone anymore. In fact, I started to realize that people were comparing themselves to me and they wanted the attributes that I had! As I continued to work on myself, I started to accept myself, which led to self-confidence. My anxiety went away and I started to have a lot more fun! Now I am happier and love my life! Sure I have my moments when the old comparison habit comes back yet now I’m able to stop it and refocus on myself and what I like to do and what I want to do, and most importantly who I am.
Why am I writing about this topic now? I think it’s really important to nip that comparison habit in the bud, especially as we are exposed to more and more social media posts. The urge to compare yourself to other’s posts is high but what I want you to remember is that what is posted on social media is not an accurate portrayal of people’s lives. What is posted is a snapshot of the best moments; rarely does anyone post about a bad day, or the everyday struggles and insecurities, or the routine parts of life we all go through.
There is a great quote by Pastor Steve Furtick: “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”
Remember, there is only one of you in this world. You are unique and you see the world in a way that only you can. Embrace who you are and know that you do not need to change to fit into someone else’s ideal. If everyone was the exact same and liked the exact same things, life and this world would be very dull and boring.