I don’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t compared myself, and my situation, to someone else’s. The truth is, no one’s circumstances are the same, and comparing yourself to someone can be detrimental in multiple ways including making you feel absolutely rubbish. Behind closed doors, or on the other side of a screen, you have no idea what people have done, or what they’re going through to be who they are or get to the place where they are. But in the moment you don’t think about that.
In that single solitary moment I’ll m not ashamed to say that a wave of jealousy creeps over me and I can’t help but think ‘I wish I had my life together like this’. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I think it’s a common thing. I’m guilty of being lazy and not working hard to achieve things. I’ve spent so long putting myself down, and believing I won’t be as successful as the person I’ve just spent the last Insta stalking, that I was become anxious about the road I was taking and the dream of a career in something that I love.
I’ve been complacent, I’ve felt inadequate and I’ve felt useless.
Deep down I think I lost sight of who I was. I remember sitting in sociology in year 12 learning about relative deprivation and realising how much it happens in day-to-day life. I used to want the next best thing, always used to compare the exact moment in my life, whenever it was, with the same moment in someone else’s.
I’ve spent a very long time wanting something that someone else has and to be on the path that they’re on, that I’ve neglected my own life and path. It’s taken a while to be comfortable with myself, my life and where I’m at with everything.
Comparison is the thief of joy
– Teddy Roosevelt
Mr Roosevelt isn’t wrong. On one hand it can help to push you to grow and be better but on the other comparison can impair your judgement about how good you are, or just make you retreat thinking you’ll never reach the goal. I used to compare myself and feel like I’m failing, or at the very minimum falling seriously behind, but failing or falling behind what exactly?
I now look at all those things, people and places with a sense of purpose. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. I need to do better than I what I’ve done so far because I want to chase my dreams. I won’t lie to you, I’m not completely satisfied, not yet, but maybe I never will be. I need to work hard, harder than I’ve ever done before because ultimately the hard work will pay off.