This is my second week of doing Wisdom Wednesday! In case you missed what it’s all about, see last week’s post and then keep reading to see this week’s! :)
Comparing. We’ve all done it. It’s human nature, right? Somehow no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that comparison doesn’t help anyone, we find ourselves doing it again. There’s so many circumstances where comparison easily finds it’s way into our minds. For me, there’s a couple things. I try to live a life that I can be proud of. I believe that kindness is necessary, that living for yourself is overrated and that having a positive attitude can change not only your life but the lives of those around you. However, I still seem to meet people who I believe are even kinder than I am, more selfless than I’ll ever be and have an even more positive attitude than me. And it discourages me. It makes me briefly wonder what the point of even trying to be different is if there’s always someone doing it better. But then I have to ask myself, why do I believe in living my life being kind, trying to help others and be optimistic? Is it because I want to be “the best” or is because I genuinely want to live a happy life and love others. It’s the latter, and that’s all that matters.
I compare constantly with my photography as well. I see the work of other photographers I admire and think, “I’ll never be as good as them.” But something like photography that requires creativity can’t be gauged on a scale of good to bad. Yes, there is technique, but there are also personal preferences and styles that come into play. I try to remind myself of that. I also compare in the opposite way, which is embarrassing to say. By opposite way, I mean that I sometimes try to convince myself that my photography is better than others. I see someone’s photos and think, “at least I’m better than them” or “I’ve never been THAT bad.” It makes me feel better for just a moment, but it can’t last. The quote for today “Comparison is the thief of joy,” it works for both kind of comparing. If we compare and get discouraged thinking we’ll never be as good or creative or talented or athletic as someone else, it’s clear that doesn’t bring us joy. It takes any confidence and security we had away, hence “thief of joy.” And if we compare with others and get cocky thinking we’re better or smarter or nicer or prettier than others, our joy doesn’t last. We think it makes us feel better, we think it helps us gain confidence, but if our confidence and security and joy is reliant on what someone else does or says or thinks or wears, it won’t last. It will fade as soon as they say something wiser or do something kinder or make something more beautiful.
Our joy isn’t in the hands of the people we are comparing ourselves to, it’s in our own hands. It’s based off of our own choices. It’s reliant upon our own attitude and actions. Don’t let yourself temporarily relinquish control of your thoughts by comparing and convincing yourself others are making you feel a certain way. You’re in control. Know that you are good enough and smart enough and pretty enough and handsome enough and strong enough and talented enough. Don’t let comparison steal your joy.