Anshu Singh

23rd May 2019 HomeArticles Written by Anshu Singh

Stop Comparing, Start Living

Humans are programmed to assess environment, people, situations so we can create our model of the world. Depending on our conditioning and belief systems, we compare ourselves to others either unconsciously or consciously. Imagine what happens when we compare our lives to others, our kids to other kids, our cars to other cars, our bank accounts to other people’s bank accounts. Comparison can bring a lot of unnecessary stress and pressure in our already pressured lives by not making us feel good about ourselves and our accomplishments.

In some cases, you may compare yourself to others to feel superior and feed your ego. Or maybe you compare yourself to others and feel inferior. Even highly accomplished people carry the parasite of comparison that eats away at their contentment. Comparison can even get into our unconscious minds, stopping us from having fulfilled lives. So no matter what you accomplish, grass always seems greener on the other side.

I invite you to take a moment and think for yourself. Are you comparing yourself to others consciously or unconsciously? How does it show up in your life? Do you feel superior or inferior?

Due to our tendency to compare, wanting to be like someone else and achieve so called perfection, the plastic surgery industry has become a multibillion-dollar industry. Perfection is a funny word because nothing is perfect and still everything is perfect just the way it is. We all have our own preconceived image of perfection that comes from our understanding of the world. That’s why on the yogic path, it’s said that “our conditioning is Maya,” which means “illusion.” We all see what we want to see. There are no perfect jobs, bodies, or people. It’s an illusion, but we believe that there’s some perfect person out there and compare ourselves to it. Perfection is just a projection of an image in our minds and that’s why perfect means different things to different people. It depends on our culture, country, religion, society, social circle, and our programming/conditioning.

In China, until the turn of the 20th century (and for 1,000 years before) having small feet made women desirable to men, so mothers broke and bound their daughters’ feet to make them perfect— which is just one example of how far humanity will go in search of perfection. And still we believe our lives won’t be perfect without that perfect Lexus, our body won’t be perfect without a boob job or Botox, and our kids won’t be perfect without straight A’s.

In order to stop this cycle and love and accept ourselves completely, fully, and unconditionally, we need to observe our thoughts and behaviors and become aware as awareness is the first step before change. Once there is awareness, now you can take action. Whenever you notice yourself comparing your body, hair, face, life, money, etc. with another person’s; interrupt this comparison by making a funny gesture or sound that’s unique to you. You could burst into laughter, and say, “I did it again.” Practice saying to yourself, “I’m exactly as I need to be.” or “I am enough, I have enough.”

My invitation to you is to work on becoming a better version of yourself instead of trying to become like someone else. Anytime you catch yourself comparing any parts of your body or life to someone else’s, bring your attention back to yourself. Count the blessings in your life, admire your unique qualities, and consider the following questions

What can I learn from this person?
What qualities of this person do I want to cultivate in myself?
How can I integrate these qualities in my life?

Either make them a role model or drop the comparison. The more you accept yourself and your life for what it is, you will notice less stress in your life. You may find that it takes some time to train yourself to stop the comparison and self-judgment, but over time bringing awareness to your thoughts is an effective way to rewiring your brain.

So from this moment onwards, become aware every time you feel jealousy, envy or comparison arising and see if you can break the pattern by becoming fully accepting of yourself and your life. Remember - Everything is perfect just the way it is...

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