Have you ever felt completely happy and pleased with your life one minute, only to feel low and full of jealousy only moments later? It's crazy how easy it is to forget how lucky WE are when we compare ourselves to others, but unfortunately, it’s also common.
Over the past few months, I’ve caught myself feeling envious of people who always seem to have the perfect clothes, friends, and lives. As I scroll through social posts, I wonder why my life is so boring.
I don’t know about you, but I do know that lately it feels like this happens to me A LOT. I’ve been catching myself in those moments, thinking “how is her life so perfect? I wish I could live that life for just one day.”
Then I remind myself to stop. I think to myself, “look how great your life is. Stop looking at that picture and look at your own pictures.” And then I do. I look at my life and refocus on all the positive things I’ve got.
We’re only human, and it’s so easy to look at other people and their perfect pictures, then assume that they are living the dream. But everyone has problems. Everyone has stuff they deal with and don’t share because it’s not so pretty.
When we scroll through our social media, what we really see is what people WANT us to see. Sharing things that feel negative puts us in a vulnerable position, and that’s scary. So instead, we all tend to share the best stuff. That way we don’t feel vulnerable. Instead, we feel like we have more control.
This goes beyond social media, too. Sometimes we get jealous of other people’s grades, sports, and achievements. Let’s look at an example, like checking the leaderboard in an athletic competition. You see yourself in 317th place, and you’re pretty proud of that. Then you see that your friend is sitting in 198th place. In just seconds, it’s easy to forget how proud you are and feel jealous of your friend’s achievement.
Suddenly, the same way you wanted to live the life you saw in your friend’s Instagram story, you also want to take that girl’s place on the leaderboard. Your friend is 149 places ahead of you, and suddenly, you’re no longer as proud of your own accomplishments.
But back to my point, we need to remind ourselves that this is NOT the best outlook. Personally, I’m working on reminding myself to say, “look at yourself sitting at 317 out of over 1,000 other athletes. Look at how good you are this year compared to last year.” And then I feel better.
Let’s face it: it still stinks to see that you’re so far behind your friend, but it also feels great seeing how much progress I’ve made in a year. I’m focusing on embracing that GREAT accomplishment.
It’s all summed up so eloquently in Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote reminding us that “comparison is the theft of joy.” Don’t let anything steal your joy. Look at your life. Laser focus on what YOU have and what you are capable of. As soon as you feel that jealousy arise, stop yourself. Don’t compare, and don’t be jealous. Even when you’re feeling down, someone else is jealous of you right now because of YOUR accomplishments.
Don’t spend time in the negative. Bloom from the positivity you surround yourself with.