We tend to compare ourselves to others. But why is it that we only start to compare ourselves when we are unhappy? When you are going through a breakup you compare yourself to the friend in a happy relationship. When your career isn’t going your way you compare yourself to the people you believe to be so successful.
They have it all, why can’t I?
It’s an impossible question to escape and the reality of it is that we, naturally, will always do this. We will compare ourselves to siblings, friends, roommates, co-workers, even strangers. When life isn’t going our way we love to beat ourselves up even more and remind ourselves how much our lives suck and everyone else’s lives rock.
WELL THAT ISN’T GETTING US ANYWHERE. When life is kicking you to the ground, kick life back. Remind yourself that it’s a bad day, or a bad week, or a bad month, it is not a bad life. Just because everyone else appears happy does not mean they are. So how about you take the sad look off your face and make everyone else think you are happy. Your life is defined by mistakes, tragedy, sadness, as well as happiness and success. The truth of it is that you need to go through trials and trying times in order to reach happiness and joy. We need to learn from our mistakes and our failures, not let them define who we are.
Comparing yourself to your friend who has been happily in love since she was 16 isn’t going to get you anywhere when you and your boyfriend break up. It won’t make him come back, it won’t help you move on, it won’t make you forget him. Comparing yourself to your sister who is climbing up the ladder in her career won’t get you promoted. Look to these people for inspiration. Look to these people to motivate you, to make a better you. Don’t look at them and beat yourself up. Life puts us down enough and we need to be our own heroes. Happiness is picking yourself up and putting the pieces back together. Don’t compare yourself to those around you. If you want something bad enough work for it. Put a smile on your face even if your heart is sad and remember that someday things will fall into place.
Hard times do not last. If you have the strength to push yourself through them, they will only better you as a person. The only person you need to compare yourself to is the person you once where. Compare your 20 year-old-self to your 16 year-old-self. Compare your 45 year-old-self to your 21 year-old-self. Compare your current heartbreak to your very first heartbreak. Look at how much you have grown, how much you have learned, and how much you have gotten through in the past.
Life will test you in several ways. The key is to not let live convince you that you have failed. In order to do that, we need to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. If you are doing something simply because it makes you look good compared to others, then you probably aren’t very good at it. Do what you’re passionate about, do what you love, be with the people who make you happy, be with the people who inspire you, and you’ll find that comparing yourself to other people, is just a waste of precious energy.