Comparison is The Thief of Joy – Theodore Roosevelt.

by Beth

Comparison. We all do it, right? And it can be helpful- by comparing yourself to your peers, you can observe where you stand, what progress you’ve made, and what you need to improve upon. That’s why some universities publish class averages. Comparing yourself to others, however, is rarely an observation- inherent to it is some sense of competition and judgement. It’s a breeding ground for feelings of inferiority and self-doubt. Facebook is a prime culprit for this: God knows how many times I’ve signed in, intending to quickly message my friends back home, and ended up being sucked into a vortex of stalking them, looking at their pictures from nights out, exciting jobs and internships, and travelling, before dragging myself away, feeling a lot more crappy about my life. These feelings, moreover, follow me around throughout the day: time and time again, I will leave the house feeling okay, and return feeling a lot less so, having interacted with people I have deemed more intelligent, funnier, prettier and stylish than me. It’s ridiculous. You need to have a thick skin to be able to healthily compare yourself- and this is something I just do not have yet. But I am coming up with some ideas, that hopefully will kick my confidence into gear.

  • Instagram and Facebook are my Marmite of the Internet. I love browsing and keeping updated, which is normally how I start my online ‘routine’. So I’m going to cut down the time I spend on the websites. No more mindless browsing. (This is going to be so much easier said than done!)
  • In a similar vein, cut out the Daily Mail Side Bar of Shame. You all know what I’m talking about. By looking at this vile website, I’m not only comparing myself to photoshopped celebrities, but also giving page views to psuedo-journalists like Liz Jones. No. Thanks. I’m currently one week in to being Daily Mail free, and damn it feels good.
  • Start accepting compliments. My boyfriend is king of compliments and I am frequently flattered by him. My response?  ‘Shut up’, ‘no I’m not’, and ‘you’re my boyfriend, you HAVE to say that’. Instead I’m going to try a more simple approach of ‘thank you’. Who knows, I might even start to believe him.

This is just a few ideas, and certainly not a doctrine of a sure-fire way to stop comparison. But it’s a start.

I was going to end this post by saying that a quote by Dr Seuss would say it ten times better than I could… but let’s try out my new state of mind, and just leave the quote up as some food for thought!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”