Hello anyone who happens to be reading this!
I would like to talk (write) about comparison. Which, according to Google Images, is the THIEF OF JOY. While not everything on the internet is true, Mister Google here does have some validity. Because when comparing yourself to others, the brain gets a bit silly, and tends to focus on what it or its body doesn‘t have, on what is less than or insuperior to the other person, instead of any equalities or advantages. This is especially the case for people who are suffering from a mental illness and/or have low self esteem. And not to be a typical killjoy, but social media does feed into this: It’s so hard to be proud of getting good marks and being able to draw well when you see how someone else has graduated, gotten into a brilliant job that pays 7 figures, and is engaged to their extremely good looking, wealthy and charming partner who also happens to do brain surgery on puppies in their spare time. And that 462 people like a photo of their artisan breakfast.
It’s so difficult to accept yourself when advertising and social media point out potential, personal flaws that can ‘easily’ be fixed. Your teeth aren’t as white as his, therefore his smile is better than yours. You have hair stubble on your legs and a tan line and some bruises that for some reason never seem to go away, but she has the perfect legs and is therefore popular and happy. He has a perfect relationship and a billion friends and always goes out and seems to have fun, while you prefer to stay at home with your cat/s, therefore he is more interesting than you.
For some lucky people, this doesn’t bother them. They have the ability to realise their own values and merits, and not let those of others diminish theirs. They are OK in their own skin. They aren’t anxious if people around them seem to be reaching common life goals (such as marriage or owning a house) sooner. They can be proud of their achievements, even if there are others around them achieving ‘more.’
But to many of us, there will always be someone else who is prettier, smarter, funnier, kinder, more popular, stronger, more successful. Focussing on these other people will just make us feel miserable, unsatisfied and much harder to be proud of or satisfied with our own personal merits and achievements. The more we compare ourselves against others, the more we establish a sense that we are not good enough. So how can we stop?
1.) Be vulnerable with others. If you are worrying about something you don’t have that you feel everybody else does, tell someone about it. You’d be surprised at how many people are in the same boat. No one has it all together, no one’s life is perfect. You may envy somebody about something they have, but they too are envying you about something that you have – but weren’t aware of, because you were too busy focussing on what you didn’t have.
2.) Remind yourself that it’s OK: It’s OK to take longer to recover than others, it’s OK to not be top of the class, it’s OK to not get it right all the time, it’s OK to not know what you want to do with your life, it’s OK if you haven’t seen the world and ‘found yourself,’ it’s OK if your body is scarred or blemished, it’s OK if you aren’t super popular, it’s OK to not be OK. You can’t be a failure at life if you are still living it. In the end, the people who love you care about and adore you as you are, not a you who you may want to be. (That’s five ‘you’s in one sentence!)
3.) Remember that everybody is different and you are you. You’re human. You’re both flawed and uniquely gifted. You are made up of around seven billion billion billion atoms and you offer the world something that nobody else does. You are enough, and it’s much easier to accept this if you don’t stack your atoms up against someone else’s. They’re precious. They’re yours.
(Maybe) see you next Thursday! Take care. :o) Please share if you think this would benefit somebody.
PS Apologies for taking soooooooooooooo long to write, life got extreeeeeeeeemely busy and to top it off, depression decided to visit, which tends to make doing anything at all productive or useful… near impossible. Hopefully I will be able to start writing here more regularly again, at least twice a month if not back to the usual once a week.