Why The Comparison Game Sucks in Ways we Don’t Even Realize


Sarah Spencer

We all play it. We know it's bad. But here are some even more devious ways the comparison game rips up your life and your songwriting. | SongFancy.com

Be aware of The Comparison Game.

I know for a fact that whenever you’ve written a song that you’re not particularly excited about, you start to talk yourself down. You start to say,

“I am just not a good writer. This piece proves it. Why do I even bother. There are so many other people out there who are better than I am.”

Sound familiar? This is the comparison game.

The Comparison Game is a game you play with only yourself.

The Comparison Game is the game you can never win.

The Comparison Game is not fair.

The Comparison Game pits you against everybody else that is your peer or your friend.

It is one-sided, and will immediately make you feel absolutely wholly and completely worthless.

And why would you ever want to play a game like that?

The Comparison Game is the evil green monster cousin of Perfectionism. When we let it win, it brings out the worst in us. Here are some more long term and less obvious ways that The Comparison Game will drain you of your happiness:

It stops you from writing songs.

Because you figure, why bother? You are the worst of the worst and there are so many people better than you. So you stop writing altogether because The Comparison Game makes it all feel pointless. Doesn’t that suck?

It keeps you from enjoying the happiness you where meant to enjoy.

You are a human on this planet and you are deserving of happiness. Does writing songs make you happy? Then you deserve to write songs. There’s no reason out there for you to not write songs if it makes you happy. End of story.

It’s demanding and unrealistic.

The Comparison Game is a game of extremes. When you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, it’s never halfhearted or mild. It’s never humorous or joking. It’s always spiteful and mean-spirited. The only rule of the game is to say whatever it takes to beat you down into a smoldering pile of complete devastation.

It’s good to learn to recognize Comparison Game thought patterns right off the bat. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and prevent a lot of your songs from being dismissed before they ever have a chance to be written.

So how do you beat The Comparison Game?

There are a couple of ways you can become more aware of these nasty thoughts, and ultimately stop them in their tracks:


When those mean comparisons start showing up in your mind, pull a “ZIP IT” from Austin Powers. Remember Dr. Evil saying “Zip it!” over and over to his son? That’s what you want to think in response to your nasty inner dialog. Stop it from spiraling – Zip it!


Sometimes we just need a pep talk! Try this one on for size.


Push yourself by writing a ton of songs and not letting your worries stop you. The 5 in 5 Song Challenge is a great place for that. You can sign up for it using the form below:

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Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer is an award winning singer/songwriter based in Nashville, TN.

Born in the Sunshine State, Sarah Spencer writes vibrant, shining americana/pop music. She works in Nashville TN as a singer/songwriter, as well as a UX designer for a marketing firm.

Follow Sarah on Spotify to get her latest releases.

You can jump on her email list at SarahSpencer.com or purchase her debut EP, "Freshman Year" on iTunes.