Comparison Kills

*It’s my final flashback post celebrating my one-year blogging anniversary. Thanks to everyone for indulging me on my trip down memory lane.*

Comparison is a thief. It’s a liar. It’s a crutch.

And we all do it. It’s almost second nature. The moment we meet someone we size them up. We hear about someone else’s success and we compare it to our own. We hate our bodies because they don’t look like the photo-shopped versions we see in magazines. We don’t believe we’re smart enough, talented enough, brave enough, strong enough, good enough to do something because the other people who have—who’ve accomplished that one thing we’re dying to do—are different, better somehow. But that’s a lie.

It’s all lies.

Comparison makes us see faults that aren’t really there. It makes us fear things we shouldn’t. It makes us question our own self-worth which is pointless when you stop to consider the fact that you are here. You are here and you are alive and that is no accident. You are not an accident. Here. Now. In this body. In this life. You are not an accident.

It’s a crutch.

Dwelling on all of the ways you don’t think you measure up is just another excuse for not reaching your true potential. Comparing yourself to others leads to dissatisfaction which leads to fear which leads to complacency. If you don’t think you can reach your goals in a state of imperfection then guess what? You never will. But if you could let go of the fear of not being good enough, if you could let go of the fear of failing, if you could just let go and let yourself be you then maybe you might surprise yourself. Maybe you might find out that you’re wrong. That you are good enough. But you’ll never know unless you try.

It’s a thief

When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we’re not just sabotaging our own happiness, we’re sabotaging our own self-discovery. Life is about finding out who you are, your talents, your dreams, your purpose—the things that make you tick. But when you find yourself dissatisfied with how your gifts compare to someone else’s, you’re missing the point. It’s not about what you have in this life, it’s about what you do with the things you have. What you can give.

And anyone and everyone can give. That’s all we’re put on this earth to do. You may be good at writing, or working on cars, or teaching, or gardening, or listening, or making people laugh but in the end, at the core of every desire and every dream is giving. So give. Stop letting your fear stop you. Stop letting comparison steal your joy and your ability to discover yourself. Stop letting it steal your ability to give.

Comparison is a thief and a liar and crutch but you don’t have to drink that poison. You can ignore the artificial expectations of the world and you can take back your joy. I wrote this because, even though I know it’s the absolute truth, sometimes I need to be reminded of my own misconceptions. Sometimes we all do.

*Originally posted on 5/23/13*

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6 thoughts on “Comparison Kills

  1. What a fantastic post! I really liked it…and agree.

    • Thank you! I definitely think there’s a lot of freedom in learning to let go of jealousy and comparing ourselves to others. Not only creatively but personally as well and the more comfortable we can become in our art the more comfortable we become in our own skin.

  2. Great post and so true. I’m guilty of comparing myself unfavorably to others, particularly where my writing’s concerned. But I need to break free of that, so thank you – this post is very helpful. 🙂

    • I think everyone does it but it can be especially detrimental for indie authors since we don’t get a lot of outside validation when it comes to our work. Instead we just have to build our own armor against self-doubt and learn to focus only on our own art and our own aspirations. Because they’re never going to come true if we’re always too busy comparing ourselves to others.

  3. I have always found that the books I liked the best were those that were original. To compare yourself is to dishonor who you are. I truly believe in the saying that only you could write your story. So why try to compare it to someone else’s? Easy to ponder about; harder to do. Thanks for this post.

    • And thank you for your comment. You touched on something so important and that’s identity. We forget that trying to imitate others or trying to downplay our own uniqueness doesn’t just impede our creativity, it destroys our souls. Self-expression is what making art is all about and if we lose the “self” in that expression then we’ve lost the most valuable thing there is.

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