The Comparison Trap

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Dead End Comparisons

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From time to time, in our attempts to assess our place in life, we all have looked around at others. After you’ve parted ways with friends we all like to check up on folks to see how they are doing. Deep inside, in that moment, there is a temptation to make comparisons. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have allowed these comparisons to be steroid loaded. Everyone posts their vacation pictures, toys and romantic interest at the time. Painting this wonderful picture of success and accomplishment, it has an ability to lead us down a path of “eating our hearts out” with comparisons.

“Wow, look at their house, car and family.”

“They look like they are so in love.”

“I wish I could travel like that…”

Etc…

But these comparisons are dead-end streets at best. They encourage us to spend time focusing on the walks of others and leaving our walk in the distance. There is a time and place to congratulate others and celebrate their successes, but be careful not to compare your walk with theirs. I know this is how we make ourselves feel accomplished, by looking at how far others have gotten compared to us, but there is a greater opportunity to feel accomplished and fulfilled.

Our individual walks have advantages, they are all unique. Your life lessons and struggles will never exactly line up with someone else’s. Value your story and your position; you are right where you need to be. You are right on pace with your story; you are on your way to building your legacy. Embrace it and be proud of it. We all have come a long way.

When you feel yourself comparing and getting discouraged, refocus your thoughts to your goals and revisit your past successes throughout your life. This is the only validation you need. I write about the need for internal validation over external validation in “Well, My Mom Say…”


Apples and Oranges

Don’t be discouraged if your high school friend has a bigger house or a higher paying job. That’s their story, be happy where you are and keep pushing yourself forward. Don’t let the external accomplishments of others be your driving force to excel. Look inside and access your own capabilities and make the comparisons there. Are you meeting your potential? Run your own race. Others can motivate us, but internal drive will push you further.

Have you made a discouraging comparison this week?