The Comparison Trap: A New Years Resolution

New Zealand - The Comparison TrapI’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. I usually can’t wait until February when the gym returns to a normal volume as people fall off the NYR bandwagon and I can use the leg-press without waiting 45 minutes.

But this year I’ve decided to give it a try. In a less traditional way.

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap

I’m not going to promise myself to eat less sugar (ummm huh? That’s never going to happen. Hello, cupcakes!) I’m not going to go to the gym more, because I already live there and that could get weird. I’m not going to eat more broccoli. (I’m 31 and I know my limits!)

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap

I am going to get out of the comparison trap. Do you know what I’m talking about?

That mental space you enter where you compare yourself to others incessantly. Once I start I find it almost impossible to get out. I easily become overwhelmed by my inadequacy. My accomplishments aren’t good enough; the traffic on my blog is abysmal compared to my blogging friends, I don’t post enough and I always feel one step behind; my goals seem unattainable.

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap

I could blame my career change. I entered the culinary world at 31, which is over a decade after most. I easily become overwhelmed by the success of the chefs in the restaurant in which I work and the friends I’ve made in the industry. I feel like I’ll never learn fast enough to compare.

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap
I could blame my husband. He is already a self-made success. He is pretty much the poster child for pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.

I could blame my mother: she was one of the pioneers for women in Corporate America. She exceeded expectations amidst criticism and people constantly telling her, “you can’t.”

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap

I could blame my dad who has achieved the level of career success reached by very few. Most dreams of mine seem paltry in comparison.

But blame lies with me. They have never told me I am not good enough. Those feelings originated with me. I must stop them.

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap

So this year I vow to compare less and celebrate my successes more; berate myself less and congratulate myself more; look at all the things I’ve crossed off my to do list instead of the million I wasn’t able to get to; talk myself up instead of down; and be content with my accomplishments while not losing sight of my goals.

Who’s with me?!

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap
I know, I know. That was a lot of words without recipes. I’ll get back to regularly scheduled food programming soon.

What are you New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make them?

New Zealand - The Comparison Trap

All photos in this post are my own and were taken in New Zealand during our family vacation last Christmas. 


  1. Nikki says

    This was a recipe.
    A recipe for inner peace
    A recipe for forgiveness
    A recipe for allowing yourself/ourselves to be ourselves. Being ourselves is what we are supposed to be the best at! And when you can be the best self you can accomplish anything.
    Have a wonderful, happy, healthy, fun filled year.
    Thank you for an informative blog, fun blog.
    (and just remember at some point someone is comparing them self to you)

    • Lindsey says

      Beautifully and eloquently said. Thank you, Nikki for your kind words and being such a loyal reader! I appreciate it. Happy New Year!

    • says

      Lindsey, my mom used to tell me that we are our own worst critics. 31 may seems old to you, but when you look back at age 21, don’t you think that you’ve accomplished many things over that time? Made good friends? Lived a good life? Learned a lot? Been a success in your own right, not in anyone eyes but your own? You will again, at 41, and 51, and 61… It seems like life takes a turn every 10 years, more or less, and you are well on your way to discovering that your opportunities and accomplishments are never ending. Never stop learning or growing.
      Looking forward to your next set of recipes! Enjoyed your cookies, and appreciate your efforts. Your photography is terrific, your food is tempting, and when you are writing, I feel as if you are sitting close by. Like a good friend.
      Put your feet up, relax. You are making great choices. Happy New Year!
      Jeanne recently posted…The Comparison Trap: A New Years ResolutionMy Profile

      • Lindsey says

        Jeanne, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. It really struck a nerve and made me tear up! You are absolutely right – I have learned and grown so much in the past decade. I just need to step back and look at the big picture, which can get lost in the day to day. The Hank you so much for all your kind words about my recipes, photography and posts – that is EXACTLY how I want my readers to feel! That was the best compliment you could have given! I hope you have a happy and blessed 2016 as well! ~Lindsey

  2. says

    It’s really hard not compare yourself to others — I’m guilty of it. It’s really hard not to do it in the blogging world especially, but it pops up in my fitness, cooking, and just day to day life. Most of the time I’m happy being me, but I need a good reminder from time to time! Great post, Lindsey, and you rock! You do an amazing job and I’m sure plenty of people compare themselves to YOU! Happy New Year, friend. 🙂
    marcie recently posted…Chai Spiced Chia Overnight OatsMy Profile

    • Lindsey says

      Exactly, Marcie! You nailed it! It is so easy to get sucked into the comparison trap especially in the blogging world. Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself that I am happy with who I am even if that girl next to me on the treadmill is soooo fit and manages to look cute every damn day! Happy new year to you too!!!

  3. Barbara says

    Lindsey, that’s a great New Years resolution. I truly believe that being so hard on yourself is in the family genes! In one aspect it’s a marvelous trait to have-always striving to do better, but in other ways, that constant comparison can be so detrimental to your very existence. I look at my two wonderful daughters and see what you’re describing so clearly.
    As I’ve aged, it’s become less of a “thing”, but I sometimes still view myself as not quite adequate and wonder why. We are definitely our own worst critics!
    You are a bright star out there in the culinary world and give your blog readers great inspiration with your humor, recipes and great pictures. (me for sure)
    Remember to always look at your own list of accomplishments, work toward your next goal and see yourself as the truly gifted woman you are!
    Looking forward to 2016.

    • Lindsey says

      I think it is in the genes! For me the hardest part was recognizing that I am doing it so that I can nip it in the bud before it consumes me. Thank you so much for being a loyal reader; I really enjoy your comments! I hope you have a wonderful 2016 and I get to see you sometime! xoxox

  4. says

    Beautiful photos and post. Loved reading it. Wow you have so many inspirational people around you….plus, you are talented. I know you will kick ass and exceed expectations in accomplishing all your goals. You have already accomplished so much as a blogger that started after 2010. For those of us that have entered the blogging world “too late” before blogging was “a thing”, chances are slimmer to run a successful blog. But look at your following and your influence, compared to many others that have started around the same time (lol aka moi).

    • Lindsey says

      Thank you, Miss Kim! I think you are my longest standing reader and my first blogging friend! I know you understand the challenges of starting a blog “too late”. Thanks for all the love and support! xox

  5. Julia says

    Count me in! I’m not sure an hour (or fifteen minutes) go by when I don’t compare! As I catch myself doing it I’m going to refer back to this post. What a great way to start the year.

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