I know we all have similar wishful thinking of bringing fresh new energy into our homes and lives for 2021. And with that in mind I’d like to talk about something that can help us all improve the quality or our daily lives. A quote that I love pulling out of my toolbox every now and then is by Teddy Roosevelt:
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
For so few words, they most certainly hold a lot of weight.
I find it worrisome how often we make comparisons or pass judgment on others and ourselves. As a matter of fact, a new research study done by Amy Summerville Ph. D. states that “more than 10% of our daily thoughts involve making a comparison of some kind.” Being that we have roughly 60,000 thoughts passing through our minds daily, that would mean that a staggering 6,000 thoughts geared toward comparing ourselves to others, comparing what we have to others, comparing our skills to others, and the list goes on.
If that doesn’t startle you, it should!
It’s thoughts like these that can drastically change the quality of our lives, and more often than not these thoughts won’t leave you feeling your best. That’s where the danger is.
Even social media can leave you feeling down if you are constantly feeding yourself with thoughts of what you don’t have, what you look like, and what you wish you could be doing. We do it without friends and family, without parents we may see at school, and without work colleagues.
However, this wouldn’t be a column of mine if I didn’t spin it into a positive! So, how do we do that? In steps, of course.
Just like most self-growth, we start with our thinking and then move to our actions. My husband loves to say, “We are all mirrors for each other, and what we like/dislike in others is precisely what we like/dislike about ourselves.” I love this way of thinking because it leaves room for self-improvement instead of just pointing fingers at others to make ourselves feel more self-important.
The first step is to recognize when we are making comparisons and passing judgment. When we catch ourselves in the act, we can stop this petty and out of place behavior, but even better we can ask ourselves why? If you understand why you are having a certain judgmental reaction toward someone or a situation, then you might learn something about yourself, just like looking in a mirror. So you like how someone shows kindness or becomes the bigger person? If you recognize that behavior it’s most likely because you possess those qualities However, they may be dormant.
Can’t stand when someone is arrogant and dismissive? Double check to make sure that you’re not coming across that way to others. The next step would be to set realistic standards for yourself which is very important for your mental health. A simple example of this is as follows; if your goal is to be in better shape, or perhaps to learn to love yourself as you are, don’t compare yourself to filtered Instagram models or “Mr. Perfectly Sculpted.” Choose genuine examples that leave you inspired and ready to set attainable goals for yourself.
And lastly, bring light to those around you instead of looking down on them. It’s easy to judge someone that you might not agree with. Whether they have different political views than you, or maybe their parenting approaches are different, it’s no basis for judgment. Look for the positive. In the process, you may learn something from them, and about yourself. Try your hardest to be the bigger person; bring light to the situation.
It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
If you must make a comparison, then compare the old you with the new and improved version. Be proud of your growth. Remember to see a bit of yourself in everyone you meet, and never let comparison be the thief of your joy.
A very happy holiday and Happy New Year to you and yours.
About Morgan Duzouglo
Morgan is a published author and successfully works as a certified professional life coach, giving courses and seminars in schools and universities and a character development program in martial arts schools. Her unique experience as a nationally ranked athlete, as well as a recording artist, bring a rare and fresh perspective to the exciting process of self-realization. Morgan is determined to spread her light and hopes that her unique take on life’s journey will touch, transform, and give wondrous possibilities to the lives of others. For more information visit Morgan online by clicking here.