Envy and the Comparison Trap

February 27, 2017

Last weekend, I found myself sick with a cold at home. I looked across the street and saw a couple in my neighborhood getting home from shopping and then doing yard work together. I immediately thought, “That must be nice….to be able to hang out with your husband two days a week and do stuff together.” I got into a little rut for a few minutes thinking about Austin being a first year resident. He was at work sick and I was at home sick. For those of you who don’t know about residency, first year for internal medicine residents is one of the worst and we are lucky if he gets 1 full day off a week, working 6 days a week from 6am to 7-8pm. He is working so hard and I’m incredibly proud.

Comparing ourselves to others is SUCH an easy trap to fall into.

It can happen to me multiple times a day! If you start to notice it, you will be shocked at how often we compare ourselves and envy others.

“Must be nice to be her.”

“I wish I had her legs.”

“She doesn’t know what it’s like to be me.”

“I hate my stomach and wish it looked like Jane’s.”

What got me out of my comparison rut from last weekend? I thought a few things:

  1. I am on God’s timing. And this season in our life with Austin’s residency may be hard at time, but it’ll be worth it.
  2. What are the positives of the situation? I thought to myself, “why am I fortunate?” and I could list at least 20 items. That is GRACE right there!

I think as women, we use our bodies and image as comparison the most. That breaks my heart when I see myself and friends doing that. Since I’ve changed the way I view exercise (see this BLOG POST), I honestly look at my body in a healthier way and exercise because I love my body, not because I hate it. When I catch myself thinking, “I wish I had thinner thighs” or something negative like that, I think that I’m so fortunate to have strong legs to carry me through this life.

Take that item you’re self conscious about (and comparing to others) and list 3 reasons why it’s AWESOME.

Make a note to try and practice those positive affirmations for 1 day. Constantly remind yourself of your beauty and why you are uniquely YOU.

Does anything good come out of comparisons? When has comparison been a good thing? Follow me here…

What I’m getting at is this: no results come out of using envy as a motivation. For example, if you say “Jane has the best abs, I’m going to get abs just like hers,” that is not going to motivate you to your goals. That is a short-lived and shallow goal. Instead, try and turn motivation into this, “I want a stronger core to protect my back and to be able to lift my kiddos easier.” Use positive and life motivation to achieve your goals. You’ll be more motivated and be working toward something that matters.

I hope y’all don’t think I’m preaching to you. I am just very passionate about helping others with¬† positive self talk and avoiding the comparison trap (just ask my friends, I love to “annoy” them about this hehehe). If you ever want to talk about this or need any help, I’m here for you and would love to offer my personal stories and advice. Send me an email!



  • Reply Luanne Taylor March 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Great article and so true! God knew how counterproductive envy can be. It is one of His ten Commandments!
    Bravo, Maddie for reminding me and helping me strive to be better. You are a blessing!

    • Reply Madison March 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      LOVE YOU and AMEN!

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