Friday, September 4, 2009

Don't Worry- Try to be Happy

Just be happy with who YOU are...

We are all different, we're individuals. True success and achievement is not about being better than someone else; it is about being better today than you were yesterday. Comparing yourself to anyone else is self-defeating, as there will always be someone faster, smarter, better looking, wealthier, and healthier than you. I know this is easier said that done because the world demands that you compare yourself to someone or something. Standing in line at the supermarket, you read headlines about the prettiest people in America, how to lose weight, how to have better sex, and how to look like a movie star. At work we are subjected to relative rankings and performance scales. Our children constantly face scrutiny and comparisons at school where they face grades on a curve, the homecoming court, and MVP awards. The same is true for us. We have been trained to compare ourselves to others as a way to determine our self-worth. Self-worth begins on the inside and never on the outside with comparing.

Continuous comparisons create a constant stream of negativity in the form of competition between ourselves and the people around us. This especially happens between siblings and family members to the point where relationships are stretched to the limit and destroyed over competition and judgment. Comparing yourself to someone else is a veiled form of judgment. You are either judging them or judging yourself. Either way, it is unhealthy and unrealistic. And stirs negative emotions, such as jealousy, which are only ever destructive, in the main for the person feeling the envy, so why put yourself through that...

On the other hand, we often demand a comparison, thinking that we deserve something that someone else has. This creates a strong sense of inferiority, which, in turn, creates guilt and anger. Comparing yourself to anyone or anything else is a battle that cannot be won. To be truly happy requires that you let go of comparisons and establish your own measure of success.

Who do you think is more successful: the person who overcomes anger or the person who overcomes an addiction to alcohol? We could debate this question forever, but the truth is that there is no comparison! Our goal is to improve, to grow, and to develop love, compassion, and experience joy. When you compare yourself to others, you limit yourself and you limit them. A study of more than eight thousand adults revealed that a person’s level of happiness is reduced by 26 percent if he or she regularly compares the quality of his or her family and social relationships to that of others. Comparing ourselves to others creates an unrealistic and unobtainable standard to live up to and leads to unhappiness.

There are at least three forms of comparisons that are dangerous:

(1) when we compare ourselves to others;

(2) when we have an unrealistic view of what success is; and

(3) when we compare others to others, such as comparing your spouse, your partner. All of these comparisons are unhealthy and cause you to determine your self worth from outside sources. You are beautiful, you are wonderful, and all that beauty and all that wonder are already inside of you. Be happy by not comparing and you will see just how beautiful you are.


Unknown said...

There is also the problem of comparing yourself to yourself. For example, when I am down, I compare myself to when I was up which makes me feel worse. It makes me feel like I will never grow and get better. Comparisons are a dangerous thing indeed.

susan said...


i am very guilty of comparing myself to others, and it leads to huge depressions. i do compare myself to where i was before diagnosis, and i could just about cry. i have to learn to get over that.

WillSpirit said...

Thank you for this reminder. My biggest problem, like sisyphusgal suggests, is comparing where I am now with how things looked ten years ago. I have been 'reduced' hugely in status, financial security, self esteem, sense of contribution and value, body image, etc. Even though my life now is not bad, it looks so much 'less' than what I had before... And that comparison gets extended to looking at where I am relative to where my former colleagues are... It's an endless and useless spiral that does me no good at all. Examined objectively, I have a very nice life. It only looks grim in...comparison.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right, Susan-- we would all be better off if we didn't compare ourselves so much. If only it weren't so hard to remember this!

Wishing you the best,

susan said...

Thank you all, for the inspiration. I think I see my net article!


Wendy Love said...

What a fantastic reminder. I also compare my sick self to my well self. I remember the days when I was extremely productive and had a lot to show at the end of a day. That is not the case now, but your article has encouraged me to stop doing that! Thanks!

susan said...

Wendy, it's hard but I think it's better than the alternative. Let me know how it goes, please?

Ana said...

You're so right!
Thank you for reminding me that because we always can catch ourselves comparing with others.

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