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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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 18 𝑜𝒻 31

Obsession. I like to say photography is my love language—I have no idea what that means, but it sounds nice, right? I’m obsessed with taking pictures and learning more about composition, editing and trying new things with my little @canonusa baby. *accidentally deleted my post from yesterday—so here it is again*
  • This is not a drill—it’s a GIVEAWAY! 
Meet Kayla (@kayzilch). Though we’ve met just recently, I immediately recognized her as a kindred spirit (she’s also a Type-4 Enneagram)! Her writing is real, authentic and delves into an array of important topics such as mental health, identity, faith and much more on her blog @tobetruth_. She’s also working to become a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about her work as a freelance writer! 
Meet Meghan (@meghantschanz). I’ve never met a woman so determined and passionate about creating authentic community and tackling tough topics. She’s not afraid to go there and start conversations about real-world issues like sex- and labor-trafficking around the world, feminism (or lack thereof) within the church and equality for ALL. She’s currently working on securing a book deal, with the goal of empowering women around the globe to recognize their influence in society and their ability to make the world a more equal place. 
These women are doing some amazing things and I’m honestly just excited to come along for the ride. I believe in us, the work we’ve been called to do and I hope, after learning more about us, you will too. To celebrate and continue advocating for causes we believe in, we’re doing a giveaway with @causebox. 
Here’s where you come in:

1. Give this post a (♡) double tap.

2. Go follow @meghantschanz & @kayzilch.

3. After you’ve done both of those things, come back here and tag two women whose life, work and friendship you believe in! 
The prize is a summer-themed @causebox valued at $300, packed full of small-batch, sustainable and ethically created gifts made by women and small businesses around the world. 
Winner will be announced Friday (8/24) morning at 10am EST!
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 17 𝑜𝒻 31

Blue. I’ve been looking for a way to fill my ginormous (at least it seems that way) white living room wall. Every time I thought I knew how I wanted to decorate that space, I changed my mind suddenly, determined that there had to be a better way to fill the empty 
space.

I didn’t know this about me before, but it hit me one day, as my parents were helping me unpack my stuff in my new place. My mom began asking me what I’d like my new place to look like, rug colors, mat textures, wall—fixtures and all. I am no good at decorating. Like, I had no idea how to put a space together. I’ve never been on my own before and the idea of having to decide how my space would be...mine, freaked me out. 
But then, little by little I found some pieces that I didn’t hate, and started to put them together. And yesterday, I stumbled upon these little treasures at Marshall’s. I couldn’t resist the ocean hues and beach vibes. I knew it was meant to be. 
All that to say, for anyone else struggling to put your place together after either never having to do it before #livingsingle or maybe putting the pieces of your life back together after a breakup or split—take your time. It will all come together eventually and it will look amazing. And before you know it, it will start to look, like you. ttys
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Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys

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