There’s nothing quite like sizing your life up against someone else’s to detract you from your own potential joy. Too often we fall into the habit of berating ourselves for not having reached job success, bought a house or started a family. But one thing I’ve learned over recent years is that looking sideways at other people during your own journey just makes things a whole lot less enjoyable. Ultimately, the only one worth comparing yourself to is past versions of you. Who are you today? Who do you want to be? Who will you be tomorrow? Here’s how you can keep focused on your own unique path:
Recognise That Comparison Is The Quickest Path To Killing Your Joy
Comparing yourself to other people rarely fuels your motivation to achieve certain milestones (after all you’re likely already trying your best) – instead it usually just makes you feel a little bit shit. The best (and quickest) way I’ve learned to stop comparisons is by cleaning up my social media accounts. Plus it’s always worth remembering that “success” (as seen through a screen) doesn’t always equate to happiness.
Ask Yourself What You Truly Desire
I’ve noticed over recent years that there’s been a shift within me – I no longer feel the need to hit the milestones that society tells me I should have by this age. I think this has been due to cancer making me reflect upon what actually constitutes a life well-lived. Often we go through life unconsciously allowing the world to impress upon us a false idea of who we should be, what we should do, what we should own etc and this triggers a destructive cycle of self-defeating thoughts. It’s worth checking in with yourself and asking what a “successful life” really means to you – before you start grieving your current lack of milestones.
Value Your Own Journey
Everyones journey is different – and unfortunately sometimes life makes you go the long way round for your biggest lessons. Yet often we are so busy comparing ourselves to those apparently blazing ahead of us that we miss the opportunity to learn, grow, and feel deep appreciation for the lessons from our unique journey.
Stop Being So Future-Focused
A common reason we might feel like we’re falling behind in life is because we’re too focused on what we want to happen in the future. It’s important to make a conscious decision to be mindful and not overthink the future too much. Remember you can have the best-laid plans, but life might throw you a curveball along the way.
I know everyone’s preaching about gratitude these days, but it really works. Things like good health, a stable job, and loving family and friends are the building blocks for a good life. Even if it seems like everyone else around you is leaps and bounds ahead of you in certain areas, it’s hard to feel like you’re falling behind when you appreciate all that you already have.
Accept What Is
Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different. The best thing you can do is relax a little and let the Universe look after you. Whatever is meant for you will come your way eventually.