The comparison game (part 2)

You will never have everything you want or think you need.  

I’m going to identify some of the main types of comparison and give you reasons why this thinking is incorrect.  

  • Career

    • Aspiring to have someone’s tenacity, passion, or drive is great.  What’s not great is letting that aspiration turn into jealousy. If you see someone’s successes and become jealous that you don’t have that, you need to have some real talk with yourself about all the work it took for them to become so successful.  Are you willing to put in that work? Maybe it’s years of schooling, apprenticeship or interning. If so, great! Instead of being jealous, start to look into enrolling in a program or contacting a company to intern for. But be realistic, do you just admire the recognition they get or the awards they receive but have no desire to work towards that goal?   If that is the case, all you have is wishful thinking with no drive to achieve those goals. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it’s usually many many years in the making.
    • Ask yourself what you really want out of your career.  It’s helpful to come up with 5-10 characteristics of a career that you most want.  If having flexibility to spend time with your family is super important to you, then being jealous of the person that jet sets around the globe probably isn’t the most realistic option for you even if it sounds amazing.  Think of all the long nights alone in a hotel room and you’ll see it’s not all glamorous. Or, maybe you would prefer to set your own hours. If that is the case then do you really want the job of a surgeon that may be on call at random hours? I encourage you to have a heart to heart with yourself about what you actually want in life.  Then, set goals to achieve a career that fits those criteria.
  • Looks

    Why do we even do this to ourselves?  

    • The number of eating disorders that happen because of body dysmorphia is astounding, especially in women but in men too.  We are all beautiful in our own way. We don’t have to be 5’9”, with long blonde hair and weigh 120 lbs.

      Real beauty comes from within, it comes from confidence, and it comes from being a good person.  

    • Why comparison of looks is a bad idea: I guarantee those thighs that you have that you think are too ‘thick’ or your curly hair  is someone else’s version of perfect. I can also tell you that when I was at my thinnest, I still thought I was fat. Looking back, I was super skinny (and also, I can’t even tell you how many people told me to ‘eat a cheeseburger’).  If we can take a look at ourselves from the outside or someone else’s point of view, we can start to realize that we are always too hard on ourselves and that we have unrealistic expectations.
  • Relationships

    • Maybe you’re dying to get married,  have a romantic relationship, or have a baby.  You see everyone who has these things and you are jealous of them.  Then you start hating on yourself because you feel that you aren’t “good enough, pretty enough, tall enough, smart enough” to have what they have. You focus so much on what you don’t have and forget to be thankful for what you do have!  I challenge you to write a list of at least 10 things about yourself that you (and others) think are awesome qualities.  Do this every day for a month. Notice how happier you are when you recognize what your blessings are.
    • Secondly, let’s go back to what I mentioned in the previous post.  We all have different timelines in our lives.  If you believe that everything happens for a reason, you will realize that you cannot compare yourself to anyone else.   If you focus on making yourself a better person, I guarantee good things will come to you. Have you ever heard that saying “you don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you need”?  I think that is especially fitting in this scenario.
    • Ask yourself why you want this so badly.  If you are the type of person that thinks “if only i have a baby, my life will be so much happier”.  I have bad news for you. That’s not how life works. You, and only you should be able to make yourself happier.  If you are waiting for someone or something else to make you happy, it will not happen.  You may also have to come to terms with not getting what you want.  What if you knew you would never get married or have a baby? You have to acknowledge that and make a life for yourself that you enjoy living right now, in this moment.  I suggest actually doing things that are proven to make someone happier.   For example, go volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. When you give of your time to help someone else, you will feel real joy.  

I hope these suggestions help you to become more aware and cognizant of your own needs.  

Just remember that someone else’s achievements, beauty, or success does not invalidate your own.