On why comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison is the thief of joy, Theodore Roosevelt

Surprise card received from an amazing friend last week to congratulate me on passing my exams.


With the Bath Half Marathon approaching, I cannot help but wonder about how I will be doing. This training cycle is different from what I have been doing in the past few years. It’s a more personalised, flexible approach, but it is new, and the unknown is scary. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know I shouldn’t be scared because if you want different results, you have to input something different and get out of your comfort zone, but I cannot help it (which is super silly because it’s just running at the end of the day).

The thing is, I am not the only one whose race season is starting soon, and with that comes a massive wave of comparison, which reached its peak last night. Am I doing enough? And I running enough, pushing myself enough? How is this missed workout going to impact my performance? All of this is very ironic because a) I am comparing myself to some people who are not even doing the same races as me b) I have always loved running because it’s me vs myself and not anybody else. When I came back from the London winter run, both my housemates asked me how I placed. This really made me laugh (sorry guys) because I couldn’t have cared less about how I placed. I don’t go to a race to compete with 10,000 other runners, I go to give my very best and compete against myself. Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing people in my life that can help me push away the negative thoughts so I can remember why I am doing this.

This weekend, I caught up with a very good friend I had not seen in a while. She mentioned how she was still following my adventures via the blog but that she was feeling lazy for not belonging to the 6 am club or exercising as much. Don’t. Perhaps I don’t share my struggles enough here but as you see, I can also be full of doubts. It’s not always all glory and I too also belong to the eat three donuts a day, watch Gray’s anatomy instead of revising anatomy, miss my workout, have a 15 min nap that transforms itself in a 150 min nap* team sometimes.

So where do we go from now? My other half told me “Just don’t do it. Get some sleep. It doesn’t mean they are happier than you”. So true, right? So now, lets take a deep breath. And another one. And remind ourselves that we all have different goals, ambitions and priorities. And that’s ok.

"Comparison is the thief of joy"
Theodore Roosevelt

* Yep, these are real example from last week. 

About peachylau

running scientist
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18 Responses to On why comparison is the thief of joy.

  1. golddh says:

    This is so true. I’ll have a great run, then think about how much better the 1,000 people who beat me in the last marathon are and start to doubt. Great post!


  2. This is a great post and really resonates with how I feel about running a lot of the time, even though I know I shouldn’t. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant post. You are absolutely smashing it and will do brilliantly in Bath (and hopefully enjoy it)! Remember it’s just running as you told us at Park run!


  4. Yes to this! It’s very hard in our social media dominated world not to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing and falling into the comparison trap, but all you can be is the best version of yourself on any given day and that is more than enough 🙂


  5. Kathy_QN says:

    This is so good Laureen! x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great post, I agree with it all! I compare myself with others all the time and its so unhelpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think we all fall into the comparison trap every now and then, I’m guilty of it too. Great post!


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