Did you ever catch yourself analyzing your life when thinking of someone else? “He has it all together. She is more successful. Their house is beautiful. Those kids are so well behaved.”
Well, the answer is “yes you have” and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t compare yourself to others every now and again.
Ah! There’s the rub; if it is human nature to compare ourselves to others, what’s the big deal? Well, you can literally drive yourself crazy because there will always be someone more or better if we look hard enough.
While I talk a good game, I admit that I have been a victim of compare and despair. A few years ago I had recently changed careers which was a huge risk and cost me a lot. It was, though, a very bold move in which others admired but it meant several steps backwards financially. I found myself wanting direction, so I agreed to attend a charity event featuring a psychic/medium.
As I waited for the event to begin, I heard the attendees talk about their successes, shore houses, cars and amazing trips. I sat in the corner ready to cry. I literally zoned out and silently proceeded to beat myself up. I worked so hard, why didn’t I have the same success and the same amazing life?
The medium proceeded to walk the room connecting people with their departed loved ones. As I sat in the corner completely detached, she walked over and started reading the woman next to me.
As I was half listening, she started talking to me.
“Your grandmother is one feisty lady. She pushed through everyone else because she wants you to know something.” I was a bit in shock but completely intrigued.
“She wants you to stop comparing yourself to other people. You are on your own special path and they are on theirs. One has nothing to do with the other. When you stop comparing and live your truth, you will find happiness.”
Well, nothing like being called out by your dead grandmother in a room full of strangers. After I wiped the tears from my eyes, I thanked her and vowed to change. From that point on, I have unapologetically been living my life and solely treading on my own path.
In today’s world of instant success stories, social media and plastic surgery galore, it can be a daunting task to avoid comparing ourselves. I am here to tell you that it is irrelevant. As cliché as it sounds, who we are on the inside really does matter most.
If you won’t take my grandmother’s word from the great beyond, perhaps a fashion icon and world renowned writer will inspire you:
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” ― Coco Chanel
“Comparison is the death of joy.” ― Mark Twain
Be yourself. Walk your Path. Live your truth.
Originally published at medium.com