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
Does your life feel like a series of challenges, rather 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 react to situations or get frustrated things aren’t going your way. Let me put your mind at ease because what you’re experiencing is normal and something you’re bound to face throughout life. As a testament to this, when I run seminars, I will 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 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 powerful emotions. I then ask them whether these emotions are apparent in their life. In my experience, what a person feels in their body results from what is mirrored in their life.
The mind-body experience is powerful and if you’re not aware of what is happening below the level of your thoughts, it can manifest as pain, to draw your awareness to it. For instance, many people are unhappy with their lives and compare it to others; which intensifies their suffering. It’s natural to compare yourself to others when you’re not living to your fullest potential. But it is unwise to do so because you are comparing your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. Can you see that comparing your life to others intensifies your anguish? Your emotional guidance is a powerful faculty because it is instant feedback on whether you are in alignment with your life’s calling. You are unique in your own special way. In other words, someone else’s success 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 your 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, producer, and main character. You can manifest a better version of your life if you’re willing to take control of it instead of believe you are powerless. You can create ideal conditions for yourself 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 said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That is, step outside your known paradigms and consider your situation from a different perspective. Moreover, you may not know what you want out of life, which is reflected in your current circumstances. Nevertheless, this means you haven’t taken action to steer your life in the right direction.
Your life is an 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. Fall in love with your life’s journey because no two journeys are the same. Comparing your life to others seldom brings peace and joy, but heartache and misery, because you think you’re not living to your fullest potential. But what if you are? What if your potential is being unearthed through your setbacks and challenges? What if the very things you dislike about your life, is creating the circumstances for your 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 your life, learn to embrace your journey replete with the lows. I’m not suggesting you fall in love with misery or disappointment, but consider them as fleeting moments. They’re intended to advance you, not stop you, since your journey is exactly as it should be. However, if you become mired in your circumstances, you might believe your problems are bigger than you and feel unable to overcome them. Problems are not Stop Signs; they are Give Way signs. They give way to your greatest potential because without obstacles and challenges, how will you realise who you truly are? To discover your true essence, reach into your core being, where your setbacks and challenges can be overcome. The good and bad news is no one is immune to them, not even the Instagram stars. I wonder if they compiled the low points of their life online, whether they would have a handful of followers. So, embrace this 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 primary 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.