Can you let comparison push you?Jul 26, 2023
Lately, the comparison gremlins have been popping up in interesting - and annoying - ways. Sometimes they tell me I'm not succeeding at work; other times, I should be doing more with my dogs. Just yesterday, Facebook suggested a friend because of mutual connections, and I thought, "What would that person think about my life?"
Mind you, this is someone I haven't seen in 20 years, and the short answer is they would not recognize my life since they knew me in the corporate world. Nevertheless, I spun down a rabbit hole of comparing our digital lives for a good part of the evening.
On the one hand, some comparison CAN be good as it highlights what we really want. Jealousy can do this too. When we see something that someone has that we want, we can decide how much we are willing to work to have that too. So in my light-stalking, I had the presence of mind to ask myself what of what I was seeing did I want for myself? In the final assessment, I didn't want that many things for myself; I like my completely different life.
I also wondered to the universe, why was I being shown this person? Why were they presented to me as I was mindlessly scrolling on FB? I believe moments like this are signs, and I wondered what this one was telling me. It's possible this glimpse into the past just showed me how far I've come or a reminder that I went against the grain to create a life I love. Comparisons can be helpful in this way, too.
It's when we make a comparison and then allow ourselves to feel less-than that things go sideways fast. I loved celebrating with so many who got invited to Florida this past week, yet I know that for every invitation, there is someone who just missed the cut. Heartbreaking disappointment for sure, but we choose how we see this. Does disappointment make you want to give up or fight harder? (BTW, both is also an answer! Be disappointed, then vow to fight!)
The thing about comparison is that you're not them. Your dog is not that dog. Your journey is unique - and in many ways better than the one you are comparing yourself to. Plus, you are likely comparing your reality to a filtered version of their lives - dangerous.
Comparison tells me a LOT about my mental state, and I am getting much faster at looking at it with curiosity instead of bitterness. I am dusting myself off and choosing to push harder today to create the life I want, which will be my own and no one else's. How will comparison motivate you today?
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