We live in a society where we are constantly comparing and being compared. We aren’t content with ourselves and we are always judging others. We compare ourselves to others, we aspire to be things we are not, and we are never satisfied with what we have. We always want more. It’s very natural to critique your life and look up to someone with qualities you admire. However, when you start trying to model that person and setting unrealistic goals and expectations for yourself, the comparison takes an ugly turn.
What we need to do is slow down and look at all that we have. We need to appreciate the things we have and the things we are privileged enough to get to do. Not everyone eats as well as we do. Not everyone gets an education. Not everyone has people that love and support them. We are lucky. We shouldn’t envy others. We should be grateful for who we are and what we have.
Having thoughts like “I wish I was prettier” or “I wish I had a car like that” only sets you up for disappointment. If you want something you have to work for it. You can’t just wish for something and expect it to magically happen. There has to be an effort. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you are right now. You can only improve yourself.
You are the person that determines your self-worth. Not your social status, your love life, the amount of money you have, or your education background. You decide how people see you. You decide your worth. If you degrade yourself, you are allowing others to do it as well because they think you don’t care. People are more likely to be critical of you if you are critical of yourself. Don’t put that target on yourself. Don’t allow people to see your flaws while you are vulnerable. Be proud of who you are and stand up for yourself.
Everyone has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. It’s what makes us human. No one has the perfect life they wish they had. The person you are comparing yourself to who seems to have it all together may be struggling with something you can’t see. You don’t know everyone’s story, so you can’t wish to be them. Wish to be the best person you can be and then work hard to get there. Be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to the world. Let the world see you for who you are. You have a specific reason for being here, so allow yourself to find that and then do it.
It can be difficult to avoid making these harmful comparisons, however, it is important to recognize when these comparisons are toxic rather than constructive. Having the desire to grow and improve on your weaknesses can be a good thing, as long as your intentions are ultimately implemented for your own well-being and not to meet the standards of everyone else. Focus less on measuring up to others and more on being the best version of yourself and you will be so much happier.
Originally written by Samantha Proctor on Unwritten