“Comparison is the thief of joy”- Teddy Roosevelt
I have discovered that there is an infinite number of things and people upon which we can potentially compare ourselves to. And with how flooded we are by social media nowadays, it’s easier than ever to habitually find someone who seems to be living a “better” life than us, which only serves to make us feel miserable about ourselves. You have probably, at some point, felt the animosity boil in your blood, and your fists clenching by the envy surging up your brain. But the truth is, we have all been there! Unfortunately, once we drive down the road of jealousy, there is never an end.
Jealousy definitely plays a deadly role of stealing the joy from our lives, since we are continually tapering off our self-confidence in thinking that someone is better than us. But some times, we compare ourselves against inaccurate information. All of us show a part of ourselves to the outside world, with the other half remaining hidden forever, at least to the the common world. I mean, how many times have people asked us how we’re doing, when we’re having the day of our defeats and yet we bite our tongues and say, “everything is going great!”, when really, deep down we feel like a failure, or just about ready to lose our minds. The people we compare ourselves to are almost always enduring some struggles that we aren’t aware of. And so we typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others. As Steve Furtick explains, “The reason why we struggle with insecurities is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Comparing is also a losing battle. It puts us in a bubble of overwhelming emotions that make us feel burdened. We dwell upon our weaknesses and are so blindsided by them, that we forget about our strengths, powers, and achievements. We forget the fact that we are also unique in our own ways. And by falling into this ever-alluring trap, we seriously start to use others as a benchmark for our own worth. But no matter how hard we try to beat ourselves up, we can never become someone else, and we can never become perfect. Because the truth is, in this game of life, we never really reach a point where we have the ability to be better than others in every single way. We are humans, not flawless creatures.
We live our lives to pursue our dreams. Sometimes, however, some people will have better ways of doing things than we do. It’s easy to feel irked by that, but it’s also possible to take it under the best possible light to lift ourselves up, rather than flying off the handle over the fact that we think that they are better than us. Whenever my parents compare me to other people my age, I feel exasperated. I feel like they think that this person is better than me. But that isn’t true. As humans, we can become just so stubborn at times, that we fail to accept our weaknesses in front of others. Ruminating about how someone else is better looking, has more friends, or is more successful than us, is rather ineffective than to figure out or wonder why this is so and what we’re doing wrong. In fact, part of what makes life so amazing is learning from the talents of others to become better versions of ourselves. Besides, we don’t lose anything in trying to learn from others, only a whole lot of ego!
So, since comparison is the death of joy, let us try to keep in mind that nobody is perfect. All of us have great strengths and all of us are working along our weaknesses. And trust me, the freedom found in comparing less is entirely worth the effort!