Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

While checking the progress of my current cross-stitch project, I noticed the difference between the front and back of the fabric and I started comparing. Cross-stitch is like paint with numbers, but it’s stitch by symbols.

The front – finished item – is going to be a big butterfly. Is it perfect? Let’s just say it won’t win first prize at a county fair! But it is neat and error-free. The back is not neat, it is somewhat unorganised: if you are a cross-stitch expert you’d probably be quite distressed at how I’ve worked, how I’ve taken a few short-cuts and dragged threads.

Comparing the front and the back reminds me of how it can be so easy to compare our reality (let’s say, the back of the fabric) to someone else’s well chosen, well articulated, photoshopped (maybe) image (front of the fabric).

So much comparison happens day in, day out, and social media is an obvious example of where comparison can negatively affect productivity. In general though, comparing yourself to others and their successes can trigger procrastination. It can inhibit an ability to stand in your own power. It can kill your productivity.

When you’re being yourself, it sometimes means that you have to have a little bit of courage to stand alone and you have to be okay with following your path. Courage is finding a way or having the ability to do something that might scare you, might trigger fear, but the result of taking the action is far more important than inaction. It’s knowing that standing in your power is far more important for you, your work, your community than staying stuck because of comparing and procrastinating.


Being ourselves means sometimes having to find the courage to stand alone.

Brene Brown


Bask in the success of others and be happy for them.

Be inspired by them.

Use it as inspiration, not a procrastination trigger.

I will forever more be looking at the front and not comparing it to the back.

I’d love to know your thoughts…