I was chatting to good friend the other day who reminded me of a great quote by Theodore Roosvelt. Just type it into Google and you’ll get at least a hundred different Google images with pretty backgrounds and swirly fonts. It goes like this,
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
How many times have you seen or heard that before? I know it’s popped up on my screen at least a dozen times when I’m either scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.
Sometimes we see quotes like this so many times they start to lose their meaning. They become bland and grey, like plain chicken soup without any seasoning.
But take a step back for a second and really see them again. Go back and re-read that quote. Go on. Do you see how true it is? Particularly in today’s society where we’re constantly checking social media to see what everyone else is up to. We spend hours scrolling through our feeds, hungrily consuming everything that everyone else is posting. And it makes us feel like crap.
‘So and so’s on holiday again’
‘Whats-her-face has got a new car’
‘Matey-boy’s bought a house’
Everyone else’s lives are on display and they look oh-so-much better than yours. How can we possibly feel content and satisfied with our lot when it feels like so much less than Mr and Mrs Jones over there? But remember this;
What you’re seeing is someone else’s highlights.
You’re seeing the best bits (not those bits) of someone’s life. And when we focus too much on what everyone else is doing, we forget to take a step back and remember what’s going on in our own world.
Try this now for me - take a deep breath and think about what you’re grateful for. What springs to mind? Your partner? Your home? Your job? Your health? Whatever it is, no matter how large or small, it’s important. We need to remember to spend some time being grateful for what we have, not resentful for what we don’t.
Two things you can do that will help you feel more content and satisfied:
Stop comparing yourself to others. Like Teddy said, it does nothing but steal your joy. Who knows what’s happening on the other end of the screen? The car could be on crippling finance. The perfect family photo might be the only one they could post because the kids were screaming in the rest of them. The grass is not always greener. You might need to spend some time watering your own. Which leads me on to…
Practice gratitude. Spend a couple of minutes each day (I go for the morning, as I’m getting ready for the day ahead) reflecting on what you’re grateful for. Don’t do anything else, don’t get distracted, just focus on this one activity for two minutes. Some people like to keep a gratitude diary, or write on scraps of paper and keep them in a jar - I just look at myself in the mirror every morning and reflect on the amazing things I’m so lucky to have.
We can’t be truly happy when we’re worrying about what’s going on in everyone else’s lives but not recognising the good in our own. The more grateful you are for what you have, the less you care about what’s going on for everyone else anyway!
Try these two things for a week and I guarantee you’ll feel more positive and content. What have you got to lose? Or, as I like to think of it, what have you got to gain……?
Have we mentioned that we’ve got our ‘Master Your Mindset’ workshop coming up on the 12th March? Check out the poster below for all the where’s and the how’s but the quick and easy is this - ‘Master Your Mindset’ is a one day workshop as part of the Oxford International Women’s Festival. It’s going to be all about getting to grips with your mindset and giving you the tools you need to live more positively. If that sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, get in touch! You can book tickets by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling/texting 07718921116. We’d love to see you there!