How many times have you heard the term ‘don’t compare yourself to others’ loosely thrown around as if it’s just an and on/off switch? It is something that takes work and can creep up on you when you least expect it. As easy as it is to say, don’t compare yourself, I think there’s a better way to look at this that will actually put your mind to rest, rather than pushing thoughts away, only to reappear later on.
Illusion vs Reality | Comparing yourself to others
We are seeing how social media and the constant need to ‘share our lives’ have lead to an increased level of comparing ourselves to other people. I do believe that it is a natural thought process, however, it can become toxic very quickly. Social media was built to help us feel more connected, yet a lot of us experience higher feelings of loneliness. Is it really healthy to have people’s lives thrust in our faces constantly? I often think about the generation before us, going through all different phases of life – without these platforms. Why do we actually use them? To feel validated? Some food for thought…
Compare the reality not an illusion
The more you progress through your twenties, the more it seems that people younger than you are doing all these things that just haven’t happened in your path yet. Everything happens differently for everyone. I think we can be extremely hard on ourselves and not look at situations for what they actually are. We choose to overlook circumstances that may have been an advantage for someone to be in the position they are in e.g. nepotism.
Making a positive mental shift
The first thing I do is look back at myself at a different age and think about the things going on in my life at the time. 100% of the time, I just know that my life has brought me to where I am now, for a reason. Whether I made changes back then or life just took me in different directions, I am so happy I didn’t choose to settle and opted for the scenic route of life.
Be honest – What have you done that others haven’t?
Personally, my journey has allowed me to do things that other people probably won’t have the opportunity to, given how they shaped their life. Having more freedom and fewer responsibilities in my early twenties meant that I have been able to quit jobs without having another, travelled longer than a standard holiday and the resources to explore creative ideas and business ventures. The experience I have gained within this time has been invaluable and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Could you say I’m behind compared to society? Maybe – depending on your outlook. But am I happy with what I’ve done and future possibilities? Hell Yes!
The grass isn’t always greener
The classic example of this is when there’s a breakup, but everything seemed perfect in what was portrayed in the relationship. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Yet we see one snapshot or video and start comparing our own lives off of it. Try to just focus on you and enjoying the present, living life to it’s fullest – on a path that you can say you wholeheartedly chose and didn’t settle for.
Compare constructively to make positive changes
I believe that we can turn comparing ourselves into something positive. If there is something you want to achieve, shouldn’t it be encouraging to see that someone else has got to that point? This shouldn’t put you off, it should motivate you and prove to you that it is possible!
Learn to love your journey
Everyone’s path is different. Whenever we compare ourselves, we disregard any circumstances that may have given someone an advantage with their situation. We also seem to forget all the positives in our own lives. Be happy with what you have done, where you are now, and work out where you want to be, and just enjoy the process! No one has it all figured out, as long as you are making moves forward, that’s all that matters.