Well, first question is: How do you measure measuring up?
Second question: Why?
There are indeed very valid reasons for “measuring” ourselves in life. A look at human or societal “norms” is quite useful in setting personal ambitions; however, the dominant measuring standard should be our own selves – and according to our own goals.
We have evolved, sadly, into a society of comparison for ego’s sake and entirely fabricated definitions of “status”; and it is undoubtedly my biggest life pet peeve. We’re born unique and happy – and then very quickly, we are pitted against each other. The how is fairly simple to dissect, and with motivation and time (lots of time!), I have faith in a course-correct; but the WHY? Seriously: WHY???
“To love is to stop comparing.” – Bernard Grasset
How to shift this useless and loveless comparison nonsense? One step at a time, starting with you. Here’s some food for thought:
The Losing Game
By Sonya Derian
Take a moment to think of a time when you compared yourself to another person, where you were the one on the LOSING side; maybe you were comparing yourself physically, comparing intellects, speaking ability – whatever.
Think of that moment, and take a minute to notice how it feels in your body. It doesn’t feel very good right?
Now, take a moment to think of a time where you compared yourself to someone else, and you came out on TOP; how does that feel in your body?
Maybe it feels a little better… or maybe not at all. That’s because viewing life as a competition, where you have to constantly be better at whatever — how you look, how you parent, how you write — doesn’t feel very good.
In essence, comparing yourself to others is ALWAYS a losing game.
We all do it – or have done it, at some point in our lives: we compare ourselves to others and gauge where we are based on what we observe them to be doing.
If this was simply an observation, that would be one thing, but in comparing ourselves to others, we often end up judging ourselves: and there’s no worse judge!
If you have ever noticed, it doesn’t matter how many people are on your side, cheering you on: if you can’t get on your own side, you never get past “go”.
The thing about comparison is that there is never a win. How often do we compare ourselves with someone less fortunate than us and consider ourselves blessed? More often, we compare ourselves with someone who we perceive as being, having or doing more: and this just leaves us coming up short.
But our minds do want to quantify; our minds want to rank and file and organize information. Our mind wants to know where we fit into the scheme of things: we need to give it something to do. So, instead of training it to stop comparing altogether, why not simply re-direct the comparison to a past and a present self—and keep the comparison within?
We are always becoming more. Who you are today is a result of the decisions you made yesterday. We are always in a state of creation. We decide – and then we decide again; and the direction is always toward expansion. It is our human nature to expand.
So, when you catch yourself comparing yourself to another: stop for a moment and re-direct the thought. Instead of submitting to the temptation to compare yourself to someone else, ask yourself a few questions, instead:
Next: Q’s to Ask Yourself (page 2)