Comparing Yourself to Others
First of all, no, that picture has nothing to do with the post, but if the internetz will insist on giving a girl photo filters, I’m damn sure gonna use them. Right, on with the topic of the day…
We all do it, from an early age, so much so that sometimes we barely even notice we’re doing it. It almost can’t be helped. We compare our lives with that of our peers. Social media, of course, heightens that. People and their great lives are in our faces online, flaunting it. It’s hard not to absorb it, internalise it and start questioning every little thing you’re doing, why your life isn’t better, what you’re doing wrong. I was chatting with one of my good friends the other night and she reminded me that comparison is a killer. And she’s damn right.
For the most part, I manage to remain focused on what I’m doing with my life. Naturally, I think whatever line of work you’re in, it pays to have a passing knowledge of what your ‘competitors’ are doing. Every now and then though, I catch myself comparing myself to others. Before I know it, I’ve spiraled into a panic about why I’m not doing more and how crap my life is. This, of course, is ridiculous.
We are all on our own path. Everyone’s end game is different and so, our routes traveled to get there will vary greatly. For some, things will happen much quicker. You may just have to take the long route. It may not make sense right now, but when you get there, you’ll realise there was a reason for it.
I tend to notice myself comparing my life to others when I’m going through a rough patch, feeling vulnerable or sensitive. Comparison is an easy thing to do to help me validate the funk I’m in. Hell, I can always find someone who’s doing way better than me! I now actively make a point of trying not to do that as it’s a sure fire way to a life crisis. You can very quickly convince yourself that nothing you’ve ever done matters or will matter.
There are times when comparing yourself to others has a positive impact. If you can look at things objectively and not use it as an excuse to bash yourself over the head with self deprecating nonsense, you may actually learn something. Perhaps comparing yourself to a competitor may highlight that you could do things slightly differently. You might even reach out to that person for advice.
Be it feeling as though you’re lagging behind in your career compared to your peers, or watching everyone around you get married and have kids, it’s important to remind yourself that you will reach your goal your own way. You don’t know what went into someone else’s success. You didn’t see the struggle they went through, the hard work they put in. So really, comparing your journeys is futile. Eyes front, stay focused. Comparisons can be a real vibe killer.