Comparison Trap

As some one who eats lunch at her desk nearly every day, I love it when I have the chance to get out of the office for a bit an enjoy a fun lunch date.

Since today was one of the every other Fridays that Ryan has off from work, he met me at my office for a mid-day date!

Date!

I talked him into checking out Ritazza, a cafΓ© located downtown that serves everything from sandwiches to soup to salads to Mexican food! (I’ve been there a few times and love their salad bar.)

I ordered a salad topped with lots of veggies and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but Ryan said he couldn’t get Jimmy John’s out of his head (not that I blame him).

I toted my salad to Jimmy John’s so Ryan could order his favorite sandwich.

Salad To Go!

Salad Time!

I ate my whole salad and had a few bits of Ryan’s club.

After we were done with our main meal, we walked to Starbucks for some beverages.

Though I really wanted a Frappuccino, I cannot help but classify that drink as a “sweet” and since I gave those up for Lent, I opted for an iced mint green tea instead.

Green Tea Fo' Me

I slurped it down in no time! Ryan and I laughed when he was finishing up his Frappuccino and got to the bottom where only the whipped cream remained. That’s when I usually swoop in a eat it all.

It was hard to watch him eat “my bites.” He literally opened up the cup to dump the remaining whipped cream into his mouth which I told him was all wrong. You have to slowly scoop it out with a straw so it lasts longer and you can really enjoy it! C’mon!

All in all, it was a great lil’ lunch! I love hot dates in the middle of the day.

And now onto some serious talk.

The other day a wonderful reader asked me to discuss how I handle comparing myself with other women. I think it’s something we all struggle with and her inquiry inspired me to write up this post…

The Comparison Trap

As a woman, it is so, so hard not to compare ourselves with other women. With friends, family members, coworkers, the teeny girl in spandex at the gym. Amazingly talented and incredibly beautiful women are everywhere.

But guess what? You’re one of them.

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to the Sunday service at our church. Our pastor said something that resonated with me and I found it very applicable to women everywhere.

“When we romanticize the situations of others, we will never be satisfied with what we have.”

That quote is one of the reasons I wrote the “We’re Not Perfect” post about me and Ryan.

As a woman who is fully immersed in the world of blogging, I read blogs and have found myself romanticizing the situations of others many times. I’ve caught myself believing that certain bloggers lead perfect lives. They can run marathons. They have a perfect marriage. They have an amazing job. Their house is always spotless. They eat healthy, veggie-packed meals without lapse.

The thing about blogging is that you only see what people put out there for you to see. The same is true with people in your day-to-day life. You only know what they tell you about their lives, marriages, jobs and successes.

If all you ever read and all you ever hear is how wonderful things are for those around you, you may struggle with comparing your life to theirs. You may feel resentful, inadequate and unfulfilled.

Here’s the thing: Their lives aren’t perfect either.

You only think they are because you’re romanticizing their situation. Sure, they may be completely happy. They may have a wonderful and supportive husband. But they may also have a lot of debt that they’re struggling to pay off. They may have a family member battling cancer. You just don’t know.

Aside from simply envying the lives of others, it’s so easy to feel jealousy over the appearance of others. How many times have you left the house feeling confident only to have a girl walk by you on the street who made you feel like an instant troll?

Trolls Aren't So Bad!

Avoiding the comparison trap is a challenge. It’s a battle so many women struggle with every day. I wish my hair was as thick as hers. If only I lost some weight, I might look as amazing as she does in those jeans.

Well, you’re not her. You’re you. But that’s amazing.

Maybe she is lusting after your amazing smile. Maybe she would love to have your bubbly personality or your drive in the workplace.

I 100 percent admit that I struggle with the comparison trap. I might feel perfectly okay about myself as I head out on a date with Ryan. Then this freakin’ beautiful girl and her boyfriend walk into the restaurant and sit near us and I feel instantly self conscious. Why? I’m pretty cool, too! Why do I suddenly feel insecure?

So how do we overcome this? How do we feel okay with just being ourselves?

Know this: Being you is pretty darn fantastic.

I try to remind myself that comparing my looks, intelligence, job, successes, failures and love life to others doesn’t change anything. If I am feeling insecure about one aspect of my life, it is up to me to change it. Additionally, if my insecurities are completely unfounded, it is up to me to work on me and my love for myself. It is up to me to try to remember that I am my own person. I will never be someone else, which is a very, very good thing.

Questions of the Afternoon

  • Do you struggle with the comparison trap?
  • How do you try to overcome it?

Of Possible Interest

Comments

  1. says

    This is such a great post Julie! No matter how self-confident I am, it is still always a challenge not to fall into the “comparison trap.”
    I just have to tell myself exactly what you said – I’m ME, not her, and I’m pretty freakin’ cool! πŸ™‚
    Have a great friday!

      (Quote)

  2. says

    Julie, what a great post! I saw your tweet, and I was excited to see what the “heavy” part of your post was!

    What your pastor said is SO TRUE. I definitely fall in the comparison trap. It is so hard to look at pictures of people and think, “Oh if only I could…” It gets us no where.

    The life that God has given is a blessing. I try not to forget that.

      (Quote)

    • says

      i agree 100%. feeling jealous or envious brings us NO joy. finding peace and happiness within ourselves is a challenge, but something i really strive for every single day. it’s hard, but so much easier when you think about all the blessings we have in our lives.

