Naturalita Love Notes: Comparison
Comparison steals your joy.
In our personal lives, nothing positive has ever come from comparison.
Social media magnifies comparison. It shows everyone else’s highlight reels (life’s highlights), their positive moments, joy, beautiful lives and extravagant activities. It shows the happiness in marriage, new houses, new cars, new babies, fun friendships, growing businesses, new jobs and fun vacations. People appear to be well loved, liked, popular and successful.
When we see all of these positive things happening in other’s lives, we should be happy for them and filled with joy that our friends and acquaintances are living great, happiness filled lives. However, what tends to come up when comparison takes over is how we’re not enough, it creates (negative) awareness of what we don’t have and where we’re lacking.
Comparison steals our joy. It’s sad, really. When we should be exuding happiness for others, we’re beating ourselves up for what we don’t have and comparing ourselves to someone else’s life that we truly don’t know or understand and probably don’t really want.
Last week, I was sick with a terrible stomach bug and a fever. I’m hardly ever sick; I couldn’t walk from the bed to the couch without getting lightheaded. I wasn’t able to keep food down, I could barely lift my head to drink water. I definitely couldn’t get outside to get fresh air, wasn’t able to sleep and could not workout. It sucked. (Compare yourself to my behind the scene’s MESS, if you are going to compare.)
Thankfully, the Olympics were on, so I turned on the TV and watched it on mute. As I got a little better (after day 2 of being sick), I started scrolling on social media (while on the couch) and caught myself comparing myself to others who were able to: get up and go outside, eat normal food, workout and eat healthy.
I saw people on vacation, celebrating wedding anniversaries, welcoming new babies into the world, getting focused on their business, going to work, meeting friends for coffee, and traveling to new countries. Seeing all that, I was even more bummed. Thanks, comparison.
It’s ridiculous that even when I was stuck in bed, I was bringing myself lower by comparing myself to others. I was sick. They weren’t sick. I was on the couch because I was sick, not because I was lazy.
Getting even more down on myself while being sick wasn’t going to help me get any better. I was letting comparison steal my ability to get better, I was letting it bring me down further. When I realized what I was doing, I knew I had to get off social media (even though that is about all I could do) and shift my flipping mindset.
So then, self-banned from social media, I decided to go back to watching the Olympics. I noticed how fit the athletes were, how much they’ve achieved in their young lives, their ability to travel to Rio, how supportive their friends and family were and how neat it is for them to be able to use their talents and gifts to inspire others. Right there, I stopped. I knew right then and there that the little *crazy monkey* in my head was starting to play the comparison game, or was it?
We are all on different journeys, different paths, and different lives. We are different people.
I’m pretty sure I know that I’m NOT an Olympic Athlete. I also don’t want to be an Olympic Athlete. I admire their skills, talents, training, hard work and fit bodies (I’m not going to lie, it was kind of nice to be able to watch the men’s swimming events = fit men with 6 pack abs in speedos).
All of what they’ve done in their lives has taken a lot of hard work and dedication. The Olympics don’t show every time they’ve fallen down, struggled, their daily personal lives, how many years they’ve been training, all of the little life events they’ve missed due to training or competitions.
It shows them winning gold, silver or bronze. It shows their 1-2 minute highlight reel (sometimes 10-15-second highlight reel). Some of these athletes have been training their whole lives for these 1-2 minutes of fame. We don’t see the last 10-20 years of their training that brought them to this moment, we see their highlights, we see their wins, and we see their happiness. Don’t we LOVE seeing them win?
Take this example and apply it to your own life.
Learn to LOVE seeing other people win. Think about what YOU love about seeing other people win. Take some of that into your life. If you love seeing other people *win*, how would you like to *win* in your life?
My personal takeaway from this is to continue to work hard, follow my dreams, create goals and take action. I want to inspire others to make a positive difference in their lives. I know I can’t do this sitting on the couch comparing myself to others. However, what I can do is learn what I LOVE about the Olympic Athletes.
The Olympic Athletes are inspiring others to follow their dreams, create goals, get support (from coaches, friends, and family), take action, work hard, believe in themselves, keep taking forward steps daily and to never quit. It’s a lot of mental effort and dedication, but if you want something bad enough, it will take work. No one will hand you that gold medal for sitting on the couch, giving up on your dreams or comparing yourself to others.
Comparison steals my joy. Comparison steals your joy.
So, when looking at social media at your friends, family, acquaintances, celebrities, athletes, and anyone that is NOT YOU, remember just that, THEY ARE NOT YOU.
Other people were put on this earth for another purpose. You don’t know their purpose and you can’t understand their life or compare your life to theirs. It’s given to them by a power higher than you.
You were put on this earth for your purpose. The more you focus on other people, the more it misaligns you from you following and understanding your purpose. Connect with yourself and your purpose. You might not yet know your purpose, but the more you tune into YOU and YOUR LIFE, it will become more and more apparent.
It doesn’t matter how many likes or comments you get on a picture or post. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on social media. If things are going positive in one of your friend’s lives, be happy for them, send them loving thoughts and/or a nice message and release it. Don’t think negatively on them or worse yet, think negatively about yourself and your life.
I LOVE seeing friends getting married, having babies, moving to new places, buying or building their dream home, traveling, getting together with girlfriends, achieving success in their business. I LOVE seeing these things because it shows me that it’s all possible and reaffirms that I DESIRE more of this in my life, too.
One thing I need to do is to STOP letting their successes bring ME down. I AM happy for them (I got that part covered) but what I’m even more aware of now is that I need to stop letting other’s highlight reels bring me down and making me feel like less of a person.
Happiness is a choice I make. It’s an internal feeling. Comparison can steal that happiness, if I let it. Other people’s successes have nothing to do with my success. Other people’s joy has nothing to do with my joy.
Comparison steals your joy.
You can either let it steal your joy and bring you down, or let it FUEL your life and help you distinguish what you want more of in your life.
I CHOOSE to let it FUEL my life and help me distinguish what I desire more of in my life.
Activity: If you feel that icky comparison feeling coming up in real life or in social media, here are some things you can do:
1. STOP and take a breath.
2. Get off social media (if you’re wasting time on it).
3. Write down what feelings come up.
4. Make a list of what YOU desire more of in your life. (It can usually show up in comparison.)
5. Switch focus to your DESIRES, not what other people have.
6. Remind yourself that “everything happens right on time.”
Comparison STOPS here.
Do you have any areas in your life where comparison steals your joy? Please share.
In the comments below, please share how you can kick out comparison and allow more joy in your life. There’s truly only room for one or the other.
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