Battling The Thief Of Joy: Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy...light bulbs illuminating girl's face

As a creative, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of creating, only to find yourself comparing your unique work to another’s. As a result, you end up less than pleased with your hard work and unique creations. This needs to stop, like yesterday.


#createmorecompareless

This has been my motto for 2018. In my own life, I can pinpoint many times where I’ve fallen into this trap of comparison with others. My earliest memory of comparison traces all the way back to the 6th grade. I was best friends with a girl who seemingly had it all. She was on the Varsity cheer team, a position that was mainly given to 7th and 8th graders. She was smart, popular and overall was genuinely likable. And she was MY best friend–a fact that I would proudly proclaim whenever I could. 

I truly believe that I was proud to be her best friend. And our friendship was very special to me, and hopefully to her too at the time. But I would be lying if I didn’t speak honestly about how being the best friend to an overachiever–in many areas of her life–often made me question what unique talents or skills I had to offer to the world. Or even if I had any at all.

And when I think back to that brilliant, talented, lovable 6th grader, I wish I could take her and give her a good shake. I’d tell her, “Yes, your friend is talented and great at what she does, but look at YOU! Don’t you see how amazing and gifted you are too?” While she was out practicing cheer, you were at home typing up imaginative, short stories. While she was excelling in school, you too were working hard to be successful in math class. 

In other words, the presence of her awesomeness, did not assume the absence of my own. 

Single Not Broken

It’s easy to look curiously over another’s shoulder and start to compare your life, your work and what you do or don’t have.

It’s harder to keep your nose to the page and continue creating. Don’t stop doing what you do best–or even somewhat okay–keep going. And yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you we work towards nipping comparison in the bud. 

It's easy to look curiously over another's shoulder and start to compare your life, your work and what you do or don't have. It's harder to keep your nose to the page and continue creating. #createmorecompareless Click To Tweet

Recognize that there will always be someone who is ‘better’ than you. 

And that it’s okay! Allow this, not to deter you from your goals, but to propel you closer to them. Take time to not only appreciate the other person’s work, but to learn from it. Just as a reminder, being teachable is the only way you’ll get better at your own craft. NOTE: I am not condoning copying others’ work. We should all try to create in a way that is uniquely our own. Learn from the techniques of others or ask for guidance in something that’s unfamiliar to you, but always try to produce original content. 

Don’t let others’ successes mar your own–be they big or small.

While you’re learning from others and watching their success from afar, don’t be so quick to downplay your own. Look how far you’ve come and where you’re at now. Just because someone ‘made it big’ or accomplished ‘the thing’ doesn’t mean that you haven’t made some pretty substantial movement yourself. Acknowledge your growth. Nurture it. Challenge it. 

Don't let others' successes mar your own--be they big or small. #createmorecompareless Click To Tweet

Keep creating, and show up for yourself. 

Like I said, it’s easy to get distracted and even discouraged looking at another person’s work or placement in life. The way I see it, you have two choices here. Either, continue distracting yourself, distancing yourself farther and farther away from your own pursuits. OR, mind ya business–get to work and finish what you’ve worked so hard to start. Show up for yourself, because if you don’t–who else will? 

I feel like there needs to be some kind of “Can I get an ‘Amen’? thrown in there somewhere. Anyone? No?


The plain fact of the matter is this: the world needs your “you”-ness because no one else has it.

Don't rob us--or yourself, for that matter--of your talents, skills or your own uniqueness. #createmorecompareless Click To Tweet

Don’t rob us–or yourself, for that matter–of your talents, skills or your own uniqueness. Own it and work to your best ability with what you’ve got. Because comparison at its core, is just a distraction. Let’s stop giving it our precious time and attention, shall we? 


Need more encouragement?  

Before you go–I have created FREE printable affirmations for you to use to start battling this monster called comparison.  

Hang it up on your wall, your bathroom mirror…anywhere, as a reminder to #createmorecompareless. Use the #createmorecompareless hashtag on IG or Twitter so I can see all of the awesome things you’re creating! 

 

16 Comments
Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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16 Comments

  • Kate Sinclair

    I definitely fall prey to this, I compare myself to everyone all the time. I wish I didn’t and I try not to but it’s definitely a hard habit to break. Thank you for your lovely post.

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      It is such a hard habit to break, you’re so right! Thank YOU for reading, Kate–and keep going, girl. You will do just fine!

  • Victoria

    These are great encouraging points. I do find myself comparing mysef to others at times, but I’ve learnt to focus on what I’m doing and do it well. Thanks again!

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Yes, that is the spirit! Keep at it, whatever you’re doing, and you’ll soon reap the benefits of hard work and dedication. Thanks for sharing, Victoria–and keep it up!

  • Leslie Guzmán

    I’m guilty of this when I see someone get something that I’ve worked hard for and they didn’t. It’s hard, but I will beat it.

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Yes, ma’am you will. And you know what? Keep going. Because your hard work WILL pay off, I can tell you that! Thanks for reading, Leslie–you go, girl!

  • JUMADA MUHARRAM

    Guilty, I just saw your glamours photos and I caught myself comparing. It almost becomes almost natural process that needs that awarness. #createmorecompareless

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Hey Jumada, I get it–comparison is hard to get over–but I truly believe the first step is acknowledging it. You’re not alone in this, my friend–thanks for reading!

