I hope this post finds you all doing well. I know I only have about…hmm…100 or so followers but it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about each and every one of you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and comment back to me so we can converse! But with all that said, I hope that YOU are doing well my fellow readers of the Self Love Challenge and thank you for supporting my little project here!!
So. What do we have for today? A little side note. I like to gather most of my blog topics from a combination of what I am currently facing in my own life and what I am currently learning during my research of how to basically become a kinder, more loving, human being. Currently, I have been challenged with these overwhelming thoughts of comparing my life again with the lives of my peers. Ah yes, you know the annoying little bugger in your ear telling you what you SHOULD be doing with your life just because EVERYONE ELSE is doing it and you’re not. Yeah. That one.
And I know I have definitely written on the topic many times before, but I want to do so again because it really is something that is becoming more and more of an issue in our world today – especially due to the rise of social media. Telling you to just STOP IT doesn’t really help either, so maybe explaining a little further into detail about how comparing yourself to others can affect your life may convince you that it really is a pointless habit and is doing you nothing but harm and robbing your life of happiness if you continue.
Let me ask you a question.
How does it make you feel when you compare yourself with other people?
Do you feel genuinely happy for them?
Do you feel motivated to better yourself in a positive way?
Do you feel sad or discontent with your own life?
If you’re like any normal person, the feelings you get from answering those questions aren’t going to be very happy ones. In fact, many of the symptoms of comparison are things like jealousy, insecurity, pride, and discontentment.
There are only two things that result out of comparing your life with someone else’s; you either feel superior to them or you feel inferior to them. Both of these feelings are never good and will usually create further problems down the line.
A feeling of superiority as a result of comparing your life to those lesser than yours results in excessive pride. Having too much pride is never really a good thing because it can create a very selfish or entitled attitude. On the other hand, a feeling of inferiority as a result of comparing your life to someone who has it better than you, will result in feelings of jealousy and/or insecurity. You will begin to question your own life, and why it’s not as good as theirs, which will only become a major breeding ground for discontentment. Both pride and jealousy are never good traits to possess, and can cause a lot of harm to others and to ourselves.
I can’t talk too much about having excessive pride, although I’m sure I have been prideful at some point in my life unknowingly, but I am greatly familiar with feelings of insecurity and jealousy. Like I’ve mentioned before, my personality tends to gravitate more towards feelings inadequacy. Most of the time, it is because I am constantly comparing my life to someone else’s so that I can measure how well I am doing. And because of my naturally pessimistic disposition, I usually feel like I am just not measuring up. These feelings breed insecurity in me and then I begin to try and control whatever area it is that I feel like I am lacking in so that I can raise it up to the “standard” of what everyone else is doing.
The bad thing, I’ve learned, is some of the time we can’t easily control our circumstances. When this happens, I start to feel like a failure and blame myself for just not having what it takes or maybe I’m just not deserving. It’s that negative self talk and only feeds to our own insecurities and sometimes if we’re not careful, it can turn into jealousy, which will inevitably turn into to anger and resentment. Not a good path to follow and definitely not very self-loving.
So what can we do? What is the antidote to this comparison trap? Well as much as I would love to say get off social media and remove yourself from seeing anything that might trigger your desire to compare, I know that’s not feasible. So the thing we can turn to and the thing that we do have control over is giving up our right to compare. Yup folks, there is the golden answer. Just quit. Quit comparing.
How is that different from just being told, for example to just stop doing it? Well. It’s an active choice. It’s one that we are consciously making. It’s one where we become aware of the fact that viewing this event in someone else’s life is triggering our need to compare our life to theirs, but then actively choosing not to engage in doing so. I know it really is much easier said than done, but the more we become aware of how comparison really effects the joy levels in our lives, the more we will actually want to turn ourselves away from entertaining those thoughts.
Comparison is a game that we will never ever win at. No matter how great you are, no matter how bad your life sucks, no matter how pretty you are, no matter how smart you are, there will always be someone who is great-ER, whose life is sucky-ER, who is pretti-ER, and who is going to be smart-ER. And that’s the truth.
You will never win. And the more you try to win at this never ending game, the crazier you will feel. You will either begin to feel more and more selfish because you will believe that you are better than everyone and will try to keep up with the game of keeping up, or you will drown yourself in your insecurities, always trying to strive and match up to everyone else’s expectations. It’s a tiring game. And really who wants to keep playing it?
And yet we do. And that is precisely why I’ve decided to quit that game today. At the end of my life, is it really going to matter who had more money, who was more beautiful, who got married first, who had kids first, who got the bigger house, who was more educated or who drove the nicer car? No, not really. Because in the end, we can’t take any of “trophies” or “achievements” with us. So why waste our lives worrying about what everyone else is doing or how everyone else is measuring up to you?
Instead, worry about just doing you. Worry about the purpose of your life is and focus your efforts on completing that. Worry about how you can be a better human being. Worry about how you can become more compassionate. Worry about what impact you are making on the world. Worry about whether you are loving people enough.
Don’t worry about these silly little comparisons. So what if so-and-so got married at 22, has 2 kids and a house and you’re still in a non-committed relationship at 27. So what if you’re still struggling to figure out what you want to do and you’re almost 30. So what if you’re not making over $80k but you are doing what you love?
The thing I’m noticing is that we are all different people, on different paths, with different purposes in life. We are not all meant to be on the same path. We are meant to be on our own unique path that we have been created for. And we are not all meant to be just like each other. We are meant to be unique just like we were created to be. So stop trying to fit in and be like everyone else. Because that is not your purpose, in fact that is a waste of your precious life. The things that are happening in your life in this season, are exactly what should be happening, so don’t fight that and don’t try to manipulate it to be something else.
Today is the day I quit comparing. I’m going to quit comparing my life to my friends or family and striving to measure up. I’m going to quit feeling insecure or jealous about not being married or having a baby yet. I’m going to quit feeling inadequate about myself because I still haven’t figured out my career yet. I’m going to quit feeling discontent because my life didn’t turn out to be what I pictured many years ago.
Instead, I’m going to live and I’m going begin living for my unique purpose that I’ve been created for and I’m not going to compare my journey to anyone else’s.
Why? Because it’s ok.
Do you hear me? Those of you who are in the same boat, who are constantly fretting over how your life is measuring up compared to your friends on Facebook. I’m talking to you!
It’s OK to be where you are now. It’s OK! You’re fine. You’re enough. You are doing enough. But keep going with your journey…and cut out that comparison stuff, ok?
The Self Love Daily Challenge:
Vow to quit comparing your life to other’s lives. Follow your own path and focus on your purpose.
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