Do you ever catch yourself comparing your physical appearance, relationship status, lifestyle, education, and achievements to another person then beat yourself up for it because you think yours isn’t as successful and happy as theirs? Yep, we’ve all done it. You’re not alone my friend. But why? Why do we do it against all facts that say we’re all unique and different.
From the distinct DNA sequence we were all born with to our preference of dark chocolate over white chocolate, there are numerous factors that explain why we’re all different from each other – our upbringing, personality, social circles, skillset, etc. A combination of all these factors results into different goals, desires, and wants in life for each of us so it doesn’t make sense for you to compare.
But here’s the secret, I think we compare because we are unsatisfied, frustrated, and impatient. Yep, I just said the cold, hard truth. We have various complaints such as I don’t have the same dress size as her, why aren’t I going out on dates every weekend while holding someone’s hands, I don’t make enough money and can’t move out of my parents’ house, and I’m not in my dream job.
We want it all and when we see someone who has it, we compare and
engage in self-pity. It’s easy to succumb and fall down the rabbit hole of negativity and comparison while it takes a whole lot of effort, confidence, and faith to positively move forward and be content. So, I’m doing you a favor, friend. Here are five ways to stay happy and true to yourself minus the self-pity and comparison.
1. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile. All the time.
Psychology claims that there is magic in your smile. A smile on your face improves your mood and reduces stress. In addition, research says that smiling induces brain activity that break up our natural tendency to be negative. If we smile often enough, we end up rewiring our brain to make more positive patterns than negative ones. Besides, that cute guy you like thinks a woman’s smile is her most attractive feature and there’s nothing like a man with great hair and an alluring smile. So, at times when you feel like you don’t look pretty or sexy enough like that girl across you and you’re tempted to compare, just look at yourself in the mirror, inhale confidence and exhale a big smile.
2. Repeat after me, “Your number one priority is yourself.”
Do you want to be in a loving relationship with someone or do you want to enjoy singledom and unrestrained freedom? Don’t let society’s expectations affect your desire to be in a relationship or your decision to be single. If you want to be single for a while to explore yourself and the world without any commitment to another, then do so, you do you. If you want to be in a partnership with someone, then do so, while remembering Grey’s Anatomy’s Cristina Yang’s wise words, “You are a gifted surgeon with an extraordinary mind. Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are.” While you my friend may not be an incredible surgeon like Meredith Grey, it’s still be applicable to you.
Remember, just because you enter a relationship doesn’t mean you need to compromise everything including the very thing that encompasses your identity and passion. Your number one priority is still yourself and you need to stay true to that. But please don’t be one of those people who’s not in a relationship and spend their entire time perusing a friend’s happy relationship pictures and exclaim, “Where do I get that? Why am I not happy with someone?” This mentality calls for a reality slap. No one found their significant other by staying at home in the couch with no social interaction involved. Every one of us had to put ourselves out there in the world. While you don’t need to be actively looking for it and some claim, it will come to you in the right time, what’s for sure is, this person will not come in your house. And remember, like everything else in life, things are a series of trial and error. You won’t meet them on your first date; it will take time.
3. Work hard and good things will come.
“I am working my ass off with these two part-time jobs and yet I still can’t afford to live on my own while my friend is living in his one-bedroom high rise apartment in downtown. I wish I had his life!” mutters the tired and overworked millennial. First things first, how are your financials? Are you saving a percentage of your income? Are you investing your money? Aside from working
your ass off in any job, you need to grow your income. Or maybe you can have a business and a side hustle. This is the secret to growing your money and there are tons of resources out there. Warren Buffet, an American business magnet has often turned to the book “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham for his investing activities.
Whereas the ideas and opportunities for side hustles and business ventures are endless. You can learn how to blog. Blogbasics101.com is a good start. Or you can head over to udemy.com, an online learning platform that can help you develop new skills and unlock your passions.
Another great one is to learn how to code, which you can do at codeacademy.com. Learning how to code will bring in new skills, open your door to a new community and experiences. Then comes the question, “Does your job income support the lifestyle you want?” You can’t possibly be a bartender and think you can afford that high rise apartment, can you? Come on, be realistic. Stop moaning and instead act. You want more for yourself and you want a more luxurious lifestyle, well, work harder for something better and not settle for something that can barely support you. If you do, then instead of using the time to compare you’d have that other’s person’s life. If you do, you can live the life you want and if you’re lucky, you’ll have extra to party with.
4. Go out and have fun until you’re unable to coherently order the next drink you want or stay in and watch Netflix until you’ve consumed the amount of ice cream pints that you are capable of.
I know, that sounds like eating and drinking till our limit. But I mean come on, who doesn’t consider that as a fun Friday night thing? My point here is, whether you are an outgoing socialite or a homebody, go and do what it is that you consider fun for you and stay away from your phone! Do not scroll through that feed and be all FOMO. Do what you want, immerse yourself in that moment completely with the people you want to be with and with your favorite food and drink of choice and believe me, you won’t even bother to glance at your phone.
5. There’s no fast track in life’s successes and dreams, so just show up, live in the moment, and make progress as much as you can.
When it comes to understanding what people want to do with their lives, we’ll usually ask what that person’s perceived purpose is. Some choose to help others and be in a service centered field, some are creative and seek out to have their art speak to others, some are good in media, design and computers and hope to create a project that can spread a message for a better world. Whatever it is that you think your purpose is, we all have this desired peak outcome. This peak
outcome can take the form of being a head nurse in your field, managing your own social enterprise, opening a coffee shop in your community, or having a product that people acknowledge. We all know that the journey to the top isn’t fast nor easy at all.
Here’s what I can tell you, if you have chosen to take on something you’re passionate about, you’re on the right road, my friend. Take your mind off instant gratification and envy of others’ success and accomplishments. Instead, benchmark your own progress every day and focus on your strengths. When you feel that the green-eyed monster is overtaking your thoughts and you’re too frustrated to continue, remind yourself of your purpose and desire to succeed and use that as motivation to go on. Remember, envy and comparison can only deter you from your goal and lead to counterproductive thoughts.
Now my friend, we have reached the end and I have one last tidbit to share with you. Society is a weird little thing, it values independence yet it promotes that we blindly follow like sheep. I advise you to fight it, go against it and instead be you. The only way to be happy is knowing exactly what you want, going for it, and not looking at the next person and thinking why can’t I be like you?