In the good ole bad days it was so easy to be jealous.
In junior high, I could always focus my attention just on that one popular girl whose Gloria Vanderbilts and Polo shirts were always perfect. I could grimace about how unfair it was that she had a Gucci purse at age 13 and how she had real topsiders as she pranced down the band hall. She wasn’t me. I had “flopsiders” from Kmart and my “polo” had a dragon because it was from Sears. I should have been grateful to have clothes, but as a young teen, it simply sucked.
As I clopped down the hall in my faux clothes, I used to wonder, “How did she get so perfect?” She was tall, blonde, with locks of hot roller waves. Batting those baby blue eyes and braces would cause a stir in everyone. Everyone. It was spellbinding and sickening at the same time. It was ridiculous how her Jordache jeans and giggles could stop people in the middle of their hallway gossip or Rubrik’s cube.
Back then, my comparison marathon would normally end around 2:55 when I’d eat the rest of my bologna sandwich and Cheetos and wait for Mom’s rust colored station wagon to carry me back to my crappy reality of homework and sitcom reruns.
Then decades passed. And I carried my comparison monkey with me for a while until social media hit. With social media, I couldn’t EVEN compare myself with others because I couldn’t keep up with the volume. The perfect house. The super cute baby or cat or dog. Or vacation house in Aspen. So I gave up comparing myself with everyone and everything.
It’s insane to compare yourself to anyone at anytime. For starters, we all know that comparing yourself to others is a game no one can win. It wastes time and leaves us feeling depressed and depleted because we compare things like money, look, homes, vacations, or how many “likes” we get. And this also goes when we are at work or play and not just when we are online.
When we compare, we get lost in the momentum of other people’s lives instead of our own. We create judgment and assumptions on someone else’s life based on how well they art direct and shoot their lives on their Iphone 6 plus.
So how to do we stop the monkey madness of comparing when we get dumped on with reasons to all day long?
We can do this.
- Be the Bigger You
Take a moment to be with yourself, unplugged. Sit with yourself for a few moments. Take a few breaths. Think about how far you have come in your life and what it took to get there. Think about with the time you have left in your life, how do you want to be? What do you want to do? And how do you want to feel?
By creating awareness of where you are now, you can start to visualize what your future could look like. This empowers you and your subconscious mind to find pathways to your future now.
- Be Inspired but Dare Not to Compare
As you come into contact with others in real life and social media, it’s natural to look at them and make judgments of what they have and what they are doing as it relates to you. This is what makes us human. It’s okay to be inspired by others as long was we don’t feel inferior. When you see something you admire, tell them. It creates the shift from comparison to appreciation. If there is something that they have or have created, ask them how they got there. This empowers a belief in yourself that there is more than enough to go around and that you can do it or have it too.
- Understand Your Gifts are To Help Others.
When you take your focus off of other’s lives, then you can start to realize what your gifts are and how you can use them. WE ALL HAVE GIFTS. Yours may be cooking, designing, dancing, communicating, writing, working with children, working with animals, working with the land. Whatever it is for you, use it for your highest good.
By letting go of the comparisons, you allow yourself to focus on the things that matter most in your life: discovering your gifts and helping others with theirs. You go from comparing to sharing. Emerson said it best, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” And in a heartbeat, you release your little cheeky monkey. Namaste.