Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Happy New Year! I wanted to start out the New Year on an inspiring note and write about something that is so easy to fall victim to – especially in this age of social media. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. You are scrolling through your social media and come across that woman who seems like she has it all…amazing home, fancy cars, luxurious vacations, doting husband, perfectly behaved children, has the dream job, all while wearing her size 2 jeans in Louboutin heels…and your life seems to pale in comparison. No matter how good you may be feeling about your own life, seeing someone else’s “amazing” life can make you doubt your self worth. And having constant, instant access of other people’s “perfect lives” with social media can really have a negative effect on your happiness. So here are a few things to keep in mind when you find yourself feeling this way:

Social media is a highlight reel and I think most of us choose to show the best parts of our life (although there are some people who like to post all the negative and air all the dirty laundry which is a whole other issue!). I know I would rather share the fun and happy parts of my life because those are the moments I want to freeze in time and remember. I really don’t want to post the toddler meltdowns, the endless piles of laundry, and the day to day moments of motherhood and life that can be difficult. But we ALL have those moments and nobody has the “perfect” life all the time. Everyone has some kind of struggle, and what you think you are comparing yourself to is an edited version of that person’s reality. It isn’t truly the full picture of their life, and your day-to-day real life isn’t a fair comparison with someone else’s highlight reel.

Feeling badly about yourself isn’t going to help you accomplish your goals. When you are so focused on what someone else has that you don’t, you aren’t taking action in your own life and are likely to feel down and discouraged. I’m a huge believer in taking action, because endlessly complaining and feeling discouraged will never change your circumstances or make you feel better about your own life. When you start taking steps towards your goals and keeping busy with trying to achieve them, it has an amazing way of making you feel inspired and confident! What is it ultimately that is your priority and what is most important to you? I admit I have had twinges of envy at times seeing women with amazing careers, while I chose to stay home with my kids and have just recently returned to the workforce. But every time I have felt that, I am quick to remind myself what a blessing it has been being with my kids every day since they were born, and I ultimately wouldn’t change that for anything.

Comparison is always a losing battle. Because there will always be someone smarter, richer, prettier, skinnier…whatever it may be that you are comparing yourself to. If your self worth is coming from a place of trying to be more, have more, and do more than someone else – you are always going to fall short of someone. Instead of focusing externally, focus inward on becoming the best version of you that you can be. We all have strengths that make us unique, and focusing on those is a sure way to help you feel confident! “Be yourself…everyone else is already taken.”

“It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” This is my all time favorite quote and I believe is the key to long lasting happiness. If you are always looking to the next thing or trying to achieve what someone else has thinking it will make you happy – whether its a new car, new home, new job, a fancy vacation, new luxury purchase – you are never going to be truly happy. Because the happiness that comes from “stuff” is fleeting and doesn’t last, and you will always be looking for the next thing. Pausing and focusing on what truly matters in life and being grateful for what you have, right now in this moment, is guaranteed to make you feel true and genuine happiness. One time my husband and I were talking about how much we loved the kids & he said, “isn’t it crazy that someone could offer us a billion dollars for our kids and we wouldn’t take it?!” It’s kind of a silly analogy, but it really is true. The most precious things in life cannot be bought and even on the tough days, the truth is I wouldn’t trade lives with anyone for anything. Even when life seems difficult and you feel your life is lacking, what is it in your life that you are grateful for?

Lastly, try to come from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. When you come from scarcity, you may feel that life only has so much to go around and that when someone else gets more, it means less for you. The abundance mentality comes from a place of knowing there is an abundance in the universe and enough to go around for everyone. Instead of comparing, say to yourself there is plenty for everyone and someone else’s success or good fortune is taking nothing from you. This mindset will keep you from comparing and competing when you can instead be focused on all of the opportunities in the universe that are available to you!

I hope this post helps you find a little more joy, gratitude, and happiness in 2018!

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