It's easy to think you're not living your life the "right" way. It's a very simple thing to get down on yourself about not making enough money, or you aren't where you want to be in your career, in love, with your family, etc. I think it's a common thought as human beings to look around and ask yourself, "Is that what I want?" "Am I doing something wrong?" "Why does everyone else seem to have their shit together but me?"
But if we're all looking around and seeing what everyone else is doing, we're going to get a major case of whiplash. We're so focused on everyone else that we can't see all the good in our own lives. Comparing yourself to other people is a sure way to feel bad about yourself. Guaranteed.
It's so strange the amount of time we can spend believing that everyone else has found the golden ticket to life. That somehow we were never invited to the party. We must have made the wrong choice somewhere.
I've done it, you've done, maybe even Oprah's done it. I'm not sure if Oprah is a actually mortal but the sake of this article, let's say she feels this way sometimes. Oprah, am-I-right?
Comparing yourself to other people is a game you're never going to win. It has you constantly weighing how much better or worse you are than other people. Let's be honest, this competitive and self-doubting behaviour rarely brings out the best in people.
We all have different reactions to feeling of insecurity about our lives. Some better than others.
Some of us decide to give up. It's no use. What's the point? All the good jobs are taken, I'm not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, the economy, blah, blah, blah. And fair enough. We're all able to make the choice to give-up if it feels like the right one. But usually these unfair expectations of ourselves and others cause needless suffering. Usually that's just your fear talking.
Then there is the other and equally damaging reaction. This is what I like to call "Life-stompers" where certain people get incredibly competitive and "stomp" on other people. Bad-mouthing, criticizing, and down-right shaming a person for their success. This "If I can't, no one can" mentality is a charming result of insecurity.
This response to life is frankly embarrassing to watch. Similar to a child breaking a toy so no one else can play with it, life-stompers like these are like adult-babies. Except try giving an adult-baby a time out. You're going to get punched.
Then there is a third category. One where people chip away at what they want. Step by step. When they hit a road block, they may stop, contemplate giving up (or setting a fire to the path behind them) but they inevitably decide that problems are meant to faced. Head on. These people figure out what's the best course of action for them and then move forward. These are the people I want to be around. The people that I admire.
The ones who realise that they are overwhelmed and then they take a break. And when they figure out that maybe they are pausing out of fear, they start again. It seems to me everyone feels crappy about their life at one time or another. We can act like victims and moan about it (there is something delightful in wallowing for a bit) but then we just need to pick ourselves back up again and figure out what it is we want out of life.
Are you unhappy? There are a lot of people who you can talk to. Therapists, friends, parents, that random man on the bus (there's always one, you know) or journal the crap out of that problem. You don't need to feel alone. Heck, I totally had a 20 minute life chat with my taxi-driver the other night. And can I just say, I gave him some wonderful advice.
YES. That's correct. The taxi driver was asking me about his problems. WINNING.
Do you hate your job? Why not look for something new. You've got a job already so presumably you're employable. If you know for sure you "can't" get a new job for whatever reason then ask yourself what are some ways that you can enhance your day-to-day life so you're happy with it. Can you join a club after work, take a cooking class, or get some exercise with friends? What are some ways to feel social and good? You deserve to feel happy. Little changes can make a big difference.
You want to travel? Why not? Start looking up new and exciting vacations or other ways to travel abroad through volunteer positions or internships. Even if you don't go, there's still something exciting in the possibility of a new adventure. Looking at airline prices or travel destinations is one of my guilty pleasures.
It's like the quote by the incredible Maya Angelou, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
I know, I know. Life can be hard. And sometimes, it's easy to see the crap in it and that's it. I've totally been there. But you can make your life better. A little bit at a time.
The Internet, for all its strange purposes, gives you some incredible information that can lead to life changing events. You are the captain of your own ship. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot out of our control. But there is also a lot we can change to make our lives the best they can be. You owe that to yourself.
So STOP comparing yourself to other people. You're lovely just the way you are. You go your own way. Do your own thing. You've totally got this!