7th May 2021

Comparing ourselves to others has a way of pulling us out of being present to what’s before us as we worry about what others are doing, what they think of us and how we think our lives ought to be. It can leave us feeling like we’re perpetually behind and create a sense of unease about our own reality.

Unfortunately, the ‘All Access Pass’ we have to the highlight reels of others that’s now so readily available makes the task of comparison all too easy.

Comparison, however, is disempowering and can use up the energy and creativity we would otherwise use in showing up to the beautifully, imperfect life before each of us.

This can be especially true in our time with needle and thread. 

Sometimes we think it’s distractions or our time spent scrolling on social media that stops us from getting things done, but the truth is, it’s often comparison that keeps us stuck. What starts as a fleeting glance at someone else’s needlework can all too quickly become a measuring stick by which we find ourselves judging our own failures and successes.

If we’re able to cut comparison from our lives, we might just find ourselves all the more productive. But how do we swap comparison for productivity? Whilst it won’t always be easy, Hannah Brencher led us through the steps she’s taken in her own life to do just that.

Instead of comparing herself to what she sees around her, she’s taken the approach of celebrating what others are achieving, all the while understanding that their successes reflect what’s possible. Hannah has worked towards supporting others authentically by genuinely being able to wish them well in their accomplishments without feeling any the less for it. She’s become deliberate in her encouragement of others, as she’s realised we all need a reminder that what we’re doing matters.

And when she needs to be present with the task before her, Hannah’s created a box labelled ‘Be Present’ where anything – whether it be printed or digital – that can become a distraction resides. She’s found that by simply spending a few hours each day without such distractions her productivity has been transformed as she declares the work before her is more important than comparing her life with everyone else’s highlight reel.

We could all take a leaf out of Hannah’s book when we next find ourselves judging our own abilities with needle and thread against what others are achieving. Instead of feeling that we don’t measure up, simply celebrate what’s possible and acknowledge that each and every step of our own needlework journey matters and that when we do our best, it gives others a reason to celebrate too.

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