Why You Must Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.

Today happens to be Monday.  If you have been following for a long while, you know I used to write these “Motivational Monday” posts…but if you search that term, I have quite a few.  So instead of using the broad term now, I come up with something that all of my readers happen to be struggling with based off something that I am working on as well.  Today is no different.

I am changing how I do “Mondays” in my life.  Before I even sit down to look at my fan page, before I even respond to anyone, I am walking with my friend every Monday now.  This is not how everyone else in Social Media Land does their Mondays…I know.  But the thing is, I don’t have to be like everyone else.

Aimee loves writing.

So here’s a funny little story about me.  I have written things since I was tiny.  I have spiral notebooks of the worst poetry you can ever imagine from my teen years.  I have epic papers saved on every literature topic known to man, somewhere in my filing cabinet.  I have children’s stories written and saved and not shown or read to anyone…except my own children.  And then I have the blog.  The blog that I started writing under a drawing of an elf…under a fake name.  Until one day someone said, hey, is this yours?  And I finally said yes.

The cat was out of the bag.

So why was I afraid to be known for something I loved?  Good question.  I think it started because I was afraid to be criticized…and I was writing about very personal things at first.  My health.  My teaching career.  And having a mid-life crisis…except it wasn’t mid-life.  I was just 35 at the time.  Everyone else seemed to have their shit together and I had been falling apart since the start of my career…at 23 years old.  But then something glorious happened.  People started being honest.  They started being real.

People were faking it as well.

People started telling me about different things they went through.  Health scares, and anger.  Depression, anxiety and wondering what was next for them as well.  Living with invisible diseases was like trying to pretend I was “normal”, but I didn’t know what normal was anymore…and apparently, neither did most people.  I was…get this…normal.  So as I looked around at my friends, we dropped the masks.  Yup.  Took them off about 5 years ago, like really took them off.

We got deep and real and said guess what?  Sometimes I wish I had a clean house like so and so.  Or sometimes I wish I was more laid back like you.  And of course my secret, after developing autoimmune, I hate cooking.  So I would look at these moms with their meals and their shit together photos and be like damn.  I don’t even want to think about it.

So how does all this help you?

  1. No one is you.  Repeat it.  Accept the fact that no matter who is out there on social media, in your circle, or in the carpool line, they don’t have the same story as you.  They weren’t raised the same, don’t have the same values, morals and even ethics as you, and whatever they are doing now, might not even make you happy.  You don’t know what they had to do to get where they are.
  2. They might actually be jealous of you.  A friend once stopped speaking to me because I have a supportive husband.  Yes, that was it.  I didn’t know why, and we didn’t speak for months.  Even deleted me off social media.  A mutual friend let it slip.  Wow.  I felt bad for her actually.  She was so unhappy in her life that she couldn’t actually look at my life?  Dude.  That was harsh.  I had no idea.  Hilarious post on beating envy can be read here…after this!
  3. It is okay to have success.  There is not a cap on success.  You can be successful and so can other people.  What if you covet the success of other people because you don’t feel as successful?  Start to think of all the things you do well.  Seriously.  You have accomplished lots and it’s time to be proud.  If your success is that you are taking care of your family, your bills and getting up and going to work without complaining, that is something to be proud of.  Maybe you make the best school lunch in town.  Maybe you do your kid’s hair just so.  Maybe you make what little you have stretch and stretch.  That is still success.
  4. Comparing yourself to others breeds resentment.  I once knew someone so green with envy, she seriously could have turned into the Wicked Witch of the West.  The funny thing was, everyone, and I do mean everyone, appeared to think she was Glenda the Good Witch.  But underneath it all she would murmur, my stuff is as good as theirs.  I don’t see why they’re getting noticed.  She would whisper I can’t stand her.  And then be like heyyyy girl.  Love your hair.  Love what you’re doing right now.  So happy for you.  And start mumbling again.  Whew.  Bye Felicia.  I don’t want to turn green as well.
  5. In the end, focus only on what you can change…about yourself.  Ruminating doesn’t help us break the cycle.  Get over it, get it out, and move on.  Compare yourself to where you were last month…that’s fine.  Compare yourself to where you were years ago.  That’s also fine.  But don’t worry about what others are doing…because if they are smart, they aren’t worried about what you are doing.  It’s a losing battle and one that ultimately is a time-suck.  You are far better off journaling your intentions, your affirmations and your goals.  That’s time well spent.

Start today with a few of these articles to help you move forward.

6 Things No One Else Controls Except You!

I still really love this:  Tiny Continuous Improvements.

And this Motivational Monday on new habits.

Water your own garden

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