Reality deeply sunk in one morning while I was scrolling through my Facebook feeds and after being reminded of a few of my old classmate’s birthdays, I did what most people would do, macociouly scroll through their profile and observing how life has been treating them after all these years. Pictures of beautiful homes, significant others, children, travel pics and brand new luxury SUVs flooded these profiles and I guess it would be only natural to compare my life to theirs.
While it was great to see how well some of my old school friends are doing, there was a strong level of discomfort and disappointment internally. These thoughts usurped my entire morning and I actually noticed how it negatively affected my productivity that day. I needed an intervention.
I thought about a conversation I had with one of my mentors, Scott Hilton-Clarke where he said
“the biggest mistake you can make is comparing yourself with your friends or circle of company”.
This was something I always preached and agreed with however I still continue to practice this harmful habit. Why do we do it? I’m not going to ramble about how we are programmed to compare ourselves with others from since childhood…that’s for another blog. Instead, I will share what has worked for me and how I was able to intervene from a negative and harmful habit that almost took over my identity.
Fact: everyone has a different path.
We are wired to think or dream of a desirable, linear and somewhat seamless path will exist providing that we follow what our parents, teachers or leaders we look up to have taught us. Reality has a funny way of showing us alternatives to this seamless path and sometimes that path is filled with more obstacles than an episode of ‘Survivor’..but that’s okay. In fact I think that is almost necessary.
Fact: Comparison puts focus on the wrong person
When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we are wasting the energy that could have been used to focus on yourself and better yourself
Fact: Comparisons are not truly accurate
When we compare ourselves with others, we are usually comparing the worst of ourselves to our ASSumed best of others…not accurate.
Given these facts, how then can we prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of comparing? The first one is a given—
Be aware of your achievements and success
Whether you are a singer, writer, professional of ‘whateverness’ or student, you have a unique story and perspective that is backed with experiences and gifts. With all of that in front of you, become more intimately aware of your past success and motivate yourself to pursue more.
I mean…If you’re gonna compare, why not compare with yourself!
We should focus on trying to be the best version of ourselves not just for ourselves but for the benefit of others in terms of what we can offer to others. Take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual being. Try to grow a bit more every single day and celebrate your achievements without comparing them to others…and finally….
Remember that nobody is perfect!
Everyone has a story and everyone has their own neuroses! Nobody is living a painless life. For every triumph there is an obstacle to overcome.
While what we see may only be the result of someone else overcoming a struggle, keep in mind there was one. Everyone has or is going through an obstacle of their own whether you are close enough to know or not.
This is not always an easy task, trust me, I have to remind myself these things every single day. But in order to move forward and achieve, we cannot fall into the habit of comparison.
By Cheyenne Baptiste