On most social media platforms, presented to us on a never-ending reel is what I like to call the ‘life highlights’. This consists of the perfect moments of people’s lives; the house, the perfect kids, the perfect marriage, the perfect list of accomplishments and the perfect bodies. Everything seems to be in place like a well-coiffed gel infused retro hairstyle.
Stay on these platforms long enough and soon enough the spirit of comparison begins to take hold. You begin to compare your life with what you see and wonder what you are doing wrong and why your life is not all glossy and picture perfect like the ones portrayed.
Comparing ourselves with others allows our behaviour to be driven by their perception. This usually leads to a miserable life; doing what we don’t want to do simply because we want to appear to be at par with other people. The quickest way to suck the joy out of life is through comparison. Comparison is an unrealistic way to live. Why? Because we are all different. The thing(s) that makes another individual seem unique might be pertinent to them only, but this does not mean you are not unique. You will also have something that is peculiar to yourself, making you unique to the other person.
Also, the variables we all have to work with on a day to day basis is different, this in itself makes the notion of comparison void from the onset. For example, individual ‘A’ might come from a tight close family who provide constructive love and support, allowing this individual the ability and comfort ability for instance to focus building up a certain area of their lives.
For example, individual ‘B’ might not come from a structured family and had to take the long road round to their destination, along the way, their journey will not look like that of individual ‘A’, but if individual ‘B’ is set on comparing himself to individual ‘A’s journey, then this will most definitely lead to misery and discouragement. The variables of our lives are too many and fluid to use as a basis for comparison.
So, how do you stop comparing yourself to others, especially when everywhere you look, you are presented with the same rhetoric that you are not doing enough or doing things right?
A few things you can do include:
- Acknowledge and acceptance: Your path and life journey is unique to you; accept it and be at peace with it. Yes, by all means resolve to make right whatever needs it, but that decision should come from within and not externally from comparing your life to others
- Social media awareness. Master social media, know and understand what triggers your comparison habit. Social media as a whole is a great source of information and inspiration, however if visiting some sites or following some accounts triggers the need to compare, then it is paramount that you un-follow these sits or account and take control of your thoughts
- Be grateful. Replace comparison with gratitude. Be thankful for your journey, what you have. When we focus on being grateful for what we have, we open ourselves to much more. When we are focused on thanking God for what He has given and is doing, we open ourselves to more of Him and the blessing He bestows.
Be encouraged, your life matters! We are all on a journey and the coordinates and intricacies along the way for each and every one of us is as different as our finger prints.
Comparison along the way, leads us towards the wrong destination as we tend to focus on achieving the unattainable. Gratitude in turn helps us to see and understand that our life journey is uniquely important and beautiful. It shifts our focus to being thankful for what we have, and what God is doing.
Today, why not replace comparison with gratitude. Comparison steals your joy whilst gratitude will not only ignite your joy, but help you to hold onto it.
Until next time,