Comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt.
Our egos love to compare. They love to see how we’re doing in relation to others. It gives us some sort of yardstick to measure ourselves against.
If we compare ourselves favourably, and perceive that we’re doing well compared to others, we feel superior and good about ourselves. If we compare ourselves negatively, we feel inferior, lacking and less than good about ourselves. Our egos are constantly playing this game, we are constantly winning and losing, which is why things can feel so up and down.
But what if we no longer had the ability to compare ourselves? Against other people, or other criteria. Against what we should or shouldn’t be doing, or what we should be achieving. What if this was removed altogether? Who would we be?
Every time we compare, we leave ourselves. We go into someone else’s business and abandon ourselves, so it’s no wonder it often doesn’t feel good.
We will always compare to some extent. We are wired for it, and wired for survival. Survival of the fittest meant that we needed to outperform other people in order to survive. So it makes sense that we would eye up the competition, and any potential threats.
But so much of this is outdated now. There is room for us all to thrive in our own way.
So stay with yourself. Admire other people, praise them, see the good in them and congratulate them on anything they’re doing. But don’t make this mean anything about you in comparison. Don’t make yourself less than because of it. See that there is more than enough to go around.
Your path is yours. It won’t look like anybody else’s. It isn’t meant to. Look around for inspiration, and notice what you admire about what others have created. But don’t get stuck there. Focus your energies on living a life that feels best for you. The more you do this, the less you will feel the need to compare.
You live with you. You know the struggles you have faced. You know how hard you have tried. You know what you have had to pull yourself through, and everything you bring to the table. So celebrate that. Celebrate you, and do this all the more when you notice yourself comparing or feeling threatened in any way. It can be a great signal to come back to yourself, to remind yourself of all that you are, and to remind yourself that you are going nowhere.
Don’t we all want to be validated, seen, known and loved just for being ourselves? Not for anything in particular that we’ve done or achieved. Just for being us. Well we can give ourselves that gift.
Can we really expect anyone else to do it for us, if we can’t do it for ourselves?
We will always be playing a losing battle if we base our opinion of ourselves on external validation. No amount of it will ever fill us up if we dont have the inner substance and belief in ourselves. If we don’t love and value ourselves, regardless of what other people do or don’t see.
Our external reality is a mirror of our internal state. So what we believe deep down about ourselves and the world, will continually be reflected by the way others treat us. The more we can shift our internal realities, the better the reflection of that will be from others as well.
We will still get triggered. Other people’s behaviour or reaction to us will still make us feel lacking at times. But this can then be a test; an opportunity for us to strengthen that inner resolve and love all the more. For us to back ourselves, choose ourselves, and give ourselves all the love we have ever tried to get from unstable sources outside of us.
The love and confidence you have always wanted is inside of you. It is nowhere else. Other people can support you in it, we all need that. But you can’t be scaffolded by that external support for long, if the inner substance isn’t there. The foundations need to be strong.
You are in charge of this. This is the good news. You get to decide how strong a foundation you build for yourself. How you love and support yourself, how much you choose to compare, how much you value everything you bring to the table.
So show up for yourself now. Show up for your relationships, yes. But show up for yourself first. Know that the things you want the most don’t actually come from other people. They come from the recognition and fostering of them within yourself. They come from knowing how valuable you are, just as you are, even if you were to never do another single thing.
The ego will always want to compare. It will always feel great in some situations and lacking in others. But your soul knows that you are perfectly whole and complete as you are, right now.
Nothing else is needed. Nothing outside of you can change this. No person, no experience can make you any more or any less than you already are right now.
We can relax into this knowing whenever we feel triggered, or that need to compare.
You are perfect as you are. See it. Feel it, believe it.
This article was also published with Rebelle Society: