As a therapist I hear this often. People feeling lousy about themselves because they are comparing themselves to their friends, and family in terms of where they rank in their job, how much money they make, where they live, or even their relationship status. It's normal to think about this, and is often an internal conversation you may have with yourself. Weddings, baby showers, news of a friend's career promotion, may all be reminders that you may not be where you expect yourself to be in your life journey.
Of course you want to be happy for the people in your life who are accomplishing great things. But often, our insecurities can take over when Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds are bombarding us of people reaching milestones in their lives.
It seems like no matter where you are in your life, you will always find others who may seem better off than you, and are accomplishing greater things than you are. Yes, it can be upsetting at times. Constantly comparing yourself to others can make you feel inferior, and even the most confident person may start to feel insecure.
Here are four things you can remember, to save yourself from comparing yourself to others, and feeling like you are not measuring up.
1) Life happens at your own pace.
There are some people who have everything together at 25. It may take another person until the age of 50. Everyone is different, it doesn't mean that one is better than the other; it just means that everyone is different. Feeling like things are coming together in life takes time, and it needs to be done on your own terms, not according to someone else's.
2) Keep a gratitude journal
List 5 things you are grateful for everyday. It can be a small or even huge thing. Your co worker said they liked your presentation at the department meeting. This was a positive gesture, and something you can be appreciative of today. This makes you look for positivity in your life. When you train yourself to look for the positive, the world starts to look better.
3) Good comes with bad
Does it seem like only great things are happening to others? Don't you think it's odd that you never hear about their struggles? That's because people tend to share the good, and leave out the bad, or the struggles they endured to get to what they have now. The friend who is manager of a top company, that didn't happen overnight. He didn't tell you about the countless hours of overtime he put in or the juggling act he managed to survive, going to school part-time while moving up in the company. Remember everyone is human; no one has a perfect life- even though it may seem like it sometimes.
4) Take a good look at the person you are today
Think of all the great things you have done. You may think that you have not accomplished much, but take a look at what your life was like 10 years ago. Has anything changed? Is your life any different from how it was 5 years ago? It doesn't have to be material items that you have accumulated over time, but rather the knowledge, life lessons, and experiences you have gained through the years. This makes you the person you are today.
It is important to remember that all that glitters isn't gold. In difficult times it is easy to focus on others who may seem to have it all, but to another person you may seem to have it all. It is all perception. It is essential to focus on yourself and live life to the fullest the way you intend to.