Live Life on Your Terms

The Marquis de Condorcet is quoted saying “Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.”  Consider how you feel if you compared your strengths and limitations with someone else.  Would you feel satisfied or disheartened?  Chances are you wouldn’t be satisfied.  So, is it that people do it so often?  Not only is this practice no useful, but it’s extremely damaging to one’s happiness and self-worth.

Although it is natural to make comparisons, be aware of when and how you size yourself to another person.  Do you overly fixate on what the other person has for talents, or can you celebrate your gifts and value?  This difference can make a different in whether you feel motivated or doubt your abilities.  You can begin to make this shift towards focusing on what you bring to society by honoring everything you DO have in life.  This includes the things you love, people you treasure, and assorted blessing you experience in life.  Commit to making this a regular practice and watch as peace flows through you.

Impacts of Social Comparisons: How it can hurt you

  • Typically, comparisons are unfairly weighted. This causes you to feel bad when you fixate on another person is stronger than you in a particular area, see yourself as deficient.
  • Even comparing shared strengths, people focus on areas where one is better (typically, another person) and one is weaker (typically, you). Where you fall on the ladder of accomplishments or tangible items is unrelated to what you give back to society.
  • When you compare well with others, you could only receive a quick ego boost. This quick high will lead to an equally quick downturn.
  • You may resent others for their success without knowing their actual situation. This is evident when you make a snap decision on a person only to realize later you had the wrong impression.
  • You may end up gloating about your accomplishments and no one likes a bragger.
  • You may criticize a person in public to unfair “knock them down to earth.”

How to Stop Unfair Comparisons:  Helpful tip to break the cycle

  • Be Aware: Typically, social comparisons happen without our realization. Combat this by becoming mindful to lookout for signals.  Address these thoughts as they arise and consider what these feelings are trying to tell you.
  • Pause: When you find yourself comparing, step back. Take a nonjudgmental view and gently work to shift your focus on something more productive.
  • Be grateful: Look at what you do have rather than what you lack. Count your blessing and consider yourself lucky to have all the wonderful riches you have in your life.
  • Honor your talents: Stop thinking about your weakness and realize what aspects you are strong in. Celebrate and be proud of these talents.  Consider how to hone them to improve your life and that of society.
  • Accept your quirks: No on is perfect! We might know this logically, but how do you feel about this emotionally?  It’s important to constantly work to improve and grow, but try to ease on the list of expectations.
  • Be supportive: Don’t knock someone down in order to feel better about yourself.  This attitude is destructive all around and blocks you from creating alliances or opportunities.  When you support people around you it spreads love and can open up avenues for you.
  • Celebrate the journey: Life is not a destination. We all are on a life path to discover, grow, learn and create.  Each person’s journey is unique and unrelated to another’s trail.  Our journey is about us shaping life to be as beautiful, joyful and beneficial as possible.
  • Be ok with ‘enough:’ If you always covert what someone else has, and you lack, then you will always be chasing your tail. This is a vicious cycle that will only cause you pain.  It doesn’t matter what brand of clothes you crave, the size of your dream house, or even the type of car you drive.  If you can’t be satisfied with enough then you will always be jealous of what someone else has.  Realize the value in what you currently have or is realistic for you to obtain.  When we are objective, often we see our enough is pretty wonderful.  When you embrace this notion, then you will find peace.

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