On Comparison

Sophia Amoruso

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Oh my. I could talk about this for hours and hours. Days and days. Forever and…well, you get it.

For pretty much my entire life, I have compared myself to others. As a (painfully) quiet adolescent, the comparison centered on my friends, on my perception of what I so desperately wanted to look like/be good at coupled with the complete cluelessness of a teenager.

Now as a 27-year-old, the questions remain, they are just delivered in a different way. I see the lives of so many on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and on carefully curated blogs, and they look so right. Better even. As a self-proclaimed serial comparer, I should have steered clear of those platforms about 5 minutes after I joined. But my stubborn nature wants to beat this compulsion. I want to learn of social media and the larger digital community can be a help, not a hindrance. Like it or not, these platforms are not going away. This issue is not going away. So what can I do?

  • Simply be aware Aware that no one’s life is a perfect as it looks on Instagram. That no one’s marriage is as completely blissful as it seems on Facebook. Everybody struggles, probably daily, and those beautiful online representations may sometimes come from those struggles.
  • Realize there are two sides Comparing hurts everyone. I often build up resentment towards someone without any provocation. Why would I ever want to purposefully hurt a friendship, strain my marriage, harbor anger, when it all stems from my feelings of inadequecy? It’s simply not worth it.
  • Know your truth So often, these comparisons begin when I lose sight of my truth, of who I really am. As a child of God, I am loved. As a wife, daughter, sister, friend, I am loved. Life is never perfect, I will mess up a lot, and I will do things right a lot. I will have bad days and good days. I will feel beautiful and ragged. I will be positive and negative. And. So. Will. Everybody. Else.

For another beautiful look at the comparison thief, read here.



How to have a better tomorrow.


(Find print here)

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

I so often find myself doing the exact opposite. Eh, I have nothing to do tomorrow, so I’ll just put it off until then. Or the next day. OR THE NEXT DAY.

Here are some of the steps I’ve been taking to do my best today:

  1. Never let a piece of paper touch your desk more than once. Sure, shuffling paper around can make you look busy, but I’ve been learning (the hard way) that being busy does not always = being productive. Touch it once, get it done, move on!
  2. Tackle the large (or unappealing) projects first. I admit, I’m still working on this one. It’s so easy to open up my email and go for the easy responses first. Or to push the difficult projects to the afternoon. But you know what? That never works! Everybody’s productivity peaks at different times, my peak is solidly in the morning. It could even look like listing out the steps needed to get the project done in the morning, and tackling the hardest steps first, leaving a few easy ones to look forward to in the afternoon.
  3. Look forward to your day. Again, not perfectly in practice over here. But I find that when I look forward to something as simple as the coffee I’ll be drinking in the morning, I find that the morning ends up being much better. Late afternoon tends to be even harder for me, so maybe I treat myself to some chocolate, or take a walk outside, or plan out the day’s exercise routine.
  4. Take breaks, take breaks, take breaks!  Schedule them, set an alarm. Get up and move at least once an hour. Everybody says it, but seriously, this is legit. Also: the moment you find your mind wandering, get up and move!
  5. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. I am a feeler, big time. This has been my only saving grace in exercise: when I think about how good I’ll feel afterwards, it makes me want to do it more. The same applies in life, work, etc. This may not be very specific, and perhaps a bit woo-woo, but it works. I know I’ll feel better when I accomplish the major item looming over me, and on the flip-side, I’ll feel worse and worse the longer I stretch it out. Never underestimate the power of feeling.