Comparison Is the Thief of Joy

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

Comparison is the thief of joy.

As human beings we are likely to have had a few times in our life where we longed for the greener grass that others seem to have. We might even spend some of our time filled with envy wishing that our experience is different than it is and that others have it better than we do. Comparison is indeed the thief of joy.

When I was a young mom I spent way too many days comparing myself and my kids to others. It was exhausting and I broke free of all of that during my great wake up in my early thirties. I dropped the desire to compare myself with others long ago for the most part, however, major life events typically bring out our vulnerability and we might find ourselves once again looking at other people’s experience and comparing ourselves to them.

This old feeling of comparing myself started to come back lately when it comes to my recent hip replacement surgery. If I had a nickel for everyone who has told me that their 80 year old whoever was walking in a week without a cane I probably wouldn’t have to go back to work. Seriously‚Ķhow is that useful? Or the stories of young athletes getting back to their sport within weeks. I get it…those miracles and amazing stories do happen and that is awesome, but not everyone has that experience.

When I hear these examples it is hard to not compare myself with them and it is something I am working on daily while also finding the opportunity to remind others who share their fast healing stories with me that it isn’s always that way for everyone, although I am thrilled for them.

Awareness is the key to cultivating true compassion but that is another day’s blog post.

Instead of comparing myself to those stories I have decided instead to look for small daily wins and remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It might be that showering without any help is my win. Or getting out to my yoga studio to record a session is a win. Maybe making a simple dinner is a win. Definitely the sourdough English muffins this week were a win. ?

If I spent my days comparing myself to others I would lose my joy in those small, yet huge wins.

My surgeon and physical therapist were great this week at reminding me that my experience is vastly different than most. The factors that go into my own healing are unique to me, so breathe and be patient. Also look for those small wins each day to carry me through until I am back in the “normal” swing of things. And, I am reminding myself that “normal” may look very different for me compared to pre-surgery.

It is natural for people to compare themselves with others. I want to encourage the world to stop doing that. Many times people even compare themselves with me. Instead, I try to ask them to look at their own gifts and be proud of them. We are all special in some way. While it may seem to some that I have myself all together, I really don’t. I work at it each and every day.

Find the joy in YOU and in your own small victories. Comparing yourself will definitely steal your joy and life is simply too short to live a joy-less life.

I have also learned that although the grass may appear greener, there is always some other species of “weeds” that have taken space in the seemingly green space and my own green is perfect for me, weeds and all.


Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life.