        (Quote)

  3. says

    Amazing perspective pretty lady! How true is this? I think there will always be moments/days/times when I fall into the comparison trap but thankfully aging comes with some wisdom and each year I get a little more thankful that I’m ME and learning to appreciate the beauty in others and allowing it to INSPIRE me rather than to CRUSH me or make me feel INADEQUATE.

    Just had a hot lunch date with my Ryan too today. LOVE them. πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend Julie!

      (Quote)

  4. says

    Julie I totally agree with you — we see only a snapshot of someone’s life — and it is what THEY want us to see. And thats ok — no one needs to know everything about me!

    Yes I struggle with comparing myself — to other bloggers, people at the gym, people at work, neighbors, family, etc. I remind myself that they aren’t perfect and there may be times when they compare themselves to me! That doesn’t mean I’m so great, it is just that we all do it from time and time, and it is important to recognize your strengths and that you are valuable person!

      (Quote)

  5. Primrose says

    Great post Julie! I find myself falling in the comparison trap a lot. There are days when everyone else seems to have perfect lives and in contrast I feel distinctly average. It’s funny how you mentioned how you feel seeing a ‘beautiful’ couple walk in while you’re out having dinner… I always imagined you and Ryan to be one of these beautiful couples! ( you two do look great together!)

      (Quote)

  6. says

    It’s so easy to compare yourself with others, especially when you’re 19 like me & still finding who you are. One thing that keeps me going is knowing that my parents love me for ME, my boyfriend loves me for ME, and my family & friends love me for ME. This gives me confidence in loving MYSELF – you have to love yourself first, and everyone is beautiful in their own, special way. It’s what makes you YOU!

    Thank you for this post Julie πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  7. says

    What a great post, Julie! The comparison trap is something I find myself struggling with too, try as I might to always focus on the positive. You wrote a great entry, that I’m sure many will bookmark and come back to read as a pick-me-up, as I have. Thank you for always being honest and bubbly, even when discussing “heavier” topics!

      (Quote)

  8. says

    What a great post Julie! I definitely struggle with comparing myself to other women. It’s something I’ve really been trying to work on lately, because in the end no matter how much I compare myself to anyone else, I’m still going to be me. I constantly find myself envying my petite friends who can rock high heels everyday, so I try to remind myself that they probably wish they had long legs like I do. I also try to remind myself that my boyfriend, family and friends love me because I’m me… why would I try to be someone else?!?
    I love the troll picture by the way, and congrats on the Women’s Health feature! So awesome!!

      (Quote)

    • Tori says

      As one petite woman, I would say I definitely envy people’s long legs sometimes! So even if you envy petite women wearing heels, they more than likely are wishing they had your long legs!! :)) rock your long legs and feel proud!;)

        (Quote)

  9. says

    Amazing post with some great advice! It is so hard to stop comparing yourself to others (it almost becomes a habit) but you’re 100% correct…we romanticize their lives and situations. Well said πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  10. says

    I struggle with this A LOT, but I try to keep in mind that just as I’m jealously observing that perfect girl next to me in the restaurant, there’s some aspect of me — my personality or my appearance — that she wants too. No one is perfect and EVERYONE, even the most beautiful, perfect, happy people, is insecure about *something*.

      (Quote)

  11. says

    I used to feel like I was forever struggling with the comparison trap — since I was a little girl. I’m definitely making progress, and adopting a healthier lifestyle has helped a ton. I’d often compare myself to other women, feel bad about it, then drown my emotions in a bowl of ice cream. Finding blogs like this one has made me realized that I have the power to change my health, weight, outlook, etc. Petty comparisons are such a waste of time — something on which we’ve expelled way too much energy. Your pastor had it right when he called people out on romanticizing others’ situations. Truth be told, that girl I just compared myself to is probably comparing herself to me! Vicious cycle indeed. I could go on..haha. But I don’t want to leave a huge comment! =)

      (Quote)

  12. says

    You definitely have to eat the whipped cream slowly so it lasts longer ;). It is my favorite part of a frappucinno!
    Do you add mint syrup to their regular iced green tea?

      (Quote)

  13. Amelia says

    Oh my gosh do I struggle with this! Whether it’s at the gym, trying to run my hardest and seeing someone running harder or looking at those with what looks like a perfect relationship and wishing I had the same. And the list of comparisons could go on and on! A lot of times I just need to take a step back and be more forgiving of myself. Reading positive, happy blogs (especially like yours!) and knowing that I’m in very good company helps a lot!

    Thanks for the really relavant post Julie! πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

    • Adriane says

      Fab.U.Lous!

      This is actually super timely because I’m thinking of starting my own blog and have posts written but can’t think of a name! I finally came to terms with just picking something that suits ME and not comparing it to all the others I love (like PBF;)) I have it narrowed down to a few now so hopefully it’ll be up and running soon.

      I’ve been catching up on your blog after just finding it–oh what I was missing out on! LOL! Such a great post, keep up the great work.

        (Quote)

  14. says

    Great life advice, Julie! I think it is so true, so many women fall victim to doing this – just ahve to remember and highlight the positives, and like you said, WE DON’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY, ONLY WHAT THEY PUT OUT THERE!!

      (Quote)

  15. Caree @ Fit-Mama says

    aw, Julie, I love this post!! its sooo true! And its so nice to know that I am not the only woman who falls prey to this! And I like your outlook…. we all have our special qualities someone else may envy.

      (Quote)

  16. says

    Really perfect article, i have been wondering how other bloggers feel about this topic regarding other blogs, I am new to the blogging world and before when i was just a reader/commenter it never dawned on me. But now that I have my new very own blog I find myself looking at other blogs with envy. I know I have a lot to learn but I think “will I ever be that good?” and “can i really do this?” but then i remind myself I am doing my blog for me thats it. Really awesome post today.

