If you’re like most other humans on the planet, you compare yourself to other people to see how you measure up — in your social circle, fashion, family, fitness, relationships, career, you name it. And if you’re like most other humans on the planet, doing this makes you super fucking miserable.
So why do we do this?!
You know it’s going to make you feel like shit, but you compare yourself to strangers on the internet. Or to your best friend who just bought a gorgeous new home. Or to your cousin who scored a super sweet job with a super sweet salary to match.
It’s tempting to play the comparison game. We just want to see if we measure up. But answer me this: How’s that working for ya?
Not so good, right? Instead of helping you get your shit together, comparing yourself to everyone else just makes you want to up your anxiety meds. It’s not productive. For a couple of reasons:
1. You’re not working with real information.
You know how you take like 10 selfies before you post one? Your friend is like, “OMG you’re so gorgeous!”, but little does she know there were 9 other photos where you looked like Shrek. When you’re looking in from the outside you only see the good stuff.
People only share the stories they want to share, whether it’s on Instagram or over brunch. This includes a collection of carefully curated highlights about their career. Believing that someone else’s highlight reel is the unfiltered truth will give you an eye twitch for a month. At least.
2. Comparing takes your eye off the prize.
The prize is doing what you want in your life. Even if you don’t know what you want, looking at what everyone else is doing doesn’t help. It just makes you feel like you should do what they’re doing. You are not a sheep. A copycat life isn’t good enough for you. Or anybody, for that matter. You might be a lot closer to getting some answers if you weren’t so busy looking at everyone else’s test paper.
The real trick is to stop looking at what everyone else is doing so you can get clear on what you want. And that can be really hard. If you feel lost, maybe you only know what you don’t want. That’s an okay place to start, actually. A vague longing that whispers “not this” is enough.
What you should do next is sit back and wait for a sign, right?
Waiting for a sign is not an effective strategy. Oh, don’t get me wrong, signs are great and they’re totally out there, but if they haven’t pointed you in the right direction yet you can’t just keep waiting.
Instead of waiting for the signs to show up in all of their neon, flashing glory, we’re going to actively hunt those fuckers down.
Pack your sense of adventure. We move at dawn…