I love the quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
So true right? If we are truly honest with ourselves, it is a simple truth deep within us.
I have found this to be so very true in life. Being competitive is instilled within us from a very young age. At first it was school and sports, we are compared with our siblings, our friends, our family, our neighbors. Our success largely depends upon what others think about us. It is our validation to many of us. We all want to be liked, respected and cherished.
There is an infinite number of people which we can compare ourselves to, but once we start doing this, we can never find an end.
The tendency to compare our selves is human. But this is a decision only we can make and it steals our happiness, we waste a lot of energy focusing on other people’s lives rather than our own. And what I have learned is that when we start to compare ourselves to others, we stop trusting our selves and our gifts that we are given that make each of us unique.
We live in a world of social media where we are constantly berated with how we view and portray our own lives, right? The concept of faking a “perfect” life is splattered all over. Our lives never seem quite as good as that of our friends. BUT, we forget that others post the highlights of their lives. But we are still left with a feeling of discontent, right?
Comparing is terrible for the soul. It is an act of violence against the self. We all do it. Just like I have in my own life. Comparison is what keeps us from ever feeling like we belong, rather then setting us apart. This unfortunate way of measuring only leaves you wanting more and we never really feel satisfied. In fact we feel even more empty.
Everyone has his own journey, his own path and purpose in life. The power comes from searching within to find YOUR own way, to travel on your own trail. This can only bring happiness.
So what is a better way to live, other than comparing ourselves to others?
One way is self-compassion, take a deep breath and trade judgment for compassion. Make a space to change the focus of your attention. You have the capacity to love, serve, and contribute in your own special way. No-one has your unique voice. Your unique gifts. Your own unique road map.
So the next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, get outside, change your surroundings and let’s take a hike together. The freedom found in comparing less, is well worth the effort.
Lisa Taitelman is a Transformational Coach, who calls herself a Trail Blazer, she currently guides groups of women and challenges them physically through hiking, emotionally, through sharing and connection, and spiritually through meditation. She inspires and educates women that it is never too late to reinvent yourself through her 6-week hiking empowerment program called Finding Your Trail. For more information on her different programs, please visit her website here.