      (Quote)

    • says

      i think it’s natural to compare yourself… even in blogging. it’s like being in school… you naturally compare your test scores w/ your peers… or in the work world, you compare your success w/ a colleague’s success. the blogging world is definitely not immune to this! i really try to use other bloggers as inspiration and motivation. we have so much to learn from each other and amazing blogs really push me to try to make my blog the best it can be… for ME. πŸ™‚

        (Quote)

      • says

        YES! thanks again for the article. I got so much inspiration from a bunch of blogs (including PBFingers) in my personal life you have no idea. Which also inspired me to start my blog. I have also learned so much from so many amazing beautiful women in the blog world. I need to be my own biggest supporter. Thanks for always being so positive.

          (Quote)

  17. says

    I definitely 100% struggle with this issue. Sometimes, I find myself comparing myself to others so much that I end up getting so fed up with myself!! What the heck!? Why do I let that happen? I don’t know all the answers… but I do think that it’s important to have these feelings so there is always a drive to improve myself, but not over do it so thats all I think about. I work in an environment where there are women of all shapes and sizes, and graduating college about 2 years ago, I am still somewhat smaller?? than most of the women, but there are definitely ladies that are much smaller than me. I find myself ok at work most days, but when I go back to my old college town (Aggieland what what!!) I constantly find myself looking at all these girls and being envious. I have gained some weight since graduating, and I remember that I used to be able to walk around campus in shorts and have no insecurities. It’s a work in progress, but I’m slowly getting back to the way I was, and I know most of my motivation comes from… “Summer is coming and so is “shorts” season.” I have started to adapt a somewhat healthier life style (definitely healthier than in college), however I am no longer walking miles around campus each day, I am sitting in a cube now.
    I have a food blog but have been trying to determine if I want to make it a “lifestyle” blog I guess you could say, where you post some of the main meals you eat and talk about your life daily. Sometimes I am scared to put all that information out there, but sometimes it makes me think that it would hold me accountable in ways.
    I get caught up in the “their life must be perfect” world too when it comes to following blogs, but seeing other bloggers have real struggles make them seem like they are like me. Thanks for this post Julie!! It really is relevant in my life and I’m sure many others.

      (Quote)

    • Shayla says

      GREAT post! I don’t normally comment but this really hit me. I’ve been falling into the comparison trap alot lately myself. Keep up the good work…your blog is awesome. I’m a fellow Central Floridian as well. πŸ™‚ P.S. Tried the Kale and Raspberry Salmon and they were both YUMMY (ESPECIALLY the kale)!!!

        (Quote)

  18. Anita says

    I really love this post! Lately I feel like I have been falling into that comparison trap a little too much. I try to remind myself that the best motivation comes from within myself, rather than through the envy of other people. Thanks for the inspiring words πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  19. says

    You know I’m all over discussing the comparison trap and the fact that we all have our issues so we should never feel inadequate compared to others. I’ve talked about it so much because I know so many feel it. And its another reason I try to always share my struggles so people know its not perfect and I have hard times too. Great post, Julie. Love ya!

      (Quote)

    • says

      tina, i think your “body after baby” posts REALLY help with this. i think so many women compare themselves to celebrities who have a baby and then bounce back in like 3 weeks! it’s not realistic and it’s so wonderful to see you and your pictures because i think we can all agree that you look amazing and you are going about your changes in a healthy way that’s realistic and inspiring.

        (Quote)

  20. says

    This is an amazing post! As a new blogger – I am feel like I am struggling with the comparison game a little more than when I was a lurker. πŸ™‚ It’s good to have bloggers like you to remind us all that who we are is perfect. Great post!

      (Quote)

  21. says

    awww great post Julie!! It’s sooo true~I mean, we’re all imperfect and therefore falll into that trap from time to time. But I always remember how God says in His Word that I, you, and the girl next to me are all beautifully made in HIS image. That having HIM is what makes me so beautiful! Also, if I can’t love myself for the way I’m made, then how can I love others rightly? (is what goes on in my heart) It’s not always easy, but He reminds me that in the end, we should all compare ourselves to Him~b/c in the end, truth is that we all fall back on the same level of falling short of His perfect love, glory, and just who He is. This may not be so tangible to some individuals, but standing on His truth keeps me sane and goin! πŸ˜€ Thanks Julie~

      (Quote)

  22. says

    Awesome, awesome post lady! I am guilty of this too, and it always just makes me feel terrible about myself. I read this great quote somewhere recently (I *think* it’s part of the lululemon manifesto but can’t remember for sure) Anyway it’s “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.”

      (Quote)

  23. says

    I love this post, Julie! I wrote about something similar last night based on Carrie’s post on Moves n’ Munchies. I think people really need to love themselves first. It’s easier said than done, but it is possible. There will always be those days we get down on ourselves, but we have to train ourselves to get back up and keep on trekking. Love this!

      (Quote)

  24. says

    This is such an important message that cannot be covered enough.

    For me, I do/did a lot of modeling, acting and singing auditions, and the comparison game never stops. I wrote a post about this, but I’ll say it again here. Say, for example, I were standing in line for an audition and I’d see a girl and I’d think, “she’s thinner and prettier.” Now, if you remove the -er, the words become less powerful and become just adjectives instead of superlatives. “She’s thin and pretty.” That’s just fact. There’s no comparison there. She may be thin and pretty. I’m also fit and cute. I’m smart. I like me. THAT is what matters. She can be those things and I can be those things, but there is no relationship, and thereby comparison, between the two.

