Comparison is a Nasty Bugger

I’ve been there, scrolling through newsfeeds, talking to friends, seeing successful people all over the place. 

The feeling starts to creep in that I’m not good enough, that I’m not motivated enough, that I need to do better. 

It seems like we focus on the people that are doing better than us much more so than ourselves or even the people that are worse off. 

We think, If I could just do what that guy is doing I’d have enough money to buy a house, to live comfortably for the rest of my days and my worries would be over. 

There are several things wrong with that sentiment, first and foremost, our worries will never be over. 

In fact it might be worth noting that once you get to a certain place your worries increase as you try to maintain the things and the jobs you have. 

If you buy a house, you have to worry about maintenance, if you get married or have a child you have to worry about doing the best you can for your new family. 

If you get that new job you have to worry about doing it right and keeping up with your demands. 

I’ve lived with schizophrenia for 13 years now and demands are the last thing I want to have to worry about. 

The second thing that’s wrong with the above sentiment is that everyone is different, everyone has different skill sets and different desires and ambitions and comparing yourself to other people is just a recipe for disaster. 

No matter how much you try to be like other people you’ll still have the feeling that you’re not there. 

There will always be someone better looking, or richer or more successful than you and working your butt off to get to a place where you think happiness lies causes all sorts of undue stress. 

How do we stop comparing ourselves to others then? 

I think the first thing we can do is to take a step back and take stock of our lives.

Chances are you’ve had your fair share of successes and you are probably at a point in your life or career that others are admirable of. 

This can be so so easy to forget and our successes aren’t something we should take for granted. 

We have to come to a point in our lives where we are happy with our present circumstances and I don’t know if that comes with age or security or something else entirely, but I do know that comparing yourself to somebody else is only going to make you feel like you’re not good enough. 

We have to be able to find it within ourselves to be happy for our friends and family who are doing good things, and we have to realize that it doesn’t make us any less ourselves if we haven’t gotten to our satisfying point yet. 

The biggest thing to remember is that there’s still time to get there, and if we never make it, we have to get to a point where we are content with what we have. 

The best way to do that is through acceptance and having gratitude. 

I know how hard it can get to compare yourself to others but taking a step back and realizing that we have it pretty darn good is something I think we all need to do from time to time.


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