Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy". And it's true! Have you ever felt pretty good about something you've done, then compared it to something that someone else did--and felt like a miserable failure? There are so many different parts of our lives that we do this with: what our home looks like, what we look like, grades in school, vacations, work accomplishments, the list could go on and on. (For me, going someplace that requires a swimming suit is the worst!) But here's the thing...comparing also involves lying. How's that for a sneaky, no-good tactic?
The lying comes because we often compare the worst of ourselves to the the best in others. The picture it paints is false and causes us to have unrealistic and unfair expectations of ourselves. It's not right, but we do it all the time. Not only that, but sometimes we end up resenting others because of their success, instead of celebrating it! This puts a distance between us.
I love this video because it takes a humble down-to-earth comedian and goes through his thought process as he compares himself to the likes of Jerry Sinfeld and Robin Williams. Then he looks at the WHOLE truth-which is usually a lot different.
This video from Prager University is great, especially for teens who might fall into the comparison trap. It helps us to look more closely at others, appreciate the hard work they have done, but also notice the negative things in their lives that they have had to deal with. It helps us to see the whole packaged deal. Best of all, it teaches that the best way to compare ourselves is taking who we are today and then looking at who we were yesterday, a year ago or 5 years ago. Now that is the best measure of how we are doing!
Community Question: What is your (or your kids') most vulnerable comparison pain point?
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