Everyone has fallen into the terrible trap of comparison at some point or another in their life. Even before social media people have found themselves comparing themselves to others, or unfortunately being compared to others. The phenomenon called social media doesn’t make this concept any easier; and if anything, we can all agree that it surely makes it worse.
There are a plethora of reasons why human beings compare themselves to others; but they all stem from feelings of inadequancy, insecurity or the fear of missing out.
Think about the times you have compared yourself to others in your past or present; did you feel good after you took that action?
Did comparing yourself make you feel any better about yourself?
Even if you compare yourself to someone who you perceive isn’t doing better than you; you will suddenly find yourself comparing yourself to someone who you perceive is.
Comparison is an alternative way to communicate that your life, and your journey; simply isn’t enough. That the gifts, talents, and skills that you possess aren’t enough.
That you aren’t enough
Comparison will always leave you feeling like a fool; because it’s in the end when you realize there is always more to the story. The people that you think are the most successful; similar to you; have unhappy moments and days. The people you think have it all in life; still feel moments when they wish they had more. The people you think are doing better than you in life; may be hard on themselves or feel like they haven’t reached their full potential. The people that are always smiling and happy; maybe hurting or depressed inside.
You don’t know the full story.
You only see what people want you to know; or what people allow for you to see.
Despite it all, strive to be happy for others. You never know what a person had to go through; to become the version of themselves that you see today. Keep in mind, you don’t know the full story; and to be quite frank you shouldn’t know the full story.
It isn’t your business to know; because your business is your own story.
When I was a child my grandmother loved to do word searches together; and every single time she would finish first. Now, I didn’t care because all that mattered to me was that we were spending quality time; and I enjoyed seeing her be in her element. It wasn’t until one day when she announced,
Okay, now you have to beat me.”
I replied and stated,
Oh no, I don’t want to beat you; I don’t want to do that.”
She firmly replied and stated, ” Oh no, you have to beat me.”
From that statement the competition commenced; and we did word search, after word search, after word search. Each and every single time I lost the battle. After every defeat she would only state, ”Again.”
I began to grow so exhausted, that I realized I needed to really get my act together; because she was persistent about this competition.
The moment finally happened and I finally won; but something weird happen that I would never forget. After my victory my grandmother rejoiced and stated,
Good job Keyana!”
I remember feeling slightly bewildered, but I soon realized that the whole time I was never competing with her; I was competing with myself.
That childhood memory taught me three valuable lessons:
1) As cliche as it may sound; you are your only competition
2) It’s essential in life to get better and better with time.
3) It is powerful when you are happy for others.
Once you realize that you are your own competition, it becomes harder and harder to compare yourself to others. If you have a strong desire to become a better you; you won’t feel compelled to take your eyes off your road, to slow down to look at someone else’s.
Instead of comparing yourself in a bitter manner; feel happy for others. In my story, my grandmother’s ecstatic emotions towards my win, made me realize the power in being happy for others. She always won, she always beat me; but it was when I won that she truly rejoiced.
Instead of comparing; learn from others. What is it about the people that you compare yourself to that you wish you had? Instead of beating down on yourself; learn from them.
Most importantly, instead of comparing yourself to others look within. Remind yourself of the strengths, gifts, and talents that you have. Comparison stems from a lack mindset; challenge yourself to think abundantly about life, and remember there is always enough to go around.
Be excited for your own journey, and always remember that things can and will get better in your life. Believe in yourself, and know that you are capable of doing all that your heart desires.
Don’t let comparison steal your joy; and distract you from all the greatness that lies within you.