Everyone was created different intentionally. Yet, many of us possess an urge to compare our bodies, careers, accomplishments, with that of our friends or family, and in many cases complete strangers. We’ve all done it.
My ‘aha’ moment around this shameful habit happened a few years ago. I was pissed about being stuck in a dead-end job, lonely and just plain sad about not having the ‘things’ I thought I should have in life – or what I perceived everyone else had. It also happened to be a beautiful, summer Friday night in LA and I was bumming it out on my couch, in my pajamas having a party-of-one Netflix marathon. So, like any person bored, sad and lonely, I hopped on social media.
Not only did my FOMO of missing out on a beautiful night in LA kick into high gear, everyone else in the realm of the 400+ Instagram people I followed were having the most perfect, fun, enviable lives that night. Or at least they appeared to. This wasn’t the first time I assumed that someone else’s life was better than mine. It happened often. And although social media is an undeniable, self-diminishing rabbit hole, comparing myself to to others revered it’s ugly head in other areas of my life, as well. At the beach – body comparison, at work – education and work experience one-ups and in relationships, no comment.
What did this get me? Absolutely nowhere. If I could save someone from the same bullshit story I’ve been telling myself about how I’m not doing XYZ like so-and-so is, I’m happy to. Here’s why you should never compare yourself to someone else.
1. What’s Meant For You Will Never Miss You
It sounds cliche, but it’s true. When I compare myself to others, I automatically beat myself up over what I don’t have, and what I think someone else has. This is insanity. The amazing things in life that I currently have or will have, will happen regardless of someone else. There is no comparison because everyone has a different journey.
2. People Only Show You What They Want You To See
This might seem like a no brainer, but the idea that people only show certain parts of their lives on social media (and even in person), is commonly overlooked. Do you really think the fashion blogger you follow on Instagram is always laying poolside with a cocktail or jet-setting to an exotic beach with her seemingly perfect, hipster hot photographer boyfriend? Probably not. But, that’s what they choose to show the world often. In reality, they have ups and downs just like the rest of us.
3. You Don’t Know The Sacrifices Someone Made to Get What They
When I see someone who has all the ‘things’ in life, I fantasize about how awesome their lives probably are. I never think about what it might have taken them to obtain that success. Everyone makes sacrifices, whether we’re aware of it or not.
4. Your Success Is Not Dependent Upon Someone Else’s
One of the biggest downfalls of comparing yourself to someone else is being left with the irrational ingrained thought that just because they have success, you won’t be successful. It’s ridiculous. Your success is not dependent upon the success I have and vice versa. There’s no finite number of people who can accomplish their dreams on this earth. There’s room for everyone to be happy, joyous and free in life.
5. Comparing Yourself to Someone Else Will Never Be Beneficial
It won’t. Plain and simple. Why? Because people were born different for a reason. We all have amazing things to contribute to society. Am I saying I’ll never look on social media and have feelings of envy or FOMO come up? No. But, the awareness I have today allows feelings of reason, clarity and self-love to flood in so deep, that I’m brought back to sanity.
And just remember, you never influence the world trying to be like it.