Sometime ago, I had a conversation with someone who mistook me for a friend of mine; I immediately corrected him and equally told him we don’t even look alike. Later, when my friend and I were together, I took the opportunity to introduce her again and drive home my point that we were quite different. But the person retorted quickly by saying, “Oh, your friend is more beautiful than you.” I just laughed and said, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I said that because, I understood that we were both so unique in our makeup and idiosyncrasies so much so that there was no basis for comparison.
I think it is the most natural thing to do to be compared with another person. Parents do it all the time; they compare one child to another and we all do it, sometimes unconsciously but the worst part of it is when we allow ourselves to be in comparison mode permanently. Life can become so frustrating when you constantly must measure up with the Joneses or your next-door neighbour. You will end up feeling drained, insecure and unhappy if you constantly compare yourself to others. This type of feeling can leave you so stressed out, unproductive and lacking in creativity.
If what you are constantly doing is looking out for who is wearing the latest cloth, the newest shoe or driving the best car or living in a bigger house then you are in serious trouble and I will say this talk is coming at the right time just for you.
“Who is smarter, prettier and richer? Who’s got a better backhand, a flatter stomach or a faster-track job? If you can’t stop comparing yourself with others, you ‘ve got a case of what Asian philosophers call Monkey Mind, says author, Martha Beck.
Constantly measuring ourselves against others sours and shortens our lives, robbing us of the very things we think it will bring, such as prosperity, love, inner peace and the knowledge that we are good enough. According to Beck, comparing and contrasting is a valuable human skill but problems arise when that is all we do, life becomes a competition, and you realise you are in constant struggle with yourself and others.
Feeling or thinking that you are better than someone else is as bad as thinking that others are better than you. You need to realize that you are on a personal journey in this world and that your journey is as unique as you are. The only person you are in competition with is yourself. And if you need a yardstick for measurement, your standard should be the Bible.
These days it even worse with everyone posting updates after updates on Facebook. The truth is people hardly posts their bad days on Facebook, so if your peace of mind or satisfaction depends on what people post on Facebook, you may just end up even more frustrated especially when you begin to compare yourself with what others post on Facebook.
According to Martha Becks, competitiveness runs thick in our blood as human beings but you can watch out for when it begins to get out of hand, especially when
- You become irritable or depressed when someone else succeeds.
- When you meet a successful person, you feel anxious rather than honoured.
- You consciously hope for others to do badly or fail
- You are dogged by shame; you never feel good enough.
- Winning creates a brief happy moments, which quickly gives way to anxiety.
- You are always criticizing others and believe everyone is criticizing you
In order to overcome this type of mindset, it is important that you do the following:
- Learn to love yourself the way God loves you
- Accept that you are good enough and while there is always room for improvement, you are your only competition, let God’s standard be the standard by which you measure yourself
- Find your purpose, it will distinguish you. You were created for a reason, until you begin to live for that reason, you may find yourself wanting to be like everyone
- Understand that God is the source and giver of purpose, so having a relationship with Him is the first step.
- Learn to show others genuine appreciation or pay them genuine compliment or admiration but let it end there, do not allow envy crawl into your heart
- Understand that everyone has struggles and they may not necessarily post it on Facebook.
- Remember that the difference between the haves and have-nots is time.
- With time, every good thing will come.
- Consider failure as an opportunity for improvement
- Always remember to count your blessings and be thankful
I look forward to reading your comments