It is human nature to compare yourself with others. And every time we do that, we always fall short of some imaginary grade. There will always be someone better than you in every aspect of life. If you are a software professional, there will be someone in your office who is a superior professional. He/she would always be able to do all their work and yours in half the time and if you compare yourself with them, you will always fall short. All of you in the Information Technology field, working in big Multinational companies know exactly what I am talking about.
And then, there is your personal life. I used to have this colleague a few years ago, who had a girlfriend, who was smart, funny, beautiful and every time I used to look at her, I could not help but feel this envy that I could never be like her. She had tons of friends and people always seemed to be drawn to her and her boyfriend (my colleague) was besotted with her. They went on to get married, have a daughter and pretty much start their own business. To this day, I feel like such a failure, whenever I look at her life (Well, as much of her life that I can see on Facebook at least). Everything she does, the way she cooks, the way she takes care of her child, even the way she celebrates her birthdays and other occasions, etc. always seemed to be so much better than anyone else I have known. Although, all I can really know is what I see on Facebook, still, I cannot help but wonder, whether I could ever be like her. The sad reality is that, every one of us has someone in our life whom we think we should be or aspire to be and we always fall short of that, regardless of what we do.
This has nothing to do with a role model. Having a role model is a good thing. We could never be envious or jealous of a role model. In most cases, a role model is someone who inspires us to do something better in our life. No, what I am talking about here, is simple and plain comparison with someone else. There will always be someone to compare. Sometimes other people compare and judge us with another person and sometimes it is we ourselves, who think that someone else is better, because we have not done a certain thing the way they have done it, OR we think that the way they have done it, is much better and feel jealous that we did not think of doing it that way. This is human nature.
Comparisons are usually the result of low self-esteem although this is not always the case. People with high self-esteem can also doubt themselves. Someone will always be more talented, more beautiful, more rich, happier, more satisfied than you in every case. They may have a better life, a better job, a better spouse, a better family and their life always seems to be put together beautifully, while you feel that you are struggling in the most basic aspects of your life. Human nature dictates that we cannot help, but keep looking for ways to win against this person or persons with whom we have these kinds of comparisons. More often than not, that person is not even aware of your existence, let alone that you have been comparing yourself with them. The truth is that even that person has his/her own battles to face every day. He/She may have everything put together on Facebook, which is what is making you feel so down, but the reality could be very different.
It is all about perspective. What you see when you look at them, may be very, very different from what is actually going on in their life. Not everyone who posts happy photos on Facebook are happy and not everyone who posts sad photos are unhappy. The fact is, we may never know what is going on in another person’s life regardless of how envious or jealous of them we may be. The only thing that is true is that when we compare ourselves with others, more often than not, we will end up being depressed, because it will always seem that we fail this imaginary competition. Being happy or satisfied with yourself begins with you. God made every single one of us in his own image and He has blessed us with different personalities and talents and each one of us can be the best that we can be with God’s help. Unfortunately, it is human nature to doubt. We think we are less that what we are because someone else seems to be better. It is not easy to stop comparing yourself with others. But it can be done and it needs to be done. With everything that is going on in your life, comparing and feeling bad about yourself is just an added overhead to an already complicated life.
It does not matter what other people think of you. Even the people who do great things or good things – which we feel that we are not doing so, does not really matter, because God looks at the heart. A person doing something good or generous, is not necessarily a good person. You do not know what is in their heart. If you are sincere in your feelings and your doings, then that is all that matters. People’s perception should not matter. Accepting this and following it is very difficult. We live in the age of too much information and it always gives us negative thoughts about ourselves and about our life. Filter out the bad thoughts. It is okay to doubt yourself, it makes us question certain things and sometimes we may find answers that will enrich our life. But never think that you are less than someone else, OR that someone else is better. No one is perfect. It is the imperfections in each of us that make us who we are and being happy with who you are makes you content. When you do reach this state of contentment, please let everyone know because I too am still trying to get there! 🙂
But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5