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“Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work done well and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.” – Galatians 6:4

When I saw this quote for the first time a year or so ago, I practically started clapping. How true is this?  And why is it that even though we know it’s true, we all still struggle with it?

When I decided to compete for Miss Mississippi Teen USA (what feels like forever ago, proof this really happened here), my initial reason for competing was that I could meet girls from all over the state.  Once I was selected to represent the state at Miss Teen USA, I had a privilege of making friends from all over the country!  Ten years later, and I live in the same town with Miss Ohio and North Carolina.  I’m even meeting up with Miss New York for coffee in LA this weekend! The experience, if not just for meeting so many ambitious and talented women, was one I’ll value forever.

Amazing as it was, it also introduced a new level of body image, self consciousness and comparison.  This is by means no one’s fault nor do I feel pageants are to blame – it was all in my own head. At 18, I was around some of the most beautiful and talented teenage girls in the country, and I would by lying to you if I said I didn’t compare my body and appearance to theirs.  Why can’t I change this flaw or be more like her?  Why can’t I be more photogenic and more natural in front of the camera?  I wish my hair was as pretty as hers or my legs as long and lean as hers. The list goes on.

I’ve felt this way in the blogging world as well. Would I get more comments, followers or likes if I was more like this or that?  And when I feel this way, I force myself to unplug.  Put the phone in a drawer.  Put away the laptop or iPad.  Stop for a moment and reflect on the relationships and opportunities I’ve been fortunate to have rather than compare myself to someone else’s success.  As Rick Warren says, “You cannot be happy and envious at the same time.”  Choose to to be happy.  You can’t focus on your purpose and God’s purpose for you while comparing yourself to others. And for me, while the comparison and envy may not disappear, I have to actively stop myself and remind myself to change my perspective.

Never forget that social media (and often blogs) are highlight reels of the best moments. No one is instagramming their flat tire or microwaved frozen curry dinner (trust me, I’ve had both and neither made an appearance on social media… although this did and it still makes me laugh)! I try to actively change the way I look at things, which helps to change my state of mind.

What do you do to prevent yourself from the unhealthy and tempting game of comparison? I’d love to hear.  Thanks for reading and sharing! XO –

 

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33 thoughts on “Comparison

  1. I couldn’t agree more Kathleen. What a beautifully written post. Comparison is the thief of joy – that quite couldn’t be more perfect. This is something I came to realise a few years ago after endlessly comparing myself to others. Nowadays, while I’m definitely far from immune to the ugly thoughts of comparison, I’ve certainly changed my perspective and it’s helped a great deal! Xo

  2. Amen girl! Comparison is like a disease. I really appreciate your writing so openly about it in your life. It’s really a problem in mine. When I feel that way, I too try to disconnect from social media (why is this always the source of self-esteem issues?!). I also try to watch something up lifting. In particular, documentaries that really put things into perspective and make me realize how SMALL my world is. Waste Land (about Vik Muniz and landfill art) is one such documentary. It’s incredibly powerful and I highly recommend it!

    (The spilt beet juice is hilarious! I can so relate to that feeling)

    1. Love this suggestion! I love documentaries (have you ever seen Happy? So incredible. Always makes me cry!), I will have to give the ones you suggested a try! Thanks so much for reading and sharing what works for you – XO

  3. Love this and you! Your blog is so inspiring Kat! I have been feeling like this A LOT lately and it’s so important to remember everyone’s highlight reels aren’t their day to day.

    We need a phone date stat? Aaron is on nights fri night if you’re being lame like me with no plans.

    1. I think you and I have definitely had this discussion before Amy! We totes need a phone date stat! C isn’t working nights Friday but I should call you when I’m leaving work – it will be like 8pm your time!

  4. Thank you so much for writing this. This is so very true! I look forward to reading your blog every day and today I was truly inspired. This topic is something I have been working on. The struggle is real, being positive and passionate about the things you love are key! Thanks for letting us know we aren’t alone in this struggle!
    -Xo

    1. And thank you for reading and for your support Lexi! I’m always comforted in knowing I’m not alone with certain struggles, and I think this one is one that most all females battle. We’re in it together, gf! XO

  5. I agree with the other ladies’ comments. Although we know it’s not healthy to constantly compare ourselves to others, we still do it. It is necessary to have a lovely reminder like this one. I believe it’s easy for bloggers to get sucked into detrimental comparisons, and we lose sight of why we started blogging in the first place!

    I’ve also found it helpful in the last few months (body wise) to not compare mine to others, but instead work on and celebrate what my body can do…it allows me to run half marathons, (finally) do a boy push-up, and wear heels for hours on end! 🙂

    1. TOTALLY agree with you! And hello – congratulations on your marathon! That’s a big deal! You forgot to mention the fact that you have a crazy cool hobby of being the female beer expert. You go Glen Coco – thanks for reading and sharing! XO –

  6. THIS!! It’s funny how as I get older, the jealousy triggers change – now I’m finding myself feeling inadequate when I see others buying houses, taking trips, and being more “adult” than I am (or than I feel). When that happens, I most definitely take a step back and come correct. I take inventory of the awesome people and blessings I have in my life and remember that someone else’s success doesn’t hinder my own. This post is an excellent reminder!