    WHEW, sorry! That felt good! Now, though, the only comparisons I truly struggle with are with other bloggers regarding blog things. It’s ridiculous! For example, I think it’s so amazing you are hugely popular and are featured on Women’s Health mag’s website. But then I wonder, “well, why isn’t SnackFace being picked up by anything?” And it’s just silly, you know?

    Anyway, thanks for bringing this up! It’s SO KEY!

      (Quote)

    • Brittany says

      You make a great point, Kailey! I like the idea of turing words of comparison into merely adjectives. I think we can all appreciate people who are smart, talented, good-looking, etc.; it’s not until we compare them to ourselves that it becomes problematic.

        (Quote)

    • says

      Well…I’m no magazine…but you just picked yourself up a new reader, Miss Snack Face. πŸ™‚ I love dropping the “ier” No relationship…no comparison. Perfect.

        (Quote)

  25. says

    Beautiful post, Julie! Thank you for the reminder that being who *YOU* are is a gift and a blessing and we are ALL beautiful beings! Just the way we are! Thank you for inspiring me today to fully appreciate the awesomeness of myself! And the awesomeness of others, without judgements, jealousy or comparisons. πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  26. says

    Thanks for the great reminder! I totally fall into that trap and it’s good to hear that I’m not the only one.

    Unfortunately it’s probably one of those things that will always happen to some extent but having great people in your life to lift you up helps as well as remember what your unique gifts are. Everyone has something so great to offer.

    I’m always trying to be more positive and it’s something I struggle with from time to time in real life so I’ve decided that my blog will always have an upbeat tone because like you said, people only see what you choose to put out there and why not limit the negativity you’re sending out? Your blog is a great example of that and I’m so glad I stumbled across it.

    Cheers!

      (Quote)

  27. says

    oh YEs i fell into the trap especially when i first read blogs because all these people had such amazing lives and i was there sitting at home all depresssed… while i can say that blogs have really helped me deveop who i am and who i want to be.. i definitely fallinto that trap sometimes, but i do remind myself how far ive come and how COOL I am!

      (Quote)

  28. says

    you’re so, so right, Julie.

    I find myself doing the same thing… because we bloggers only share what we want to, everyone assumes our lives are exactly what we report. so untrue… there are so many boring/sad parts of my life I *don’t* include in my blog.. such as my 2 year relationship breakup.

    Instead of blogging about how miserable I am (it happens), I use my blog as a focus on the positives in my life. No one wants to read about sad stuff, anyway!

    To avoid the comparison trap, I typically stop myself and think about all the things I’m proud of about myself. “She has the flattest tummy ever! But I bet she can’t keep up with me in a half marathon!” πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  29. says

    I struggle with this a lot, and even so with losing weight down to a healthy size. I’ve always been overweight, and at one point in my life was at least a size 18+. It took a really long time, but finally this last year, I conquered “myself” and am now about a size 6. It’s kind of funny b/c I thought that when I got to a size 6 that I would be okay with myself, and that I wouldn’t “wish” to be a smaller size. But I still find myself seeing a girl that has thinner thighs than me, or a flatter stomach, and wanting what she has! A few years ago, I would have killed for the body that I have now! It’s really easy to get caught up in it all, but somehow you have to be content with what God gave you!

      (Quote)

  30. says

    This is SUCH a great post!! And a coincidence too since my last post was also called the ‘comparison trap’ (but was more about comparisons between bloggers)! Anyway you are SO amazing and gorgeous and don’t you ever forget it!!! πŸ˜€

      (Quote)

  31. says

    Hi πŸ™‚ I am new to your blog and just wanted to say I really enjoyed this post and definitely plan to come back! I’ve actually been struggling with romanticizing the lives of others lately and it’s good to know that others do it, too, and that I am not alone in that. And I often think, “WOW, she has a great body! I wish my thighs looked that thin!” — but, you’re right, I need to remember that my thighs are pretty damn cool too. πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  32. Brittany says

    Great post, Julie! You are very perceptive.

    “But guess what? You’re one of them.” <–Love it! We women seem to frequently forget this.

    I liken the personal comparison trap to my wardrobe struggles. I often feel like I have no cute clothes, especially when I see others sporting absolutely fabulous outfits. I get an intense urge to add new pieces to my closet. It's not until someone compliments MY outfit or shoes or bag that I start thinking, hey, I have cute clothes and a good sense of style, too! And then a light switch goes off and I realize I actually do like the items in my wardrobe. Now if only that affirmation could come from within . . . right? πŸ™‚ I'm working on it!

      (Quote)

  33. says

    This is one of the hardest things girls, including myself, go through. How can we not compare ourselves when EVERY girl is so beautiful inside and out? Although I compare myself and at times feel jealous or inadequate, I always remember that everyone has problems, everyone has insecurities, and sometimes we’re all fighting or struggling for something. Instead, being supportive and looking to others for inspiration is the best way to go…though it’s not the easiest to remember!

      (Quote)

  34. crystal says

    loved this post…you have a great way with words. every young woman should be required to read this!

    i’ve made it a habit to read your blog – it’s a wonderful break from the daily office humdrum. thanks so much for putting yourself out there!

      (Quote)

  35. says

    This is such a good topic. I definitely struggle with comparison. One thing that’s helped me is to stop giving it a voice. Sure, I’ll have fleeting thoughts of envy, but if I don’t respond verbally and think something positive about myself mentally I can usually keep the negativity from creeping in.

