“Comparison is the death of joy.”
The Ego is a powerful part of the human psyche that controls our own self-image, but is not our true self. It operates off of labels, judgments, and image.
When not kept in check, the Ego can overpower your mind in very negative ways, one of which is making unnecessary comparisons to others.
This is a slippery slope and a losing battle. If you constantly view colleagues, friends, family, and even strangers through a lens that compares them relative to your own ego, you will always find people that are “better off” or “worse off” than you.
When you constantly strive to be something that you’re not, you’ll always come up short and never achieve true happiness. Once that inner-critic emerges, it leads to insecurity, depression, and guilt.
Particularly when you’re moving past a breakup and getting over your ex, it’s unavoidable to have these comparisons pop into your head. You see happy couples and families, romantic relationships, and you think “I’m sooo far off from ever achieving that again.”
You take a renewed look at your life and the metrics that society typically judges you by. Your title at work, how much money you make, square footage on your abode, how many friends you have.
Your Facebook and Instagram feed display all of the awesomeness your friends are up to and filled with a sense of FOMO(Fear of Missing Out), you think “I should be doing more.”
You have to avoid a case of “the shoulds.” “I should have a wife like her. I should have a family by now. I should feel as happy as they look together.” Stop.
The beauty that you have to realize is, is that it doesn’t matter. Not everyone on earth has the same life trajectory. We’re not put here to all follow the same path and that’s perfectly ok.
You have to appreciate everyone else for exactly who they are, knowing that you are a unique soul. Strip any jealousy or resentment from the equation and embrace the fact that everyone deserves happiness in their own way.
If you embrace a practice of cherishing others with genuine compassion and combine that with gratitude for the unique being that you are, life is all good.
Compare you to you. Think about how much you’ve grown, learned, and accomplished. I’m not talking about your W-2 at the end of the year or what numbers are on the back of your sports car, but what progress have you made in growing and nurturing your mind, body, and soul?
If you’re here dedicating your time to self-growth, odds are that you do some pretty epic and awesome stuff, so take the time to be grateful and appreciate that.
The key is to realize when your Ego is taking over and making these unnecessary comparisons. Be self aware. Much like in Buddhist philosophy you have to separate yourself from the mind.
You have the ability to respond to the situation with whatever emotions you desire so chose appreciation and gratitude rather than jealousy and envy. Life isn’t a competition or a race. It’s an epic journey, so enjoy every moment of your own unique life experience.