When You Compare Yourself to Others
It's a real mood-killer, but we all do it.
When we look around at others and witness their ability to accomplish our goals with more ease or with less heartache, it makes us wonder what we are doing wrong. Our egos take a mean stomp on our forgiving hearts as if they weren't good enough. Pesky insecurities tell us we should be able to do what everyone else can, and with the same lack of difficulty at that.
The truth is, your journey is not about what each stepping stone looks like, but how far you've come to get where you are.
Here's what I mean...
Throughout your life, you gain and stack each of your experiences like building blocks. When you compare yourself to other people, you are forgetting that they have built up an entirely different set of experiences. Maybe your blocks are stronger than theirs, as you took the time and effort needed to make sure you were on the right path. Where others will crumble in later tragedies, you will be stable, because you've learned at your true pace and not for the assumed desires of others, which we only guess at. When we should be looking ahead at the shining light of our own path, we instead look around and compare our orange to their apples.
But why compare your journey to others when you have no idea what pieces add up to their completed puzzle? Why try to squeeze into someone else's picture, not knowing how it will look or what it stands for in the end? What picture are YOU going for?
Take a moment to stop, reward yourself with a deep breath, and turn your attention inward.
Feel where you are right now. Be uplifted by the sweat and tears you've sacrificed and the bravery you've called on for this moment, to be here, so far from where you began.
That is what your journey is about.
If you fall it means you have the unforgettable opportunity to push even harder to get where you want to be. You'll become even stronger for accomplishing more than you ever thought you could. If every step proves to be more difficult, you'll only have that much more strength during future heartaches.
Look at the struggles you've faced and know that not only did you survive, but you lifted yourself up. YOU did that. We forget so often that we are the ones who've picked ourselves up out of the muck, the dirty holes that house our insecurities, fears, and expectations of the imaginary place we think we should be. You don't know the vast struggles others go through, just as they don't know all of yours. When you compare yourself to someone with different experiences, you forget they have not accompanied your every step. You are the only being that has always stayed to see yourself through.
Comparing to others will never give you the fullness of embracing the life you were meant to live. Rather than merely skating by during rough times, you can seize moments of despair and turn your pain into something meaningful. Don't let your ego steal so much of your time from you! Enjoy each cliff's edge you hook your toes in. Embrace each grain of dirt in your fingernails as you claw your way to the peak you once considered unreachable.
Others may seem higher up, but maybe their starting place was far from yours. You are more courageous for pushing further than them. You are stronger for experiencing more during your climb. See how far you've come and know you can go just as far again, and further. (Did you ever think you would choose to completely flip your world upside down, experience your strength as you hold your own, move, twist, manipulate your legs, your hips, your muscles...and finally land that pose?) You didn't always know you could get here, but your willingness continues to redesign what you are capable of.
Breathe in the life you've hungered for (remember how hard you've worked for this). Breathe out the feelings that no longer serve you and know you have done so well.
Be the unique soul that brings brand new curiosities to the world. If you are different, then your gifts are rare, and we need you to be your full self. Your uplifting energy may save the lives of those who don't know how to ask for help.
Do not cower in your own beauty when the light from your soul may be just what the world needs to grow.
This journey is your own. Don't let it escape you without having felt the pride of a new and beautiful you.