Have you ever felt that aching pain in your stomach? The one that makes you feel like you’re not good enough…
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
We’re a curious species, us Humans. We have all the wonders of the world within us, yet they never seem to be enough… That’s probably our greatest weakness, feeling like IT is not enough, like WE are not enough…
COMPARISON – Is the one thing that kills us inside and sometimes just does – full stop. We’re all brought up in this culture. Brené Brown says this starts at school. At some point during that phase, we start comparing our work to other students and feel like what we’ve produced is less than what they have. THE SHAME FACTOR sets in and kicks our ass! Our educational system is based on the shame factor : grades, rankings… So we’re caught up in this from a really young age whether we are aware of it or not.
When we are focused on doing our thing, we feel happy and sometimes great about it. Then, we start to look at what others are doing and we’re like: Oh that’s nice, that’s better than what I’m doing… Thoughts like: “I should be doing more”, “I should be at a different stage in my life” start taking control of our minds and we just kill our souls. We literally kill our own happiness and diminish ourselves. Isn’t that insane? We undermine ourselves with the evil tool of comparison.
It takes place in every aspect of our lives : relationships, physical appearance, success, love, etc. We can compare ourselves to others in a million different ways. This person has a bigger house, a better job… They are smarter, more disciplined, more this, more that. They are creative, I’m not…. They’ve accomplished so much and I so little… We also use comparison the other way around to make ourselves feel better about where we stand in our lives. I have enough food, money. I have more than others… This side of comparison comforts us and makes us feel OK with our lives.
We all have at some point or another, willingly or unwillingly compared our lives to others, diminishing where we are, what we’re doing and how we are living or just feeling like we’re not enough. Countless times, we’ve experienced this and have felt shame and unworthiness about our own experience.
It’s not easy to step away from comparison. We live in a very competitive and comparison friendly world. Everything around us keeps comparison alive. The society we’re a part of nourishes it through publicity, social networks and television. Everywhere we look, there is room for comparison! We’re surrounded by it. It brings about jealousy, greed and unworthiness. It feeds off of our insecurities.
Our family is where comparison thrives. Those who have siblings will understand. Unconsciously we compare ourselves to our brothers and sisters, to their lifestyles, their choices, their success. We often let them determine the worthiness of our own adventure and path. Our parents also contribute to this. They compare our personalities, our actions and label us in a certain way. We get stuck in this ‘role’ that was handed down to us.
Comparison can cripple us more than we imagine. It can hold us back more than we think. Allowing comparison into our lives is like injecting a slow but lethal poison into our veins. Every time we’ll feel like we’re in a good place, like we’re happy and things are fine, the little voice of comparison will come knocking on our door, letting loose: doubt, lack of self-confidence, unworthiness, fear and the feeling that we can’t do what we want.
It’s crazy to think how much we compare ourselves to others when each of us is unique in our own way. We are not our siblings, our parents, our friends, the famous actor, the politician, the homeless person. We are ourselves – imperfectly perfect or perfectly imperfect Humans doing our best to enjoy this thing called life.
Living without comparison is not easy but I firmly believe it does make us happier and more grateful for who we are and the life we have. It allows us to be truly happy for other people, for their journey because we don’t put ourselves in the equation by comparing their life to ours. It allows for compassion and genuine love. The grass always looks greener on the other side right? But is it really? What if we were standing on the other side? Would the grass be lush, green and better? Or would it just be different – nor better nor worse?
Each person is an entire Universe! Comparing ourselves to others is not worthy of our own immensity. We all have something to offer however small or big we feel it is. The is no big or small, there just IS. We just ARE! One day we won’t be here anymore, we will all disappear at some point… Do we really want to spend our time comparing our uniqueness to someone else’s uniqueness, admiring their uniqueness but not acknowledging the worthiness of our own? How can we try to compare stories, personalities, Humans? No two people are the same, even twins! Isn’t it insane that instead of being taught to enjoy our differences and thrive, we are educated to be within the norm, trying to be the same as someone else (looks, attitudes…) and ultimately feeding feelings of envy, jealousy, greed, unworthiness and comparison..
Shouldn’t we want to embrace who we are, accept who we are not and enjoy our lives to the best of our abilities? Le’ts not get caught up in the comparison game, as far as I know there have never been any winners! Comparison don’t make us happy!
Millions of people around the world have killed their souls comparing their uniqueness to someone else’s. Thousand have literally killed themselves because their uniqueness was misunderstood and mocked… Comparison is a plague. We are all responsible for keeping it alive for it lives nowhere else but in our own minds.
I’m trying to live without comparison. Want to join me?
“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”
“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.”