Quick Tip: Comparison is The Thief of Joy

Plus a look into the new year!

Blair Morgan Reeves
4 min readDec 19, 2020
Doodle by me

The end of the year / beginning of the next one is said to be a perfect time to job hunt. While I still think this is mostly true even in 2020, this year’s search has left me particularly exhausted. I have a massive spreadsheet outlining 10 weeks out of the year where I was rigorously looking for work in my new field of User Experience Design. Not one of the hundreds of jobs I applied to scheduled an interview. For the first month I was drowning in imposter syndrome and massive doubt that I would ever get a job in UX.

It didn’t help that I was constantly seeing my friends and colleagues get work or share a new project they were proud of. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong and why someone else was getting work that I thought I was a better fit for — this is exactly where the issue lies. This envy and jealousy that worked its way into my brain is not something I’m proud of. I want to be the type of person that celebrates others successes and helps them along their career journey instead of being resentful. My mindset needed to change and it needed to change fast.

After a few months, I’d say I’ve made some progress on this front, bu mainly I’m laying this out there to remind other Junior User Experience Designers to get out of the habit of comparing your life, work, and worth to what other people are posting on LinkedIn or Instagram. Because at the end of the day, what happens? You feel like complete shit or that you somehow aren’t good enough or never going to land your dream job — I really could keep this list going all day long but I think you get the point I’m trying to make, which is “comparison is the thief of joy”.

I can’t remember who presented me with this juicy insight, but I know it was during my time at General Assembly as a student. This phrase didn’t hit me right away and I certainly thought it would be an easy habit to maintain — boy was I wrong! It’s taken months to get to the stage where I at least catch myself comparing myself to someone else’s achievements, but that’s just the beginning.

Now as an Instructional Associate (a fancy term for Assistant Instructor), I constantly use this quote with my students with the hope that maybe one day it will click and they’ll form new, healthier habits when looking at others work, cutting out the imposter syndrome (at least to a minimum) and feel a sense of joy when someone they know celebrates a success.

Another tidbit that I want to leave you with is to “make your future self proud”. I legitimately have this written down on a post it on my monitor so I’m reminded to stay in my lane and focus on my progress. In a day, month, or year, will I be happy with how I handled a certain situation? When I reflect on the past, will I be proud of what I’ve done? Hopefully this is something you want o incorporate into your life as well.

With that, let’s check out what my goals are for the year ahead!

2021 Goals

Every year since 2018, I sit down and really think about what I want to achieve in the year ahead. Sometimes it has to do with certain fitness milestones or moving into a better apartment. Regardless of the goals are, I write them all down and track them. Here are the ones I’m most excited about:

  • Secure a permanent UX Designer or Product Designer Role
  • Run five 5k Races
  • Complete one 24-hour fast
  • Write one blog post per month
  • Workout 5 days a week
  • Walk the length of manhattan at least once
  • Read at least 10 books
  • Write in my journal once a week
  • Volunteer once every three months
  • Go snowshoeing at least once
  • Go on a trip to Europe with Kyle
  • Bike the Empire State Trail with Kyle

Have you thought about your goals for the new year? Maybe you want to make more time for selfcare or learn to not over work yourself (I should probably add this one to the list as well). Whatever your goals are write them down, look at them often, and use them as a guide to make the next year the best it can be for you.

Peace out 2020.

Originally published at https://blairmorganr.com on December 19, 2020.

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Blair Morgan Reeves

UX Designer by trade. Watching football is my pastime.