At some point or another in our lives we have heard someone say, “Don’t compare yourself to others, focus on yourself. That is what is most important.” or the just as popular saying, “Don’t worry about what others think about you.” Perhaps you were on the receiving end of these statements or you were saying those to a friend in need of comfort and reassurance. Unfortunately, those are reminders I find myself needing to hear quite a bit. In fact, they are reminders that I have needed for as far back as I can remember. For every encouraging and positive statement I make about myself, my strengths, my progress, there are at least 3 others hidden away in the darkness of my head and heart that are far from positive. It is a daily struggle for me.
“Life is pain, anyone who says differently is selling something” – The Princess Bride
This journey through my adulthood, divorce/singlehood and motherhood makes those statements even more necessary. I find myself sitting back and looking at others’ progress and development and wondering, why I am not where they are. Why am I not as happy with myself? Why am I still alone? Why am I still stuck in this rut? Am I worthy of all the good that person has? Why is it taking so long for me? I feel like I am falling behind. It is so easy to get caught up in that spiral of thoughts and the next thing you know, you are hiding in bed, under the covers in the middle of the day.
So, why am I writing about this, why am I sharing it with you? Uhm……I dunno. 😉 I guess one reason is to say, things suck sometimes, life is not all fun and games. Despite how much we want everything to be sunshine and roses, its not going to be. If we try and force it…force ourselves to be perfect….force our lives to be perfect, we will be miserable. Relationships will end, you will experience heart break and disappointment, there will be decisions you regret, you will feel lonely. If you are anything like me, the most challenging part is to not let those situations overwhelm you and take you over.
I have been known to run immediately to the idea that EVERYTHING IS OVER, the moment something goes wrong. It’s definitely not something I am proud of and has made it difficult for people to be with me/around me during those tough times. Through hard work, persistence and many set backs, I have made improvements and the number of instances when that occurs have dramatically decreased. Now, I allow myself to wallow in the disappointment/hurt/regret/sadness for a brief time. I grieve the situation, acknowledge it thoroughly sucks (lol), then I get back to life. I make a new game plan, come up with new approach to the situation and move on (hopefully 😉 ).
I am writing this today to say to you, you aren’t the only one out there that finds yourself struggling with comparing yourself to others. Most of us do, whether we admit it or not. Your life journey is yours and only yours. It will not follow the same path as mine or anyone else’s. Focus on your journey and your path. It’s ok to sneak off the trail once and while, but don’t get yourself lost out there.