Something I've heard myself say often lately is: keep your eyes in your own lane. This is one of the things I want to hold to throughout 2017 in an effort to break free from those pesky limitations I was talking about in this post. The comparison game is a cruel one. Its easy to become discouraged and hard on yourself when you begin to look at what other people are accomplishing, creating, succeeding at, etc. and in turn make it about yourself and comparing what you're doing/who you are only to fall short.
It's a conversation I've had often. So many people (maybe even most) struggle with comparison in one area of their life or another. Being a creator, being a mother, being a woman, having a career, what you own, how you dress, etc. etc. etc. I wish it was as simple as saying/hearing, "look, you have something to offer that the people you're comparing yourself to don't". But, once you get caught up in the habit of comparing rather than celebrating what others have to bring to the table and what you have to offer, it can become a really toxic cycle. A cycle that looks like - feeling shitty about yourself and your accomplishments then mentally or verbally tearing others down in order to feel better about yourself.
The most important step to take to rise above comparison is to examine how to be more fully you. It's really cliche to say that you are the only one of you. And that's true. But in order to make that count for something it's important that we not only recognize that as truth but also work to expand on that truth and take a minute to know what it means to stand firmly and confidently in who we are as individuals. There's always going to be someone who can offer something unique. And, in order to curb the judgement, negativity, and thinking poorly of others, and instead work on building each other up, we need to focus more on keeping our eyes in our own lane. In the same way, it's unnecessary to steal from others because their idea is unique, their sense of self is strong, and it's easy to want what they have. This would happen less and less if we were to focus on our own strengths and as if in a reflection see strengths in others as well.
It's really easy to look at what others have or what their lives look like (especially on social media) and in turn focus on what we lack. Instead if we're able to shift our focus and energy on how many little things (and big) in our own lives we have to be grateful for and the unique qualities that we possess suddenly life feels more fulfilling, we feel happier and in turn we become a light rather than weigh ourselves and others down because we don't feel like we measure up. Fulfillment and contentment will never happen naturally or authentically in watching others and trying to use their exact formula (copy what they're doing in order for you to get what you think they have), have their exact aesthetic, their success, their following, their family, their friends, their talent, their lives. Of course there is value in being open. In having conversation with and absorbing wisdom from others. In being at a place where we are able to celebrate the unique talent and success both in ourselves and in others we will be able to create a healthy opportunity for relationship and community to thrive in. If I focus on doing me to the best of my ability ultimately a greater shift will occur.
What you focus on you amplify. If we focus on being a confident, strong version of who we are and in the talent we have to offer that's what will be amplified. Only you have your voice, your taste, your vision, your dreams. Of course, on the flip side, if we focus on how much we lack, how often we fall short, how much others have that we wish we did, what we end up amplifying is harmful self-talk, never measuring up, and carrying negativity with us wherever we go. Including to the places we hope to grow and thrive in. In my life this looks like, stepping away from Instagram sometimes. It looks like not having a Facebook account in which to look into the lives of others (that at this point I hardly have relationship with). At times it's meant stepping away from or putting boundaries in relationships that spark comparison or cause me to feel less confident in who I am and all that I have to offer. It means taking time to journal, taking time for self care, going to therapy, spending time with friends and people who genuinely support, encourage, uplift, love, and celebrate all the things in you that you are hoping to amplify in yourself and vice versa. At the end of the day we are all trying to figure out this journey called life. How beautiful to be able to recognize the unique qualities in ourselves and others that add to this experience.
Do you struggle with comparison? How does it show up for you? What do you do to curb the cycle and keep your eyes in your own lane?