I am a huge lover of quotes that inspire you and make you think. One that rings true for me – and I am betting many of you – is “Comparison is the thief of joy”. That quote came to mind the other day when I went to a coffee shop to get some work done. I had been working from home in the same sweats for 2 days and needed to interact with humanity outside of my house! Anyway, it was very interesting to observe the interactions between the people all around me.
The entrepreneurs and the moms with kids seemed to keep a distance from one another. I noticed a middle aged woman - who was clearly there trying to work – glare at a mom with her two young kids in tow as if the mom was somehow encroaching on her space and being too loud with her hungry little kids (who weren’t in fact being loud but super cute). I wondered if this woman was annoyed at the kids or annoyed that she was working.
Then there was the mom who was just trying to get a cup of coffee and her toddler was having a fit because he wanted that “big giant cookie with 6 million M&M’s on it”. The mother was pretty busy wrestling her little guy into the stroller as they made their way out of the coffee shop but as she did I saw her stare wistfully for a moment at the young woman with her earbuds in and her laptop on peacefully typing away at something.
And every woman in the place seemed to give a longing glance to the two older women who were clearly enjoying their retirement and friendship as they both laughed and smiled and talked about grandchildren and their travels.
I may be off my rocker in my observations but these women seemed to be comparing their lives to the snapshot they saw of someone else’s. And maybe they were jealous of the person they saw and maybe they were judgmental (maybe neither), but either way they looked like they felt deflated.
When we compare ourselves to others we are often times comparing their highlight reel (the good stuff) to our own blooper reel (the negative feelings about ourselves and our circumstance). And since the advent of social media we see A LOT of highlight reels but don’t always see the challenges simmering underneath the surface.
It is so easy to get caught up in the no-win game of comparison. To feel like your life is challenging, or stressful, or lonely in comparison to all of those life highlights we see on social media or in our wistful observations at the coffee shop. But when we compare our lives to others it shifts the focus away from all of the things we should be excited about within ourselves.
When you find yourself getting caught up in comparing your life with everyone else’s highlight reel (we all do it sometimes), try these steps to help get your thoughts back in your own lane.
There is always something in our own lives to be proud of and focus on, we just have to stop and pay attention sometimes!
Hi, I'm Tina! Life Coach, Mom and Lawyer who loves small furry dogs and big glasses of wine and knows that increasing your self awareness and connecting with your purpose can be an interesting (and sometimes challenging) journey. That's why I'm here to help!!