It has been coined the term, ‘Keeping up with the Jones’. The millennial may even say 'the Kardashians'. The statement basically implies that we strive to measure up to those who live in our neighborhood. Cars, homes, material possessions, status and more. We seek these things, not even to because we truly want them but because we believe we need them. People will drive themselves into debt, paying any price just to measure up! Walk into any mall, office or gym and you will always find someone who is better looking, stronger, richer or smarter. It’s just the way it goes.
Now with Social media, it has even intensified as the race is on of the most followers or likes. These measurable are so visible and only add to the problem. If you are constantly comparing yourself then you will never truly be satisfied with who you are and what you have. You become your own worst enemy. Comparison is like a deadly cancer that latches onto every insecurity that resides within and without relenting, it will tell you that you are not enough.
The bigger problem is that the media is designed to sell us something, always informing us that what we have isn’t good enough. It screams at us from every magazine in the check out lines, from every billboard on the highway and on every commercial in between our favorite TV shows. They are letting us know that what we have is no longer valid and that we need the latest and greatest if we want true happiness. Your shoes are out of date, your home needs a new lift and your body is not going to be good enough for the latest fashion trend. Look at your phone. Everytime we turn around, what you hold in your hand is out of date. Get the big phone. Oh wait, there is a new one and it's smaller but better. You wouldn't dare be caught dead with the old phone! Don’t get me wrong, if you want to update things and keep them fresh there is nothing wrong with that. I am talking specifically to our about the motivation behind the actions.
Worse even are the symptoms that follow comparison. Jealousy, controlling behaviors, insecurities and manipulative plotting, all motivated by fear and an attempt to control every situation. Not only is this impossible but its completely exhausting.
The cycle never ends. It continues the moment the new model of car is released and the neighbor pulls up beside you, leaving you dissatisfied with what you already own. The lady in the shops has that new purse or the guy in your office gets the job promotion over you. Comparison pokes its nasty little head in, leaving you feeling void. It’s like grasping at the wind. You will never measure up. Constant comparisons are robbing you of living your life in complete happiness and the only victim is you!
With all these constant messages from media and society, the problem isn’t going away anytime soon. It stems from a deep internal need and society is playing on this longing. So how do we get resolve and what is the answer to stop the roller coaster of emotion. Here are some thoughts to ponder.
3 THINGS TO OVERCOME COMPARISON
1. Identity properly placed- Allowing your identity to be shaped by material things or even others opinion of you will always leave you empty, wanting more. You are already enough, just as you are. Material possessions nor others approval will ever validate you. While it is not wrong to have nice things and even enjoy them, they should never be sought to complete you.
2. You must find joy in what you already have- Stop believing the lie that you always need more, thinking that this will lead to happiness. Comparison always gets your eyes on what others have and steals your focus. You end up saying, 'If only I had this," or " if only that was me'. This blocks you from seeing the true gifts and opportunities that are within you. Stop and take a look at what you already have and take the time to enjoy it.
3. Celebrate others- Others people success should never be your failure. Too often, when another succeeds the natural instinct is to one up them or make your achievements known. Secure people don't find their validation from others. Celebrate others and their wins. Congratulate them and be truly be happy for their success. When you succeed, you will see all that love come back to celebrate you.
An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.