Its 2018 and one of my resolutions for the year has been to stop comparing myself and my journey to those of others around me. And yes, in the age of technology its hard to not compare your life to those of your friends and acquaintances who post exciting pictures and videos. When compared to our ‘seemingly boring ‘lives it can seem pretty daunting.
It’s my belief that the root of the matter is that many of us, as we were growing up, learned to ignore our own experiences and instead we learned to focus on others. We are a society driven by comparison and competition so it’s built in us to look to others for what we assume we should have or people that are admired for what they have. What we don’t realize is that where you put your focus depends upon on what you believe makes you feel happy and validated. If you believe that your happiness and validation come from others liking you, connecting with you, approving of you, loving you, or spending time with you, then your focus is likely to be on others.
Comparing yourself to others’ accomplishments is a losing battle. There is an endless supply of people to whom you could compare yourself and your accomplishments, but, inevitably, you’ll always end up on the losing side of the comparison. That’s because in every stage of life there will always be someone who has done something that you wished you could also accomplish.
There is also the fact that because we can most easily compare the things that we can objectively measure, we live in a world that is great at measuring and comparing externals. So, someone’s clothes, car, vacations etc tend to represent a more accomplishments within our modern society which itself is silly. These comparisons often end up being a never-ending cycle that could aid in you not enjoying your own life or achieving what you want to in life. There’s also the fact that we do not know how hard the person had to work or what they had to sacrifice to have what they do and live the life that they are living.
Instead what we can do is practice celebrating our uniqueness and being proud of our accomplishments – no matter when in life they occur or how insignificant they feel. We can also start focusing on our own lives more. David Alan’s Getting things done sums it up quite nicely.
“Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it. Action and change are often resisted when they’re needed most. Get a hold of yourself and have discipline. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier. What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow. And there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.
The secret to getting ahead is simply getting started. Starting, all by itself, is usually sufficient to build enough momentum to keep the ball rolling. So forget about the finish line and just concentrate on taking your first step. Say to yourself, “I choose to start this task with a small, imperfect step.” All those small steps will add up and you’ll actually get to see changes fairly quickly.”
So stop living your life through others and start living it though yourself.