Do You Really Want to Be Like Them?
Comparing yourself with others is one of the highest forms of self-destruction and people who love themselves don't destroy themselves. ~ Sarvesh Jain
It's unclear where this idea came from about ‘having it all’. Because what does that actually mean? What does ‘it all’ encompass and who says we all want the same thing? There are as many different dreams out there as there are people working to make them come true. When we’re living from intention and motivated by our own purpose, life tends to run more smoothly for us. When we do hit bumps in the road, we’re able to deal with those frustrations because we know what the ultimate goals are and can adjust our actions and expectations appropriately to keep ourselves moving in the right direction. It’s when we begin to bow to the pressures from those around us that things get more difficult to manage.
Unpacking the expectations of ourselves and others and figuring out where they came from can, and in my opinion, should be a continuously evolving process. What we learn, as life takes us through the twists and turns of becoming our adult selves, is that we’ve got a multitude of conditional behaviors and responses resulting from the core beliefs we acquired growing up. Until we take the time to examine our core beliefs and understand where they come from and how they may have served us in the past, we’ll never be in a position to fully inhabit ourselves and find authenticity in our daily lives.
For many of us, the family that raised us or the surrounding community where we grew up placed some expectations upon us. These could be unspoken pressures based upon our own observances or they could be actual reminders we hear from well-meaning, if slightly misguided, relatives or friends that sound something like this, “When are you gonna settle down and get married?”, “Why are you so picky?”, “How long do I need to wait for a grandchild?”, and so on. Or you might hear passive aggressive comparisons like “Did you hear that so and so just had another baby?” or “Guess who just bought a new house/published a book/started a business?” and the list goes on and on. You might even scroll through your social media accounts and subject yourself to those comparisons.
It can be tough to see or hear that seemingly everyone else is doing amazing things and begin to beat yourself up for not having lots to brag about, too. Even if you don’t really want all the things you’re seeing that others are doing, it’s easy to start feeling like you don’t measure up to this unstated ideal about who we should be and what we should’ve accomplished by a certain age.
The solution? Well, identifying what YOU really want for your life is a great place to start. Taking the time to honestly evaluate our strengths, to understand what brings us joy and then determining how to rank our priorities can be very illuminating. Because the truth is that oftentimes, though we see or hear about someone accomplishing something that's impressive, it’s really not something we want or need in our life.
Shifting your perspective can reframe the situation to help you remember that not getting (what you don’t actually want) is a blessing. Instead, we can let the accolades and victories that others have be a confirmation that dreams can come true and your goals can be achieved. Learning what we value helps us transition from being envious about someone else’s success to finding genuine happiness for them while being inspired to continue pursuing things that will ultimately bring us the fulfillment we seek. When we let what’s happening for others be the slightly out of focus scenery around us while we zero in on where want to be heading, it allows us to let go of comparison and enjoy our own journey.
#LoveYourself FIRST and Everything Else Will Fall Into Place
High 5 Test by Clifton Strengths Assessment
My Personality Quiz (online)
9 Tips for Understanding and Living Your Priorities. Psych Central