Why are we so concerned about what “other people are doing?” Why have we become so focused on comparing ourselves to others that we even don’t appreciate our journey or our story?
My journey has not mirrored many of my contemporaries. There have been times I’ve been proud of that, and others times I’ve honestly felt embarrassed by it. The embarrassment would show up when I’d be asked about marriage or kids. I felt like all of my life experiences would suddenly get belittled or dismissed because I wasn’t doing what I “should” be doing. And…time was ticking!
Luckily for me, I was mostly hounded by (former) co-workers who tended to be old school in their thinking, and not friends and family members. But that was enough for me. It was enough to make me feel like something was wrong with me. Even though I truly didn’t want what was being “expected” of me at the time, I still felt like something was wrong with me.
If you relate to this at all, I’m so sorry. Comparison can make you feel really lonely. Now that social media is a part of our daily lives, we often are comparing ourselves to inaccurate information. How people portray themselves on social media is not the whole picture. So you can spend time and energy wishing you had someone else’s life, but in reality they don’t even have the life you envy.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steve Furtick
So here’s the good news. If you don’t buy into the notion that you have to follow a prescribed path, your journey becomes your own. You will allow yourself to believe there is not one “right” way to live your life. And when you allow yourself to actually believe that, you will feel such freedom. All that time spent comparing yourself to someone else’s life is time lost on living yours!
I look at my journey now and see it quite differently. There was a time when my experiences seemed so mismatched, so random. But in actuality, they really are all connected. They make a gorgeous quilt of life lessons and experiences. My quilt doesn’t resemble anyone else’s. And neither does yours!
This week I encourage you to pay attention to moments where you can feel yourself comparing yourself to others. Notice it, and then move forward towards the life you want!
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Mark Twain
Take care of YOU.