The primary reason why I’m writing this post is to stop myself, if I got tempted, from doing this destructive habit. I am talking about constantly comparing your life to other people’s lives. I’m gonna discuss why I used to do it, how it affected me, and how I learned to stop.
I think it started in my teens. At this age you are expected to figure out what you wanna do in your life and design a plan for your future. Of course I was clueless, I still am. In high school everyone around me was studying hard trying to maintain excellent grades to get accepted in prestigious universities. They seemed to have everything already figured out for them. I felt lost, and a little jealous of them. It continued after high school graduation and throughout college.
The problem with this habit is that it doesn’t encourage you change or do something about your situation, you just inactively watch everyone around you living their lives. You pity yourself, and ask ‘Why me?’. You keep wondering why everyone around are doing something in their lives and you’re just not accomplishing anything. It’s not envy really, it’s more like running away from your responsibilities by keeping busy of what others are doing and whining about how you’re not like them. It’s passive and self-destructive. I noticed that I do it whenever I feel like I am not going anywhere with life.
In my senior year of college I started to break that habit because I realized that everyone wants different things in life, and of course are gonna take different routes to get it. So why should I compare myself to others? Instead, I started to compare myself with the person I was before. It worked, and it was incredible and allowed me to change for the better. But when graduation came things started to fall apart. It’s time when you enter the real world, start looking for a job, be financially independent, sort out your life, and other adult’s stuff you need to take care of. It was scary and confusing. I couldn’t get a decent job, in fact I am still unemployed. The only thing I got was a part-time office job which I quit after two days. Seeing my college mates working, or taking courses, or whatever they’re doing made me feel like a failure.
Recently I’ve met with my college friends for lunch and they told me their stories of post-graduation and how their lives are like right now. As they talked I realized that this is not what I wanted. Their lives that I saw as glamorous were suddenly unattractive for me. And that’s when I told myself that enough was enough. I promised myself not to compare my life with anyone else’s again, no matter what happens. Maybe the fact that I don’t have things figured out is a good thing. Maybe this will give me time to explore, to know myself better, to learn more about life, and to do things that others won’t normally think of doing.
Life is a journey. Everyone takes a different path with different means of conveyance. Some people would drive at 60 mph trying to reach somewhere as fast as they can, and others might drive slowly to watch the scenery around them and enjoy every moment on the road. Whatever your purpose in life is or how you want to do it, always remember that the only person you should compare yourself with is you.