To Be Happy, Avoid Comparison

 
Comparison is the thief of joy. Do you agree? I am not without self-confidence. I can almost always speak up for myself and feel my voice. When you read dozens of blogs, though, and try to produce a decent one, it’s hard not to fall into the comparison trap. There are always other bloggers and writers who are more creative, talented, wealthy, young and beautiful than oneself. That’s true in every field of endeavor. As a wanna-be singer, I can attest that comparison is an obstacle to success.

Maybe you’ve experienced this comparison feeling when you enter a crowded room, or view others’ blogs, or watch the home decorating shows (I have never watched a cooking show, but I bet it can be a source of envy). I occasionally find myself feeling less-than other bloggers because a) at 61, I am among the eldest in the pool, b) I have a small wardrobe, and c) I am more of a logical/verbal than artistic person. Creating unforgettable individual looks is not my strength.
 

suede skirt comparison
 

I do love to start with my simple pieces, mostly neutrals, and make them my own. I’ll never be a Melanie of Bag and Beret or Judith of Style Crone – both of whom I have met, and who are delightful and humble. They make clothing into art. I can add floral booties to my tan suede skirt, then look in the mirror for a moment and add a floral bracelet. In the end I feel good and authentic, and not like I am trying to be the next Melanie or Judith.

I encourage you, and me, to drop comparison (after all, you have all kinds of gifts that others may envy too) and cheer for other women, just as they are. They, like you and I, are making their own way through the maze of living and creating. Not dead yet!

 

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patti

14 Comments

  1. Love this post. Catching it late but really appreciate the advice. As a creative person, I get scared when I look out at everybody else and wonder where my path lies with all this good art and work and words scattered about me. Appreciate knowing there are others who get stuck in this box AND the reminder to keep focused is important. Thank you for the word(s) of wisdom.

    PS You always look fabulous in your own, singular style. Love it.

  2. Be yourself. YES! This is the only path to happiness. When you are wearing clothes that make you feel good, you shine. Dressing on the fringes, it’s easier to be a target in a negative way, to be made to feel like an outsider. I think the recent media attention focused on fringe dressing has created a skewed picture of what it takes to be admired. When you get right down to it, those who dress in a less ostentatious way are the most popular and admired people of all. They are the majority for a reason. You always look fabulous, Patti.

  3. Comparison is most certainly the “thief of joy”. As you noted, there will always be others who are smarter/better looking/more successful/weathier etc. than you are, but if you don’t take the time to be grateful for the good things you are, and have, you will always feel disappointed with your life. It’s a difficult lesson to put into practice, but I have found I am much more content with my life when I practice gratitude for what I have.

  4. What a wonderful post — thank you for this positive, wise reminder. I think your style is exceptional, and that is why I am a subscriber. (I should add a big “thank you” here for your inspiration.)

    And you’re absolutely right when you say that the comparison issue pertains to all of us. In my view, social media sites have fueled this and made it worse. As a journalist who occasionally covers social media topics, I’ve seen countless studies that cite how Facebook creates feelings of envy and depression in frequent users. Most of us forget that Facebook shows “curated” images of other people’s lives, and we start to believe our own lives fall short by comparison. I suppose it’s human nature, but I find I am happiest when I keep my eyes focused on my own goals — and stay grateful for all the good in my own life. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Thank you for reminding us of these wise words. Having taught 14 year olds for so long I think the comparison game grows to be an almost guiding force in those early adolescent years. Some people experience devastating setbacks in their growth during that time period and spend lifetimes building back their self esteem.
    I think it’s worth my time and effort to build on the self confidence of others and make that part of my humanity. Having met you recently Patti, I know you share this approach to life.

  6. “Comparison is the thief of joy” — I love that quote! I think it’s human nature to compare. Like you, I often find myself comparing my wardrobe to other bloggers and finding myself lacking. But then I remind myself of my goal, which has always been simply to add my voice to the conversation of all the beautiful 50+ plus women in the world who are enjoying this wonderful phase of life. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  7. Perfect advice Patti.
    Comparison is the thief of joy…. a total waste of time.
    I love the fact that all of the bloggers I follow are so unique and individual.
    Different styles and different personalities……clones are so boring!!
    I am happy to do my own thing and enjoy being inspired by other people doing there’s!
    XXX
    Samantha

  8. This is a great piece of advice and so very difficult to follow through on I find.

    I don’t compare myself so much as wonder why others are so much more successful than I am or why they become so much more popular.

    I always feel like there is a piece of the puzzle that I’m missing that I am unable to identify to put me over my tipping point or at least push me towards it. The longer I blog the more frustrating it becomes.

    bisous
    Suzanne

  9. Terrific information. I used to have “Comparison is the thief of joy” written on my bathroom mirror (in dry erase marker of course). I have to remind myself of it often but it’s hard!

  10. Patty,
    Love your post today. As a new blogger, the comparison game is definitely something I fight. I learn so much from reading other bloggers, and admire many — your’s included — but it can be a fine line between learning and comparison/envy. I’ve enjoyed your blog for a couple of years now, and especially enjoy how real you are, and so relatable. Keep up the good work!
    Judy

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