Why Do You Compare Your Life To Others?
“You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that the creative principle works in you.” — Paramahansa Yogananda
Are you at war or at peace with your life? Does it feel like a series of challenges to overcome than a journey of self-discovery and fulfilment? It’s important to know how you feel about your life’s journey to make sense of it. Perhaps you haven’t given it much thought, yet below the surface something is simmering. You might find yourself reacting to situations or become frustrated things aren’t going your way. I want to put your mind at ease because what you’re experiencing is normal and you are bound to face it from time to time. As a testament to this when I run seminars, I often ask audience members to close their eyes and bring their awareness to a part of their body in pain. I invite them to focus on the discomfort and identify what the pain feels like. This exercise lasts a few minutes before they open their eyes and describe the emotional relationship to their pain. Many people describe the pain with strong emotions. At this point, I ask them whether these same emotions are apparent in their life. It is my experience, what a person feels in their body as pain or discomfort is a result of what is mirrored in their life.
The mind-body experience is powerful and if we’re not aware what is happening below the level of our thoughts, it can manifest as pain in the body to draw our awareness to it. Author Matt Kahn echoes this principle of releasing cellular debris in Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You where he writes: “Just by bringing greater attention to the part of your body where strong emotions or physical pain linger, you are loosening each layer of cellular memory to assist in another moment of healing.” Many people are unhappy with their lives and compare it to others which only intensifies their suffering. It’s natural to compare ourselves to other people when we’re not living to our fullest potential. But it is unwise to do so because we are comparing our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. Can you see that comparing your life to others only intensifies your anguish? Your emotional guidance is a powerful faculty and is inviting you to stop comparing yourself to others since it is futile. We are unique and different in our own special way. The success of another person shouldn’t diminish your self worth but help to realise what is possible if you honour your inner wisdom.
No Two Journeys Are The Same
“Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” — Seth Godin
In this period of Instagram living where everyone Photoshops the best version of their lives, it is difficult to find our way among the disingenuous. You will never get it right as long as you’re alive because there’s always something to learn: something to gain, something to let go of, to heal, to overcome or make peace with. Your life is a wonderful journey of peaks and valleys and it is unfolding perfectly contrary to your beliefs. Your life’s journey is a delightful narrative shaped by you the director, the producer and main character. You can manifest a better version of your life if you’re willing to take control instead of believing you are powerless. You have the potential to create the ideal conditions when you realise your power is something that must be cultivated, not left to chance. Up till now, you may not have employed this power properly and as a result your problems seem bigger than you. It was Albert Einstein who once said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That is, we must step outside our known paradigms and consider our situation from a different perspective. Moreover, we may not know what we want out of life which is reflected through our current circumstances. Nevertheless, this simply means we haven’t taken action to steer our life in a different direction.
Your life is a magnificent unfolding performance and you needn’t tie it to how successful you are now because success is transient. Success comes and goes and whilst it may last years, it can unravel like a sequined necklace if an area of your life goes south. We ought to fall in love with our life’s journey and make it ours because no two journeys are the same, not even among twins. Comparing our life to others seldom brings peace and joy, but heartache and misery, because we think we’re not living to our fullest potential. What if we are? What if our potential is being unearthed through our setbacks and challenges? What if the very things we dislike about our life is creating the circumstances for our life’s journey to flourish in the years ahead? It was the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who said: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
When The Hero’s Journey Is Complete
“Most of us do not ‘sculpt’ our lives. We accept what comes our way, then we gripe about it.” — Susan Jeffers
To fall in love with our life we ought to embrace the journey replete with the lows. I’m not suggesting we fall in love with misery or disappointment, but consider them as fleeting moments in our life’s journey. They’re intended to advance us not stop us, since our journey is exactly as it should be. However, if we become mired in our circumstances, we will think our problems are bigger than us and feel unable to overcome them. Problems are not Stop Signs, they are Give Way signs. They give way to our greatest potential because without obstacles and challenges how will we realise who we truly are? To discover our true essence, we must reach into our core being where our setbacks and challenges can be overcome. The good and bad news is, none of us are immune to them, not even the Instagram stars. I wager that if they compiled the low points of their life and posted them online, whether they would have a handful of followers. So embrace this one life you are given. Savour the highs points and welcome the low points because contrast serves a purpose; to help you discover what is meaningful to you. What is your life’s narrative leading you towards? Is it one of persistence, compassion, self-esteem or courage? As the main star of your show there’s a theme or narrative that interweaves through each scene until the final one when the hero’s journey is complete. Don’t give up on the hero’s journey, because when everything seems bleak with no end in sight that is when your life will come together exactly as it should.