      (Quote)

  36. Chelsey @ Jam&Run says

    This post is great! This is something I find myself dealing with at times, and I make a concentrated effort to push those thoughts out of my mind when they occur. It’s not always easy though! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and your posts always make me think and make me proud to be a strong woman. You are an amazing writer, Julie! πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  37. says

    Wow, I totally love this post. You put this issue and its solution into words SO well.

    Also, congrats on the Women’s Health Magazine shoutout…awesome!!!

      (Quote)

  38. says

    Julie, this is such a great post. I try my damnedest not to compare myself to others, but it happens. I have come to realize that I only feel unattractive or self-conscious when I put myself up against somebody else – so why do it?! I mentally kick myself in the ass when I find myself falling into the comparison gap. The solution? When I see someone who’s thin/pretty/smart I compliment her! You wouldn’t believe how quickly that makes the comparison game disappear.

      (Quote)

  39. says

    Great post about comparing yourself to others πŸ™‚ I think you’re right about the fact that everyone struggles with it – if I find myself getting self-conscious because of someone else, I try to remember that I’m awesome the way I am and I’m sure lots of people would say the same thing. Beauty or having a great personality doesn’t fit into a specific mold, there’s a whole bunch of types!

    Also, I know that you gave up sweets for lent, but I was wodnering if Ryan gave up anything too? πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  40. says

    I love this post!! I think it’s important to remember that ever blogger only presents a PART of themselves on their blogs. And I don’t necessarily think that people are trying to paint an idealized picture of themselves, but it just happens naturally because it’s always harder to talk about the bad stuff!! Whenever I read a post and think about how perfect someone’s life is, I remind myself that my life is pretty damn charmed, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t struggles- I just don’t post about them.

    And as far as comparing myself to other women, I’ve learned to just focus on what I DO like about myself, instead of what I don’t. There will always be room for physical improvement: I could have bigger boobs, a flatter tummy, or a smaller nose. But I could also be a more patient daughter, a more loving friend, and a more faithful person. Which is more worth my time? The answer is obvious. I’m not going to say that looks don’t matter to me, but the older I get the more I realize that at the end of the day being a good person matters 100000x more than how I look in a bikini. As cliched as that sounds!!

      (Quote)

    • says

      gabriela, i loved this: “I could have bigger boobs, a flatter tummy, or a smaller nose. But I could also be a more patient daughter, a more loving friend, and a more faithful person. Which is more worth my time?”

      and i agree 100%! well said!

        (Quote)

  41. says

    I think earlier in my twenties, I did a lot of comparison and that’s the reason why I had issues with being a perfectionist.

    Now years after, and approaching my 30s, my attitude has complete change and I am happier with not comparing. I have my life to live, and all I can do is live it with passion each day and I don’t have time worrying about what else everyone is doing.

    Thanks for sharing what your pastor said. I really liked that quote.

      (Quote)

  42. Cindy says

    This is such a great post!! Every person can really relate to this. My kids, the hubster and I always say to eacher “your awesome” and in turn say ” I’m awesome” at least once a day. Its a great confidence boost for my kiddos. Cause arnt we ALL AWESOME!!

      (Quote)

  43. Marie says

    This is another GREAT post, Julie! One of the best things I love about your blog is just how upbeat you are. There have been times when I’ve been in a mood, and then I read a post of yours and it just cheers me up. I know you may not talk about all the ‘bad’ stuff; I figure that bloggers leave that information NOT to seem unrealistic or to appear perfect, but rather a lot of that is just personal and they just want to their blog to be a positive atmosphere, which I enjoy. I find that most people gravitate towards positive, upbeat people.

    I agree that comparing can be a bad thing because it always tends to lead to envy and jealousy and those are such bad energy zappers. However sometimes I feel it can be good if you use it to better yourself. I may be weird, but I can appreciate another woman’s beauty and it drives me to better myself, not in looking like her, but in toning up to be a better version of myself. I think, as with anything, there is ALWAYS some positive in every situation, you just have to look for it. πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  44. Brienne says

    Julie, this was beautifully written. “But guess what? You’re one of them” really resonated with me. thanks so much for this post!

      (Quote)

  45. says

    Thank you so much for this post…I have found myself doing this far too much lately. I am a new blogger and I read all these great blogs and the girls behind them seem to have such exciting, perfect lives and here I am in my small town with my little job living a boring life. It sometimes makes me feel bad about myself.

    This post reminded me that we are all great and unique in our own ways and it is ok to toot our own little horns!

      (Quote)

  46. JennyV says

    WOW!! Thank you for such a great blog — one of the best posts I’ve read. Why!? B/c it’s all TOO TRUE. I don’t know any woman out there who doesn’t feel some sort of inadequacy due to an illogical comparison they’ve come up with. I am definitely not immune to this. I struggle to truly BE — be CONFIDENT, be FEARLESS, be CONTENT. I am getting there though. With my faith in God and an amazing husband and family, I know I am enough.

    (Btw, what church do you attend — what a great statement from your pastor)

      (Quote)

  47. says

    I definitely struggle with the comparison trap. I think it’s a thing that most people struggle with daily, and just have to remember what is really important.

      (Quote)

  48. Kalyn says

    First of all, congratulations on getting your recipe noticed by Women’s Health! That’s awesome πŸ™‚

    Secondly, thank you for this post. For years, I struggled with an eating disorder, and I truly believe what kept me sick for so long was “the comparison trap”. As long as I was comparing myself to others, I was always unhappy and could not love myself or have a desire to take care of myself. I find as I compare myself less, the happier I am with what I have.