  • Sayanti | bingeonbasics.com

    Honestly, we all have fallen prey to this at some point of time in our lives. The comparison starts from homes itself. Like comparisons between siblings is so common these days and that is how we are brought up. Slowly and steadily it becomes a habit and finally, we give up on our uniqueness just to become someone’s else better version. Rather we should always mark our successes and our failures with our previous versions and not with somebody else because they have their own battles and achievements and we can never be that person. So why waste time on those people. Instead, focus on what you are and what you can be and you should be. Thanks for sharing the article with us!!

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      So true! I didn’t grow up with siblings, but I sure made comparisons when I could find them. And I so agree with you when you said, “…we give up on our uniqueness just to become someone’s else better version” and that right there is what inspired me to write this. We can offer so much to this world–it’s easy to think, Oh, it’s already been done, so I may as well just hop on the bandwagon. But that’s not how innovation happens. It happens when someone steps outside of the proverbial box and goes against the grain. We are world changers, we just need to believe it. Thanks so much for reading, Sayanti!

  • Destiny

    Definitely been struggling with this for a WHILE and while I know everyone has their own specific race, it still gets hard. I’ve been thinking about taking another break from social media just to get myself focused again. Great post!

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      I totally hear you, Destiny! And it can be so hard to focus on what’s right in front of us when the person in the other lane is so far ahead, but it’s all a learning process. And don’t forget to give yourself a break if you find yourself slipping into comparison–we’re only human after all. We learn from it. And we grow. Thanks so much for reading, my friend.

  • Teri

    Very well-said. At first, I as I read I didn’t see myself in the post. However, as I continued reading it really spoke to me. One of my blogs (my newest) is on a very popular subject. Your post really encouraged me to keep going. It actually revealed a mild “insecurity” I have about my new blog. After all, so many “big shots” write about managing owl personality – who ami? But, I am passionate about this subject and feel I have something to contribute so, I really want to keep going. I won’t be “distracted” by the other bloggers in my niche. Thanks! Really helped me a lot.

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, Teri! I’m so glad I could encourage you along your own blogging journey–you’re not alone in feeling that blogger envy, but we can always step away, look around at what we DO have and change to a grateful mindset. Yes, my friend! Keep going and work hard at what you do, and you’ll see just how amazing you really are.

  • Michelle Robinson

    Absolutely love this!!!! As a new blogger, I am learning so much from veteran bloggers. Instead of letting all of their accomplishments deter me, I am allowing them to motivate me. I know I am destined for greatness. I just have to learn to love the journey! Excellent post!

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Yes, I love that attitude, Michelle! I am somewhat new to blogging in a lot of ways too and am learning so much from them–you totally got my message here, to let their success fuel your own! Thanks for reading, friend!

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  • A strong woman also knows when to ask for help. And strong women, support and uplift each other. 
I’ve been feeling kind of burnt out from writing lately and my arch nemesis “writers block” has reared its ugly head once again. But I’ve been experimenting with “tactile creativity”—that is, using my hands to create things with yarn and fabric—which has been a real blessing to me. 
Sometimes, I just end up in a rut—physically, socially, mentally, spiritually, creatively, etc. But more often than not, I place myself there. So, this week I will try and work on getting out of it.

Any and all ideas are welcome. And a reminder—you are a brilliant light in this world, don’t dim it ♥️ ttys
  • Creating for the shop @oh_shecreates on this windy Friday 🌻 
It’s officially #nationalweekofmaking ✨ + because #makersgonnamake I’m looking to add more fun creations to the shop. Stay tuned for more—and don’t forget to keep creating, friends! #createmorecompareless #etsysellersofinstagram
  • ...because sometimes you just want a hat that won’t interfere with your coils! To my fellow #naturalistas I give you @curlcap—a game-changer. It’s lined with satin, so yes, girl—your edges are safe and sound 🙋🏾‍♀️ I found this gem on #etsy for less than $25, and my life will never be the same.

You think I’m being dramatic? You must not have natural hair. 
She also has a super cute #Killmonger pin that I’m eyeing currently 👀
#etsysellersofinstagram #shopsmallbusiness #blackownedbusiness
  • Comparison is an ugly game that no one wins. 
Yet, every so often—more often than I’d like to admit—I find myself comparing where I am, how I look & what I create, to others. But where’s the grace in that? 
Comparison deprives you of joy and contentment. It makes it harder for you to be happy for others in their accomplishments—even your own. 
That’s why I started the #createmorecompareless hashtag because it reminds me to mind my own business, work well at the tasks I’ve been given and not stress about what I haven’t done, or who’s done it better... Two truths I’ve come to understand in all of this: 1) there will ALWAYS be someone who’s better than you, and 2) you don’t have to be like everyone else, just be yourself and whatever is meant to be, will. 
You are loved. No need to compare. You are extraordinary. ttys♥️
  • As promised, I’ve got something new for you! Today, #ontheblog I’m sharing another piece of my journey through singleness, inspired by @jbstwocents new book #PartyofOne 
I’m asking myself, what is it that I’m waiting for, exactly? To do the work that I’ve been entrusted to do. To try out a dream I’ve had. To see new places. 
You can read it over via the link in my bio ☝🏾 the next question is: what are YOU waiting for?
  • When you’re on a dating app, match with a guy, but they don’t talk...like—then why, bro? 
Anyway, hope your Sunday has been a good one—new blog post coming for you tomorrow. Just a reminder: you’re loved very much ♥️ ttys

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