We’re all working hard to be happy. We get an education to get a job to make money – to live a happy and fulfilling life, right?
When I look around though, it feels like people are struggling more than they are happy. I hear more about anxiety, stress, and depression than I do about joy and gratitude. Most people exhaust themselves to be, and have, enough.
Which leads me to my topic this week: COMPARISON.
Ask yourself this question:
Would I feel more fulfilled if I stopped comparing myself to others?
Imagine a world in which comparison didn’t exist. Do you think you could feel more happy with yourself and your life as a result?
I ask myself this question and it stops me dead in my tracks. FOR SURE I would be more fulfilled. I’d feel like a perfect mother, wife, and friend. I’d feel like my business is exactly where it needs to be, and I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing right now.
The truth is, I am exactly where I need to be (‘cause I’m here) and doing exactly what I need to be doing (‘cause I’m doing it). It’s all on purpose. I feel empty or subpar when I compare my “doings” with someone else’s and then judge myself.
So the other question is:
Does it ever serve me to compare myself to others?
When I reflect on the differences between my “doings” and someone else’s it can inspire me, give me great ideas, or catalyze action. But reflecting on differences isn’t necessarily comparison, it’s just observation sans judgement about myself. If I can stay in this space while taking in the “doings” of others, then it can serve me greatly.
My best friend just created and launched the most FANTASTIC course to remove resentment from relationships. It’s exactly the stuff I’m into and want to be doing. I’ve been with her every step of the process and am exceptionally inspired to show up in the world in the way she is. Because she’s my all-time bestie, I usually don’t compare what I’m up to with her, but simply reflect on the differences so I can grow. It’s awesome.
But there are other people I don’t personally know that I watch also doing awesome things, and it can make me feel less than great. Here’s why: I’m using the differences as a reason to judge myself negatively. This behavior doesn’t serve me at all.
Comparison vs. Observation Without Self-judgement
Observation serves me, comparison doesn’t. The act of comparing usually leads to a negative feeling about myself. And if I’m feeling negative, I’m not in a creative powerful space. I’m not motivated to kick-ass – I just want to kick my own ass.
So I commit to stop taking notes of what strangers, colleagues, and parents are up to and measuring myself against them. I commit to dropping the comparisons and allowing myself to be at peace with where I’m at. When I do this I remember I am completely on purpose. And it feels incredibly fulfilling – exactly the feeling I’ve been shooting for since beginning that Education->Job->Money=Happiness journey we all seem to be on.
How about you? Do you compare yourself to others? What would happen if you dropped all comparisons? Could you feel more accomplished? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Please leave a comment and tell me how ceasing comparisons could add more happiness and fulfillment to your life. Thanks for being brave and honest today! Much love to you.
Amy Eliza Wong is a life coach, writer, and speaker in the Sacramento, CA area committed to helping people figure out what makes them tick so they can finally live with joy and real purpose. Learn more about working with her.