    Such an important topic!

      (Quote)

  49. says

    Great post Julie! And so true…I think EVERYONE struggles with the comparison trap at some point, it’s impossible to not. But you’re right, you have to remember just how awesome and unique you are too! πŸ˜€

      (Quote)

  50. Jenna...lifeinjenneral says

    Such a great post Julie! I’ve been feeling this way a lot lately. It’s so hard to just be you and be OK with that. It has seemed lately that all my friends are successfully losing weight and I’ve plateaud, no matter how hard I work. Also at our age! Some friends are getting married, having babies. Its easy to feel inadequate or that there’s something wrong if you aren’t there yet. I’ve just really been working on focusing on the positives; my wonderful friends, family and boyfriend that love me no matter what! And on the truth: I’m one lucky girl!

      (Quote)

  51. Katie says

    I struggle with this at times, but generally try and find the unique beauty and love in everyone. We are all different and we are all beautiful – no matter what. πŸ™‚ <3

      (Quote)

  52. Lynn says

    Wow! You hit the nail on the head with the comparison “issue”. I too struggle, just this morning matter of fact…felt wonderful when I left the house and then “she” walked by!! uuggghh…but I love how you put things in perspective and remind me that I am “freakin’ awesome” and I am one of those beautifull women as well. Love the blog….and congrats on the Women’s Health shout out!

      (Quote)

  53. Nia says

    I am a faithful reader but first-time commenter. This was such a inspirational post that really resonated with me. What a great way to head into the weekend!

      (Quote)

  54. says

    I love this post! I, like pretty much everyone else, often fall into the comparison trap. Instead of focusing on what I wish was different, I try to remember what I love about myself: my “big” legs=strong, healthy legs that allow me to walk and run everyday, etc. I’m so great full for everything that I am blessed with, it would be selfish to dwell on the couple little things that I wish I could change!

      (Quote)

  55. anon says

    I so agree with this.. i was struggling with this the past couple of days too as i’m sure a lot of people do

    the best thing is to just be the best that you can be – that way there are no regrets later on coz you can’t control the other stuff.

    focus on working on yourself – that’s the best thing to do πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  56. Franzi says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I’m really enjoying it!!

    It’s SO true that we always see the good things in other people’s lives, which makes us jealous, but we should really focus on the good things in our OWN life!

      (Quote)

  57. *Andrea* says

    omg this post was so beautiful….moved me to tears! love your blog so much, and i agree that every woman out there is amazing just as she is : – )

      (Quote)

  58. says

    Thank you for writing this today! Though I try to be optimistic and self-loving, I definitely struggle with comparing myself to others. It’s tricky!
    I agree that we are all unique and that we’ve got to keep that in mind. We need to love ourselves and silence the negative thoughts that pop up!

      (Quote)

  59. Diane says

    A wonderful post that really resonates with me (and obviously many of your other loyal readers!). Thanks so much for the reminder- it’s a great way to start the weekend!

      (Quote)

  60. Lauren says

    This brings up such great ideas. I struggle with the comparison trap at times, especially when I read about bloggers logging easy, 10 mile runs at a fast pace. It would be easy to feel not good enough and just sit at home, but running is my passion, so I’m going to run, even if I’m slower than others.

      (Quote)

  61. Merri says

    Great post Julie, I’m so proud of you. It’s amazing all the good you bring to this world, and my world. I hope you never wish you are anything different then exactly who you are because then you would not be my Julie and this world needs a million more people just like you!! Keep it up, you’re making a change for the better in peoples lives and that is an incredible accomplishment.

    xo

    Mer

      (Quote)

  62. says

    K, the troll picture and its caption made me literally exclaim, ‘this girl’s so cute!!’ i don’t know what it is, but you are just so funny and cute, that’s why you’re one of my favourite bloggers. such a great post. i struggle with the comparison trap ALL the time. i used to even have difficulty being friendly to girls who i thought were pretty because i thought they were better than me, forgetting that i’m pretty too.

    I think the key is developing self esteem. it doesn’t matter how pretty you are, if you have zero self esteem, you’re not any better off than someone who’s not as pretty. i really need to remind myself that it’s about impressing ME, not THEM. it’s a constant struggle, but i’ll get there one day! after all, looks fade, and the only thing you control is your attitude.

      (Quote)

  63. christina cadden says

    Such a great post! I love Jimmy Johns! I could eat there everyday but don’t! Good post on comparison as well!

      (Quote)

  64. says

    thank you so much for this post.
    the comparison trap is something i struggle with DAILY…multiple times a day! it is SO SO SO hard not to compare yourself with others and feel badly about yourself.

    i really need to work on not letting it get to me and to stop romanticizing others’ lives. (i do that A LOT too!)

      (Quote)

  65. says

    It’s so hard not to compare, I honestly think it’s built into us thanks to society. I overcome it by thinking the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. I realized that when this one girl who I used to compare myself (and in my eyes, fell short of) told me of how envious she was of my life. It hit me how great I had (and still have) it!

      (Quote)

  66. says

    I just try to remember that I can only be me—and any time spent wishing I was someone else, looked like someone else, or had someone else’s life is time wasted. It’d be time better spent thinking of ways to improve myself–but also telling myself that I’m pretty great just as I am.

