I completely agree with Mark Twain when he said that, “Comparison is the death of joy”. Look, I named my coaching company Stress Reduction Joy Production so, of course, I think that anything that is gonna kill something that I value so much sucks.
I’ve had countless conversations with clients, friends, and family members about the pain that they are causing themselves because of comparison.
There is an actual psychological theory called social comparison where people make comparisons, often between their most humdrum moments and their friends' “highlight reels” which causes depression.
I feel you. It can get overwhelming looking at posts of your friend’s perfect:
- Adorable Kids
- Successful Businesses
- Amazing Vacations
- Romantic Outings
- Perfect Meals
- Killer Workouts
- Beautiful Homes
We have to remember that nobody is sharing a full picture of their lives (ie the moments they wonder what the f*^@ they’re doing with their lives) and the parts that they are sharing might be a bit manufactured too.
That being said, there is someone whom comparing yourself to could actually be helpful and that someone is YOU.
A lot can be gained by looking back at where you were a month/6 months/a year ago and acknowledging how far you’ve come. This is the time to get specific with yourself and choose to loosen your grip on that mindset of nothing is going well. Instead be honest, gentle, and supportive just like you would if you were talking to anyone that you loved.
If you can’t find tangible growth (which sounds almost impossible) then look at what you learned during that time, because there’s a lesson in every experience.
I recently made a list of at least 10 areas of personal and professional growth, over the past year, that deserve some acknowledgement (from me) and I challenge you to do the same.
I’d love to hear about your growth and something that you discovered from the process of writing it out in the comments below. By sharing your ideas you just may inspire someone else to do something they didn’t think possible.