The Comparison Trap

Someone asked me recently, "What is your advice for not pulling yourself down when people succeed?"

She went on to say "I think this is one thing (it sounds so silly) that I get trapped in.  For example, to do what you do, do you get discouraged when you see others ahead of you in different ways?"

At first I thought, oh what a great question and then I added, oh boy do I know all about this.

One of my favorite quotes is "Comparison is the thief of joy."


While it is a favorite, what it lacks are some helpful tips on HOW NOT TO compare. 

So here was my reply:


I used to (and still catch myself from time to time) compare where I was to where someone else was all the time.  I would compare their skill set compared to mine and theirs always seemed so much better.  

Comparison is linked to competition and since I'm not very competitive I would just retreat.  Here were some of my favorite lines.

  • "I'm so far behind, I will never be able to catch up or do something great.  So what is the point."

  • "Wow things are really happening for her and I just can't seem to catch a break"

  • I will never be able to write a book.  Who would buy it anyways. What do I have to say that someone else hasn't said 100 times already."

And then I would want to give up and accept mediocrity.  The root was that I had low self-worth and low self-esteem.  Watching and comparing myself to others was a great way to look at the outside so I didn't have to look on the inside. 


But then I realized that comparison sucked.  Literally. 

It sucked all of the energy, all of the joy, and all of the excitement right out of me!

So I stopped following people online that made me feel bad. I was uninspired because I was hypnotized by my media environment.

We all show the world that which we want them to see, and the beauty is that we get to decide if we want to see what that person is sharing or not. 

Now I only follow accounts that inspire me from striving to be my best self, to organic skincare, to saving the animals and the planets. 


Then I had to flip the negative.  You get what you focus on so instead of  focusing on the comparison, I decided to focus on the positive.  

I decided to use these people as my mentors who were leading the way and showing me all that is available and can happen.  They don't know they are my mentor, but my brain doesn't seem to mind. 


Lastly, I heard Melissa Ambrosini say that "we are all worthy, we are all here to share a message, and we are all here to serve." 

When I took the focus off what wasn't happening in my life and put the focus on serving others, my eyes opened 1,000%.  My self-worth start to climb as I realized I am not an accident.  In fact, no one is. 

When we focus inward, the cacophony of the external begins to melt away.

Jennifer Burnham