      (Quote)

  67. says

    You’re right– it’s so easy to see other people’s lives as so perfect when you have more imperfections that you can number. The truth is that no one’s life is perfect and just because we aren’t exactly like someone else doesn’t mean we’re any less awesome!! After all, how boring of a world would it be if we were all the same?

    Just skimming the other comments, I dare say every woman has struggles with comparison. Somehow, it’s nice to know that underneath, I’m not the only one who has insecurities. πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  68. Kerry Ann says

    I would like to see this girl that made you feel self conscious. Is your area full of supermodels? That salad looks so tasty. You are being so strong in the face of yummy sweets. Good for you.

      (Quote)

  69. Lauren says

    I wrote a blog about comparisons several months ago that I titled “Purple Flowers.” http://iamlaurenlee.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html

    Actually, I’ve written a lot about comparisons on my blog. I think it is the single most dangerous thought pattern in a woman’s life that can COMPLETELY destroy her identity. I especially identified with you when you said you could be feeling great about yourself, and then a beautiful girl comes in and that feeling goes down the toilet. When we compare ourselves, we will always fall short. And likewise, if we compare ourselves to someone we perceive as not being as pretty or whatever, we are giving ourselves a false sense of self-esteem. Self worth cannot be based on who is around you at the moment (I’m saying that in general, not to YOU specifically!).

    I have gotten so much better with this but it’s a process and I still struggle. Literally this same scenario happened to me at the gym about an hour ago. Was feeling great about my skin (always had acne growing up and now I have scarring) and then this beautiful girl with AMAZING skin (who was super sweet by the way) chatted with me for a bit and I left and looked in the mirror and went “ugh. my skin looks gross.” It’s heartbreaking how we can tear ourselves down. Anyway…that’s all to say thanks for sharing!

      (Quote)

  70. says

    Thank you Julie. My company just let me go and I immediately started comparing myself to my friends and family. It’s hard not to company yourself to other ppl when your down but u just have to keep positive and remember that you are amazing.

      (Quote)

  71. says

    Great post, I fall into the comparison trap ALL the time! I can totally relate. But lately I’ve begun to realize that I waste so much valuable time fretting over things beyond my control. Life is so much better when you embrace the present and learn to love how unique we all are.

    Thanks for posting this, it’s nice know I’m not alone in this one!

      (Quote)

  72. Shayla says

    Love love this post Julie!! I’m going to bookmark it if I ever have one of those comparison trap days. I tend to always struggle with it at the gym….I have a bootay so I always compare myself to the tinier booties running around at the gym. But I have to remind myself that I’m me and I’ll never be like that because it’s in my genes to have the body that I have and that’s pretty damn awesome! And my hubby loves my bootie too πŸ™‚
    I have to remember the things I love about myself and own it, that I am only one me and that’s pretty freakin’ awesome. Thanks Julie, I now feel wonderful and beautiful πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  73. says

    Love this post, Julie! I have been thinking about writing something about this, too. I compare myself in the same ways you touched on, but I have also felt terribly “behind” in life for quite some time. All of my friends are married or engaged, some with kids, and I am still flying solo at 31. It’s really tough sometimes. I just remind myself that plenty of them would love to come home to a quiet apartment or be able to eat whatever they feel like for dinner whenever they feel like eating it. It doesn’t always work to focus on those things, but I try to appreciate what I have and trust that it will happen for me when it’s meant to.

      (Quote)

  74. Kim says

    I thought I was the only one who ate the Starbucks whipped cream using my straw. I feel so much less alone now!! Only I don’t save it for last…I eat it all before I drink my drink lol

      (Quote)

  75. Judith says

    Hello Julie! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, but this is my first comment here. This was an amazing post and I just wanted to say thank you for being so positive and so real! No matter if your posts are super silly, thought-provoking and serious like todays, or just an update on your lunch I always leave your blog with a smile on my face. You’ve honestly inspired me to take control of my happiness. Your positivity is contagious πŸ™‚

    And I saw this recipe today and thought it would be perfect for you πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  76. Mae says

    Amazing post! Julie, you really have a gift for writing and encouraging others. It’s hard not to compare, but I just try to remember that I wasn’t made to be the same as anyone else; God made me who I am, and I just need to work to be the best that I can be. And you’re right – even the people who we think are perfect still have struggles. Some may be more evident than others, but everyone has their failures and insecurities. I need to work on encouraging other people and celebrating their gifts instead of feeling jealous or insecure.

      (Quote)

  77. says

    This was JUST the kind of post I needed to read! the “comparison trap” is exactly the reason I recently deleted my personal Facebook…it became the source of wayyy too much negative self-talk. I still struggle with this daily, but it’s encouraging to hear other girls go through the same thing! Great post, Julie! πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  78. Taryn says

    Your entry on “comparison trap” is so well written. Your pastor hit the nail the on the head when he said β€œWhen we romanticize the situations of others, we will never be satisfied with what we have.” You took this quote, rationalized it and inspired like-minded women to appreciate and love themselves… me included. Keep up the great work!

      (Quote)

  79. says

    Competition it s a natural state of mind for women because of the fact that we re so many, a higher number than guys and we have to find a male. It s nature! BUT…

    By not realising that we re all UNIQUE, we are offending God! He created us in very special way and everyone has a small part of Him.

    I have overcome this trap with help from my husband who I dare to say is madly in love with me and wouldn t preffer anybody alse .