    1. I totally agree with you! I feel the exact same way. And isn’t it comforting knowing you’re not the only one? Thanks for reading and sharing Erin!! XO

  7. I absolutely agree! This is honest and very true. We need to stop trying to be anyone but who we are, and beautiful pictures are wonderful to look and inspirational, but we always need to love ourselves for who we are <3

  8. Well said, Kathleen! This is something that I struggle with way too often. I have to tell myself to get a grip and don’t compare my worst to another person’s best.

  9. It sounds weird, but honestly what helps me, is reading posts exactly like this. When a blogger whom I admire talks about happiness over envy, I realize that if I stay true to myself and don’t compare myself to others, and not try to be as perfect as others may look, that is the key to true happiness. Thanks for posting this girlie!

    xo
    Nina
    http://www.lawoffashionblog.com

  10. Wonderful post, and oh so true for all of us reading, I’d think. I think it’s so very hard in this superficial, photoshopped world to not compare ourselves to others. It’s hard! And seriously if I was a fashion blogger??? Yikes, I really do think it would be / could be even much worse…so I truly feel for you.

    I’m an artist/painter, and so I can relate to getting “judgy” about oneself, in whatever capacity. For me, it’s myself putting down my own creations and/or comparing it to what I wish it was. UGH. So destructive, detrimental, and seriously pointless, ya know?

    So, the only way I know of to help with this is to reel in my negative thoughts when I’m able, and to remember that I’m just ME…I cannot be anyone else, or create someone else’s creations. What is that one saying…? Something along the lines of you may as well be YOU, bc no one else can do the job (and, do the job to perfection, I might add).

    1. Love this. Thank you so much for sharing! I think it’s so difficult not to compare our own talents to someone else’s and I love the way you put this. Such a great reminder! XO

  11. Boy, did I need to read this today. Social media can make us brutal to ourselves. I have to unplug every now and then too. I have to take the time to remind myself of things to be grateful for in my own life. Some days are easier than others. Thanks for sharing your honest feelings here.

  12. The best advice I read was to count my blessings and not someone else’s. I try to thank God for what I have because things could always be worse.

    P.S. I love your blog!

    1. Thank you AJ! I love that advice. So true and concise. Thank you for reading and sharing! XO

  13. I really needed to read this post today. Thank you for sharing this with all of us! I have for the past year or so been struggling with this more than I ever have. Without going into a long boring story I have been comparing my career status (or really lack-there-of) with that of my friends who I graduated with. It has been so hard to stop myself from beating myself up because they have the perfect job, home, family, ect. I actually used social media to help me overcome this. About a little over a year ago I started posting positive and motivational quotes every Monday on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A lot of people think that I do it for others (which is partially true) but the real reason I do it is to remind myself that we all have a unique journey and it is for us alone to take and to understand. I have learned that in order to be happy with yourself you have to create your own happiness.

    1. I love this! I was watching the Today Show and they were talking about using social media for good rather than for bullying and this is such an amazing example. I love what you said about creating your own happiness – I strongly feel happiness can often be a choice. Thank you for sharing! XO

  14. I love this post and I love you.
    I guess we forget sometimes that everyone has problems/issues even when their lives look ‘perfect’ on the outside.
    I have to constantly remind myself to be nice: everyone we know if facing some kind of battle: big, small, doesn’t matter. I also have to constantly remind myself that my worth is not validated by likes/comments, even though I do love getting them. 🙂

    1. SO true on reminding yourself that everyone has their own struggles. Such a great reminder – thanks for sharing Cassie!! XO

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this, I needed to read this today! As a new blogger to the blogosphere it can be difficult not to compare yourself to others, and my love for social media (I think there should be an Instagram Anonymous for my addiction!) can sometimes be brutal. I love your idea of taking a minute to “unplug” and count your blessings:). Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have just started my blogging journey and have so much to learn, and it really helps when sucessful bloggers (like you!) are able to be so honest about their experieneces. I love your blog!
    xx Julianna
    http://www.blushandcamo.com

  16. Wow! I thought I was the only one! I have been struggling so much with this issue lately because I am a new blogger and not as young as all of you Spring chickens, and I’m constantly comparing myself to other bloggers that do this for a living. I have had to learn so much a long the way, because being a child of the 80’s, (yes, I’m old)I wasn’t raised on computers or cell phones, so technology is definitely not a strength for me. It has been challenging to say the least, because my brain does work that way. So, I have decided that right now, I need to just be happy and content with what I’m doing, and where I am in life, and God will take care of the rest.
    Thank you so much for this post. I really needed to hear this!
    Keep doing what your doing, and thanks for the words of wisdom.
    Jeannine xo

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