No matter what area of life is in question – personal, recreational or professional – one of the most psychologically damaging things we can do to ourselves is to measure our successes and failures in relation to another person.
What’s right for one person is not necessarily so for another, and as long as we keep comparing ourselves to others, we will never discover what is really the right path for us.
One big example of this is our health. The most common comparison that we make is determining what is a healthy body size for us by looking at others. However, we are all built differently, and one size does not fit all.
Beyond this, while there are certain health do’s and don’ts that apply to everyone (ie. avoiding processed foods, and choosing whole, nutritious foods), you have to find a meal plan that works for you.
Some people feel great eating raw foods, but for others, they do not feel nourished unless something hot is on the menu. Some people choose to eat meat, and others – for a variety of reasons – do not. The key is to be as informed as possible about what you are putting into your body, and make your own choice.
Do not let someone else make you feel bad if your healthy lifestyle differs from theirs – the key is to know your body and make sure you are giving it what it needs to be truly healthy.
Comparing ourselves with others can also lead to a lot of stress. If we are constantly scrambling to make our home as clean or decorated as someone else’s, either to impress a family member or to “keep up with the Jones’s,” the frustration we feel running this self-created game of catch-up can be quite detrimental to our well-being.
The same goes for our professional lives. While we all have certain goals we want to reach at work, it is unhealthy to try to achieve something just to outshine someone else. Very often, we lose what it is we are actually striving for in the process, and our accomplishments become empty.
On the opposite side of the coin, if we make our accomplishments our own, and focus on making ourselves happy, every achievement becomes extremely rewarding.
Each one of us is unique, and has an individual path in life. If you are living in the shadow of someone or something you are comparing yourself to, you are selling yourself short. We know it’s not yet time for New Year’s resolutions, but why not make a mid-year resolution?
Considering all of the competition in the world today, make sure it is yourself you are striving to better, not someone else’s standard that you are aiming to reach.
-The Alternative Daily