The Thief of Joy

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I know comparison is something I've written about often, but it's something that I find myself constantly slipping into.  I compare in all sorts of different arenas- from my looks to my intelligence to my wedding to my marriage. When my sense of self worth is not grounded in what it should be I am prone to determine my merit in light of the merits of others.  Social media is no help in this struggle.  I know I'm not the only one who has found myself casually browsing Facebook only to end up in a pool of self-hate two hours later.  In fact, a 2011 study reported that too much time on social media leads to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, especially in women.  When all we see are the "highlight reels" of other peoples' lives it's easy to feel like everyone has it all together besides us.

In my experience, there are only two roads to which comparison leads: the road of pride or the road of self-loathing. Either we end up hating ourselves for not measuring up to others or we pride ourselves on being "better."  Both are traps that I fall into frequently, and neither one provides peace or motivation.

I want to live in the realm of joy.  I want to be solid enough in my sense of self worth that I can rejoice in the accomplishments of others without viewing them as a threat to my own confidence.  Most of all, I want to live in a manner that doesn't play into the comparison struggle of others.  By this I mean I want to be authentic- about my joys, my struggles, my failures, and the fact that I, by no stretch of the imagination, have it all together.

Do you struggle with comparison? What are some strategies that help you overcome it?

This post is part of the Love Yourself Linkup



6 comments

  1. This is a trap I fall into all the time as well. I think it's perhaps ingrained in us early on in schooling and also just part of normal human behavior. People tend to measure their success by how much "better off" they are than others in their same field. I'm trying to do my best to remember that happiness and self-worth knows no monetary value and cannot be outwardly perceived as easily as everything else. So if I am assured that I am happy with myself, that means I'm pretty rich on my own. The best thing I can do is to compare myself only to myself.

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    1. It's so true! We are taught very young to be the "top of the class." Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Right! If you think of your joy as a thing you possess (like all the actual stuff in your home) and you put safeguards in place to actually protect it from thieves, it becomes a much more tangible fight. I try to remember to tweet a list of 3 things I'm thankful for every day, which keeps me accountable for actually identifying those things, then using social media to share them. For me, it helps fight those "everyone I follow on instagram is happier than I am" blues. :)

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    1. I love that idea! Thanks for sharing, Jenny.

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  3. This is so true! It's hard to be in the blogging world, especially as a job, because I feel like I am constantly in the realm of comparison. Thanks so much for this post!

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    1. Anne, I can't imagine how hard this must be when you are blogging for your job! Thank you for stopping by and for hosting this link up :)

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