      (Quote)

  80. says

    This was an absolutely amazing post and something that I really needed to hear right now. (Isn’t it funny how you always seem to find helpful advice at exactly the right time?) It’s hard to stop comparing yourself, but when you stop and think about how unique you are and what a blessing it is to have the life that you’re living, it always seems a lot easier to just be happy with what you have. πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  81. Lauren says

    That was a really nice post you wrote! On a totally different note, however…. have you ever tried the green tea lemonade from starbucks?? Its SO GOOD

      (Quote)

  82. Allie @ Healthy Balance, Healthy Life says

    I remember a study in a psychology class in undergrad that found that the prettier the girl, the more concerned with and focused on attractiveness she is. The reason was that the more attractive you are, the more attention you get directed towards your beauty, and therefore the more important you perceive beauty to be so you become more concerned about it! If girls were getting attention for being smart, however, they might start thinking that being smart is most important. It all depends on your perspective. I thought it was pretty interesting!

      (Quote)

  83. HP says

    Julie, thanks so much for touching on this topic! And so quickly after I mentioned it! (: just as I suspected your outlook on this topic is amazing. So honest too, which is refreshing! It looks like many others will benefit from this post too.
    My fave way to remind myself to stay out of “the trap” is to say, “just do you!” because really, thats what we all do best. (:
    Thanks again!

      (Quote)

  84. says

    I use to weigh almost 100 pounds more than I do now and I was one of those silly people that thought that losing the weight would magically make me more okay with my body. If anything I compare myself to other women more now!

    But I have to remember that people who make snide comments don’t know where I have come from. And people who do know, are just rude people I do not need in my life.

    Being me is the best I can be!

      (Quote)

  85. says

    amazing post woman! I think we all tend to think that way at times. Knowing that God created us just as we are can bring such peace. Confidence in HIM! Of course I struggle with that, but when I really get to know bloggers and their hearts, I can see that there are imperfections, and thats why I love them even more. They are real, they are human. Those things bring us together as community, to encourage one another!
    Okay, done rambling. Just really inspired by these words. Thanks friend.
    LC

      (Quote)

  86. rc says

    hi πŸ˜€ just found your blog (via fitnessista !) aaand, i <3 it.
    you know to tell you the truth, i was looking through your blog WITH this very thought, that you look amazing and gorgeous and E-T-C, actually comparing myself… then, i read this. and yep ! πŸ˜€ thanks so much for this.

      (Quote)

  87. says

    I skimmed this post yesterday afternoon bust just came back now to read the entire thing. I used to struggle terribly with this! I’ve come a long way in the past few years by learning appreciate what I do have, and not lusting after what others have. The truth is, for most of us, things could be so much worse. It sounds silly, but I value being alive in general!

      (Quote)

  88. samantha says

    I just want to thank you for this post, I find myself doing this all the time and really hate it. I realize it is normal but your post really puts it in perspective for me. Your are so right that by doing this it won’t change anything, in fact it harms my relationships with those I love. I dont deserve to put myself down like that. I realize that I have to work on treating myself better. I should be proud of who I am and the things I have accomplished in life!

      (Quote)

  89. says

    Thank you for this post. I just found you through Skinny Runner and I am in love with your blog. This post sealed it for me in following. I often times will do this and your preacher put it perfectly and you elaborated on it so well. Just wanted to say thank you and you’ve got another loyal follower/reader! ox

      (Quote)

  90. says

    I love this post!

    When in the “comparison trap”, I try to think about things that make me unique, special and fun to be around! For example, I have a ridiculous sense of humor.

    Also, perfection is subjective. I had beer and pizza on a date this week and my date’s eyes lit up! He thought that my eating “junk food” with him was the best thing ever! Rather than feeling self concious about eating junk food on a date, I just went with it and had a great time!

      (Quote)

  91. says

    A little late to the party but thanks so much for this! As a pretty new blogger, I’m struggling with comparing myself and my blog to the many successful and fabulous bloggers, like yourself. Sometimes it’s really necessary to step back and be satisfied with who you are and what you have, but know that there is always room for improvement. Though it may seem like the grass is greener on the other side, it’s important to realize that instead of trying to be someone else, just be the best person you can be, and live the best life you can.
    Thank you for giving me a little perspective today πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  92. says

    Julie,
    I loved reading this post so much – I was actually in the middle of writing a very similar post (but more about comparisons between runners) when I came across this post, and I just wanted to say that I think your blog sends such an important, positive message. You are so honest and express your thoughts so clearly. I love reading your posts.
    I ended up publishing my post tonight (http://runnerscookie.com/the-running-comparison-trap/), hoping that I could send a similar message that you did. Thanks again for your inspiration πŸ™‚
    -Corey

      (Quote)

  93. says

    Julie,

    It’s clearly already been emphasized before me, but this blog post is fantastic. You have an amazing voice in your writing and your genuineness and light really shine through. Thank you for sharing such an important message, I’m going to pass this on. I too, struggle with the comparison trap more often then people in my life really probably understand. Thank you for speaking truth to power πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  94. 20 year old UF says

    Just started reading your blog today because of a friend. this one caught my eye. Just what i needed today. Perfect. Thank you!

      (Quote)

  95. says

    Thank you for this post, Julie! I’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately, and find myself comparing myself to others on a regular basis. It is so important for us all to tell ourselves the truth- that we are exactly who/how we are supposed to be. Love this post!!

      (Quote)

  96. says

    I know this post is super old but when I read it I had to comment. This is such an amazing reminder of how comparisons can be the thief of all joy. It is so easy to compare yourself to others and feel down but we all have to remember that social media really only depicts someones highlight reel.

    Thanks for your words, it was exactly what I needed to read today πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *