Lately, I have been thinking a lot about comparison: how and why we compare ourselves to others, how it feels (not good), and how important it is that we learn to thrive in our own unique life and circumstances.
Do a mental check right now and see if you’ve compared yourself to someone today.
Maybe it was their appearance, or perhaps you compared your social status. It can be as subtle as noticing a nice car next to you and having a fleeting impression about how that persons life must be better or easier than yours. Or checking out homegirl’s butt and wondering if yours is bigger – (this is the most pointless question EVER). Comparing the quality of your work, or the size of an engagement ring.
For me, the comparison comes in the professional realm. In the world of blogging and social media influence, notoriety is all about the numbers: blog stats, facebook likes, followers via Twitter or Instagram. I get caught up in the digital drama, under the guise of it being “for the business” and come face to face with the fact that I am comparing myself to others. And it’s not a nice feeling.
I was talking to one of my girlfriends (who shall remain nameless) last week, and she was vocalizing how she wished she had Kathryn Budig’s life. I get that. Kathryn Budig has killer fashion sense, cute dogs, rad interior design skills, a wildly successful yoga teaching career, cute tattoos, and recently had an epic fairytale wedding – drool-worthy photos from which were just recently posted on Facebook.
I was listening to my friend talk about how awesome Kathryn Budig’s life is, and it got me going on my own internal hamster wheel. Before I knew it, I was mentally spinning out about how I can be more like Rachel Brathen. Yes, the secret is out: I have a girl crush on Yoga Girl. Alas, it’s a girl crush colored with a mild shade of green… the old green eyed monster, envy.
Then I stopped myself. Why feel envy? My life is full. I have the best husband in the whole entire universe, a cozy sailboat to call home, a steady and sustaining business, and more passions than I can count. My days are filled with things I love to do: yoga, surf, SUP, art, adventure, writing, good food, friends. I have a deep, strong connection to the love that abides in all of us, the universal consciousness, the man upstairs. I have so much to be grateful for. I am, in this moment, thriving.
As that gratitude washes over me, I can no longer compare. How can you compare joy?
I was watching this video tonight of Oprah at Standford Graduate School of Business, and was inspired by her answer to the question: “What is the secret to your success?”
Oprah’s answer: She stays rooted and grounded in herself. She stays AWAKE. In her words:
My life is fueled by my being… and (that) fuels the doing. I come from wanting to connect. Everything comes from me really wanting to be a better person on earth. All of us are seeking the same thing – you, me, everybody –
You want to fulfill the highest, truest expression of yourself.
Oprah, you’re right. Sometimes, we look at another person, and we see that in some ways they are fulfilling that expression – that perhaps their career, love life, wardrobe, lifestyle – it is an expression of what we want (and subconsciously know we are capable of) in our highest self. And when we recognize that, we have a responsibility to turn back to looking at our own lives and ask: Am I in alignment? Am I setting myself up to fulfill the highest, truest expression of myself?
Ask yourself the following (maybe grab a journal and jot these down to ponder later):
- Are you following a career/education/life path that is in alignment with your PASSIONS?
- Are you in a healthy, supportive, loving relationship (with yourself first, and then your significant other?)
- Are you being truthful with the people around you and yourself about your identity?
- Do you have a spiritual connection? Are you “plugged in?” (*Note: this doesn’t have to mean the “G” word. But are you plugged into something greater than yourself? The universe is made up of interdependent phenomena – you are no exception. We need connection to thrive)
- Are you pursuing your dreams? Seriously! Make a list and figure out one that you can start pursuing RIGHT NOW.
- Is your life fueled by your being? Ultimately, the highest and truest expression of yourself comes through surrender to being.
So, how do we get aligned? Here’s an easy way to get aligned every day and thrive by being yourself:
- Plug in to your spirit connection.
- Give thanks for whatever comes to your heart, and let yourself smile.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Set your intention to fulfill the highest, truest expression of yourself.
- Go forth and kick ass. You’re amazing. Be yourself.
Tags: comparison, how to like yourself, how to live your dream life, kathryn budig, oprah, rachel brathen, self-help, self-love, stoked yogi