Stop comparing, start living

Since we have set our leaving dates and have been discussing our plans in more detail with those around us, I’ve noticed a lot of people saying things like, ‘I’m so jealous’, ‘I wish I could do what you’re doing’ like they have some barriers that would prevent them from making a big change like we are about to.  I’ve also had a number of conversations with people recently where they have compared aspects of their lives to others around them such as career success, family situations and health.  I know I have also done it myself, wishing for the apparent freedom some of my friends have.

By comparing ourselves to others, we are putting the focus in the wrong place. Our attention is on the other person, not ourselves.  We can’t be grateful if we are focusing on what we don’t have that someone else seemingly does. (And gratitude leads to happiness!)

There are a few things to remember when we find ourselves in these moments when we are comparing ourselves to others;

  • Everyone still has to do the boring bits – Whilst I have some exciting (and scary!) changes about to happen, I still have the same mundane business of the day to day to get through. There is still laundry, cleaning & groceries to do, kids to get up to in the middle of the night and bills to pay.  So no matter how glamorous or exciting things look, remember (especially with regards to social media) you’re only probably seeing a small part of the reality.
  • My life is my life, your life is yours.  Focus on yours. – We are all individuals with different preferences, dreams and habits.  My goals are different, the things I like to do are also probably different, some of them you might enjoy, some you may not. Some of my methods of doing things might work for you and some may not. (Some don’t work for me either!).  You need to find your own way of doing things that works for you, your own goals and make sure they are yours.  Ask yourself ‘why do I want to do this?’
  • What’s stopping you? – And then, if you really want to make changes in your life, start asking what is truly holding you back. This one for me is the key.  If you really want to achieve something, career change, live somewhere else or any other audacious goal, sit down and be honest with yourself.  What is really preventing you from doing it? Oftentimes the reasons are barriers we have created in our own minds that can be overcome with some creative problem solving.  If you need help with doing the digging, drop me a line.  Sometimes you need someone to ask you the right questions.

So next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, remember life is not a competition, you don’t need to measure or compare yourself to someone else.  Look inward and figure out whether you are where you want to be and if not, do something about it.

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