Here’s an important fact to remember: you are the only you there is.
Your journey through this life, with all its ups and downs, and triumphs and failures, is wholly unique to you. What you find easy vs. what you find impossible. What shuts you down or opens you up. Whether you see yourself as wildly successful or struggling to get by, has absolutely nothing to do with your value in this world, and everything to do with this unique life path you’re on.
The way you walk through this world. The experiences you have or don’t. The perception and meaning you give to it all, is determined by such a complex set of factors (environment, culture, history, upbringing, genetics, life experience, temperament, destiny, fate, life purpose) that even for those who do a fair amount of honest internal seeking, it’s still hard to understand one’s self and why our lives shake out the way they do.
Sometimes we don’t find out until decades later, that something we thought was a bad thing, will turn out to be our greatest gift. Or something we thought would be good thing and pined for, turns into something we are so grateful for never having gotten. Hell, Garth Brooks wrote a whole damn song about it. So clearly these are universal truths.
All this to say, please, my dear fellow creatives, for all that is pure and good, resist the urge to compare yourself to others and use it as a tool to beat yourself down. Not only is comparison to others useless and impossible, it’s also not a victimless crime.
The first victim of this crime is you. The minute you start comparing your results to others, you have just abandoned you and for no good reason.
As hard as it is to know your own self and why you have what you have in life, multiply that by a bajillion when it comes to understanding others. and why they have what they have.
You can’t fully know why some one else is experiencing the results they’re experiencing or what path they’re on. You can’t know what they need or are working through in this life. They might need those wildly good results in one area, to survive deep challenges coming in another. Or you might need to be challenged in ways they don’t, in order to learn something super important to your particular path. The point is you just don’t know. So don’t compare.
You are you. And they are them. And that is that. Using them to make yourself feel bad about results that might not even end up serving your highest needs in the end, is just self abuse.
The second victim of this behavior are those around you. Sometimes even the one’s you love the most. If you spend a lot of time beating yourself up over what you feel you aren’t or haven’t gotten yet, chances are there’s been times when you’ve taken it out on others. Whether you intend to or not. These bad feelings towards yourself leak out in all sorts of ways ranging from holding impossibly high standards that you, by default, expect everyone else to live up to, to more nefarious behaviors, like knocking others down to feel better about yourself.
I say this not to shame anybody. We’ve all done these things to various degrees. We’re humans. We live, we learn. Today is another day. And even those painful experiences can be important lessons. I say it because the compare disease is a hellish inner spin cycle that’s good for no one. It’s no place to stay. And if you are one of those people currently suffering from it, you deserve better.
The best way I know you break the spin is to find your way back to you. To your purpose. Do whatever you have to do to connect with the truth that YOU ARE ENOUGH and you’re right where you’re supposed to be. Learning what you’re supposed to be learning. Growing exactly in ways you’re supposed to be growing.
Your results are not the problem, your perception of them is. Have the courage to go within, embrace what you find, find a way to love you and not some idea of who you’re “supposed to be”, and from that place, you will achieve the best kind of results. The one’s that are aligned with who you actually are. The kind you can keep up, forever.
It’s like that old saying: if you don’t be you, who will? Or something like that. :)