"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt
Pregame Prep (today's overview)
It's easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We see other people's highlight reel and think that their life is perfect, meanwhile we focus on our own flaws and shortcomings. But the truth is that comparison only serves to hold us back. Comparison prevents us from being present in our own lives and finding joy and contentment with what we have. In order to live a fulfilling life it's important to let go of the need to compare ourselves to others and just focus on our own journey through life.
Film Review (my experience)
For most of my life I felt trapped in the comparison game. I compared myself to others and tried to conform to what I thought was "normal." I worked a traditional 8-5 job, stuck around for almost 20 years even though it made me miserable all because I thought that was what was expected of me. I went and got a college education, because that's what 'successful' people do. Fancy electronics, jewelry I didn't want because that's what was expected in the social circles.
But eventually I realized that I was sacrificing my own happiness and freedom for the sake of comparison. So, I made the decision to quit my job and follow my own path, regardless of what others might think. I figured out if I don't fit in that's perfectly fine as long as I'm happy and I still find people and things that keep me happy and fulfilled.
Quitting my job, not conforming to what some people expected was a scary decision, but it was also the most liberating thing I've ever done. I stopped comparing myself to others and focused on my own goals and passions. As I let go of the need to conform to what was "normal," I found a sense of freedom and purpose that I had never known before.
I learned that it doesn't matter what others are doing, saying, or what is considered "normal." There is a famous quote and a book written: "What you think of me is none of my business" it's actually true! What matters is living a life that is true to myself, without the burden of comparison holding me back. And as I embraced my own unique journey, I found happiness and freedom.
As I looked deeper I realized that material possessions aren't that important to me. The fancy cars, the expensive jewelry, and luxurious houses were symbols of a life that I thought I should have, rather than the life that I truly wanted. I see people around me who have these things and almost every one of them are not necessarily happier or more fulfilled than I am. They too, are still searching for something more (and to be clear I could afford all these if I wanted them, so don't think I'm just writing hallow words here).
This deep reflection helped me understand true happiness cannot be found through comparison or the acquisition of material possessions. Happiness comes from within and is found through living a life of purpose and authenticity, rather than trying to fit into the mold of what society deems as successful. It's about accepting who we are and becoming the best version of ourselves.
It was not an overnight change for me, and it probably won't be for you either, but it's worth it to put the energy and effort to break free from the comparison trap, you will live a happier and more fulfilling life once you do.
Offensive Game Plan (actions to obtain freedom)
Set your own goals. Work on your own skills and techniques. Trust your own abilities. By shifting your focus to your own progress and development you find freedom from the pressure to constantly compare yourself to others.
Focus on being the best version of yourself! It's not about being the best compared to everyone else, but rather about being the best version of yourself.
Set boundaries and be mindful of the comparisons you make. It's okay to use others as a source of inspiration, but avoid letting their success or failure define our own self-worth.
Seek out supportive communities. Surround yourselves with people who lift you up rather than tear you down.
Defensive Game Plan (actions to defend your freedom)
Instead of stressing about what everyone else is doing focus on executing our own strategy and actions to achieve victory.
Rather than letting comparison steal your joy and hinder your progress, it is possible to use it as a tool for improvement and employ a defensive game plan to protect your freedom.
Avoid getting caught up in comparing yourselves to your, friends or even your competition: reframe your mindset to be content with what you actually want and what makes you happy.
Penalty Flag: (do not break these rules)
Watch out for negative thoughts, self-doubt, and a lack of joy in this journey of life. But just like in a football game, where a penalty flag indicates that a player has made a mistake, we can learn from our own "comparison penalties" and make adjustments to our mindset.
One way to do this is to set boundaries and be mindful of the comparisons we make. It's okay to use others as a source of inspiration, but we should avoid letting their successes or failures define our own self-worth. We can also seek out supportive communities and surround ourselves with people who lift us up rather than tear us down.
Another key to avoiding comparison penalties is to focus on our own personal growth and development. This means setting goals for ourselves and working towards them, rather than getting caught up in trying to keep up with others. By doing so, we can find freedom from the comparison trap and enjoy our life for what it is - an opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun.
Post-Game Review (key takeaway)
Comparison viewed the wrong way is a destructive force that hinders personal growth and steals joy. If you constantly compare yourself to others: If you focus on all of your 'flaws' and 'shortcomings' this will lead to negative thoughts and self-doubt, and prevent you from being present in your own life and find contentment with what you have. In order to live a fulfilling life, it's important to let go of the need to compare yourself to others and focus on your own journey.
Hey Coach! (Connect with me)
If you enjoy this post please consider signing up for email updates.
If you would like daily thoughts and insights you can follow me on Instagram @playbooktofreedom
Have you let comparison take control of your happiness? Lets talk