I don’t make it a habit of comparing my success (or lack there of) to someone else’s, but sometimes you just can’t help it. You see a friend or associate’s awesomely happy Facebook status update and all you can think to yourself is, “Ugh…that should be me.”
While I don’t think we should ever compare our lives to others, I totally get it.
I do it from time to time (uh, yesterday). And when I find myself coveting my pal’s life I try to mentally wish them well, and use their achievement to fuel my own victories.
But sometimes…I just can’t. I get down on myself. I get emo. And I begin to wonder why I haven’t reached all of my goals yet. When I get like this, one glaring thought pops into my mind:
Maybe it’s me.
Although it’s a necessary part of life, self-reflection can take on many different faces. When we look back at our life and wonder why we aren’t in a relationship or farther along in our career or quickly ticking things from our list of goals yet, we usually break down in a few camps:
We blame everyone else: Our boss hates our guts, all the guys or gals we date turn out to be assholes, and if people would just recognize how dope our latest idea is, we would be the next big thing. When we blame everyone else for our setbacks we never take responsibility for our part in our lack of success. Until we recognize our own agency and not see ourselves as perpetual victims things will never be right.
We always blame our self: The flip side of blaming everyone else, is blaming yourself…for everything. This is just as defeating as thinking you’re a victim. If you blame yourself for every, single thing that goes wrong in your life you begin to believe the lies you told yourself. You start to think maybe you are doomed to be alone, or destined to work a dead end job and live a mediocre life, and maybe happiness really does happen to everyone but you. Snap out of it. Don’t believe the story you’re telling yourself. Blaming yourself does little to help you change things in the future.
We get real: While I’m willing to bet that everything that has gone wrong in your life isn’t your fault, sometimes it really is you. Perhaps you allowed your ex to mistreat you (yes, it’s a choice), or you didn’t give 100-percent at last job before you were let go. Whatever the case may be, taking an honest look at our past missteps and figuring out the role we played in the situation is not only healthy, it’s empowering. When we know where we went wrong, we can learn from our mistakes and make better choices in the future.
Taking stock of our lives and surveying where we went wrong and where we excelled is a natural part of life. And while we should all practice a bit of self-reflection every now and again to make sure we learn from our successes and failures, it’s important not to rewrite history.
Be honest with yourself. Sometimes you were at fault, other times you weren’t. When we look at our histories, take out the lessons we can use, and remember how great we felt when things went right, we’ll be more likely to appreciate our own journeys instead of constantly comparing ourselves to others.
Do you find yourself comparing your life to your peers? Please leave me a comment to let me know wow do you deal with it.
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