Is the perpetual quest for more holding us back from experiencing enough?
For the record, I am all for reevaluating our current state of affairs and wanting more for ourselves & our lives in a next level of true fulfillment sort of way. It is by no means selfish to want more regardless of where that “more” falls. To me, wanting & asking for more means you have evolved. You’ve learned what is no longer a fit for your life because you've outgrown where you're currently at for one reason or another. And to be crystal clear, more doesn’t always equate to more stuff or another title or some new shiny thing.
With all of that being said, I find myself in the midst of comparison more often than I care to admit. I’ll find myself so caught up in the fabrication of a story about how John Doe or Jane Schmoe are so much further along than me. The kicker here goes without saying, but I’ll say it since we’re always honest with one another – I have no idea what this person wants for their life so I’m creating this scenario based solely on their appearance.
Allow me to share a very recent example:
I took a break from writing & I popped into one of the local department stores. I’ve been lusting over a pair of olive green booties & I was hoping this store would make this dream come true. So I’m going about my business in the checkout line (sans new shoes because the perfect pair was a half size too small) and then I see her. Someone I’ve known since I was maybe ten years old. Someone who at one time was one of my closest friends. We shared two sports, a job for several years, & a little bit of college before I transferred schools amongst so many other things over the span of eight years.
She’s since gotten married & that’s all I know about her life these days. But because her hair was curled & her outfit on point I jumped to the conclusion that she’s got her shit together and I threw myself (and everything I’ve done since we cut ties) to the wolves. And by wolves I mean my savage AF inner critic.
My mood immediately changed from feeling confident & overall good to WTF am I doing with my life?! Or more importantly, where the hell did I go wrong? Funny how quickly we can spiral downwards into the feeling of not enoughness, right?
So what do I do when I find myself in these moments of comparisonitis and how do I manage to overcome them? I’m glad you asked!
STAY IN YOUR LANE
We will never know what’s going on with anyone else so all we’re doing is speculating. We are completely unique from one another and that also goes for our life experiences & situations so it would be unfair of us to judge ourselves against anyone else when the criteria will never be the same.
KEEP YOUR PEOPLE IN THE LOOP
And I’m not saying this so you can go to them anytime you’re feeling down & come back with an inflated ego. The small circle of people who truly understand me & what it is I’m trying to do are the people who remind me that my life isn't at all how I'm making it out to be when I’m being insanely hard on myself. Don’t take your people for granted. Nurture these relationships because not only do they have your back, but they’ll be there cheering you on when you’re ready to quit.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
Listening to that vicious inner critic of yours is the reason you’re in this situation in the first place. Life is going to continue to hand you these sorts of tests so it’s imperative you find what works best to ease your soul & bring you back to reality. My go-tos include opening Canva or Illustrator & creating, listening to a podcast while I switch my phone to Airplane mode, or putting my fingers to the keyboard to sort it out myself.
WRITE IT OUT
When all else fails, write out all of your accomplishments, lessons, & experiences. It’s easy to neglect the smaller achievements that come our way because they aren’t as shiny as the traditionally “bigger” life feats, but their perceived size doesn’t make them any less worthy of recognition & celebration. Something I often forget to take into account is that some people haven’t seen as much of the country as I have and that is something I prioritize & take pride in.