Samara O'Shea

Suffering in Comparison

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men—true nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”

~ Hindu Proverb

I came across this quote on someone’s Facebook page the other day, and I quickly added it to my page because I liked it so much. It really amplifies a part of myself that I would very much like to change—the part that is constantly comparing herself to others.

I am due to turn thirty in September, and looking back on my twenties, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made as a person. My self-confidence has increased 100 fold. I stopped being afraid to share my personal opinions. I learned when and how to walk away from someone was wasn’t treating me well. And I figured out what a pointless emotion jealousy is (I plan to blog/elaborate on this in the next few days). Now I’m looking forward to the next decade and trying to figure out what improvements I’d like to make. There are many. First up: I aspire to stop comparing myself to other people in any and every capacity. It’s so hard! It’s such a human thing to do! We naturally allow ourselves to feel bad in the presence of someone who we think is better / has it better than we do AND (more tragically) we take occasional pleasure in other people’s misfortune so we can feel better about our own situations.

I know that this won’t work if you (um, me) do it half-heartedly. In other words, you can stop thinking other people are better than you but still go around thinking that your better than others. That only means you’re telling yourself that you’re better (you really aren’t) in order to make yourself feel good. Tis better to love yourself genuinely and learn to lift yourself up naturally, rather than thrive on the discomfort of others.

The key to doing this (I think) is accepting that I am a unique individual as is everyone else. No one else can be me, and I can’t be anyone else—so why bother trying! We are all separate but equal stars in the sky. No two people have the same finger prints, and I believe that’s God’s little yet constant reminder that we are all designed differently on purpose. The only person I should worry about improving is myself. I’m not sure if this is possible or how long it’ll take, but I’m willing to try. I’ll get back to you when I’m 39 =)