Comparing Yourself: It's A Trap

Hey, hey, it's the festive season! But it can be a hard season for people. It's pressured time, and a time when a lot of us take stock of how we are going. Plus, we tend to spend a lot of time at festive events and that can give rise to comparing.

According to this article,

Comparison to other family members, and to peers of a similar age who appear to be more successful in work and relationships, is also felt very strongly as the end of the year approaches. At this time people reflect on what has been gained and lost over the year and whether they are where they ‘should’ be or thought they ‘would’ be by now in their lives
— Melissa Petrakis, Monash University

People often tell me how hard they find it not to compare themselves to others. And how, when they DO compare, they always find themselves not good enough. I relate, I really do.

But it's a trap, people.

The Comparison Trap.

Comparing yourself is a trap - here are some ideas on why you can stop that, right now!

Here's the thing.

No matter how hard you look at someone else from the outside, you still have no idea what's really going on for them.

Say, with yoga poses. You look at someone, in class (or, worst place for it, on instagram - our insta is safe though) doing the flashiest pose imaginable, but you have no idea whether maybe they used to be a gymnast, or right now they have back pain, or whatever. 

Or in business.

This one, I fall into a LOT: I stumble onto this amazing website. It belongs to a person who does something similar to me, but they seem SO much more successful. They have a fancier website, more Facebook 'likes', whatever.

So I have to remind myself, and you, since you are reading along with me:  you have NO idea whether that person actually has a solid business. These things are not the hard, cold numbers of revenue per quarter. And even those, they don't tell you whether the decisions that person has made would be good for you. Chances are they wouldn't.

I've learned from multiple intrusions of reality that I am usually wrong about people's comparative awesomeness. It's the damn internet. Everyone is cooler on here than in real life. In real life, we are all just humans, bumbling along as best we can. 

Then there's the love thing.

Those people who broadcast their amazing relationships on Facebook, but it's a sham.

Yet still we compare, with the limited and therefore inaccurate information we have.

It's a subtle form of stealing: we steal from ourselves by refusing to accept and enjoy what we have right now. Never mind that envy situation with whoever you are comparing yourself to.

In yoga, we try to live by the precept of asteya: non-stealing.

Take only what is appropriate.

You are perfect just as you are. Here's why you should stop comparing, and how it'll make you happier.

So. Every time you catch yourself falling into the comparison trap, ask yourself what you have, or do, that others might envy.

Do you do a particular yoga pose in a way that nobody else in your class can? And it just comes naturally to you? Think about how that might be true for the person whose yoga you are envying too...

Do you have a really solid romantic relationship that others are always commenting on? Why then be envious of someone else's career?

Perhaps you are single. I bet your married friends envy your freedom.

We all have something someone else wants or envies.

Comparing yourself is a trap. You are good enough JUST as you are.

You see what I mean, yes? 

Wishing you and yours (yes, cats count) a peaceful, safe, and contented Festive Season. We will be taking a short break from blogging to spend time with our families: we will be back blogging the week of 11 Jan.

PS: Come Light Up Your Life with me. Something to look forward to in the New Year!