Learn to ...be what you are,and learn to resign with a good grace that you are not.
I received this quote by whatsapp today and this set me thinking about my friend Ankita from Udupi. Married in to a traditional family she has two beautiful children, a lovely home and shares a lovely rapport with her in-laws. A dream situation for most of us don’t you think? But was she happy? No sir, she was not.
The reason was very simple. Prior to marriage she used to teach at a tech grade school. Now she wasn’t pursing any career, content to be a house wife. But whenever her hubby dear complimented women especially his colleagues, she used to get irritated. In her own words she says,
I always feel restless whenever my husband mentions about any working women. I sulk all day long, do not feel like cooking- even though it happens to be my favorite activity. I feel hurt that I did not pursue my career after marriage and whatever I do, this resentment lingers at the back of my mind. And keeps popping up now and then….
The problem with comparing to others:
Clearly we are all guilty about this.Either we do it in our minds or somebody else does it for us and we lose perspective about ourselves. Sigh.. I have often done it myself. Whenever I watch my slim and fit neighbor – a lady same age as me, balancing her high profile job and home, I do feel envious. For the record I am on the plumper side and for the life of me cannot multitask. I get overwhelmed if there are too many things on my plate.
But the problem with comparison is that
Apart from this comparing your life with others leads to
- It is a waste of time and energy. When you constantly compare looks, academic achievements, or social status of others you waste your time- the time that you could have spent on yourself, your hobbies or your goals.
- It is a killer of joy. Constant comparison disturbs your mind,causes anxiety. And when the mind is disturbed you feel restless, lost and depressed.
- Your focus is on other people. So you can never be at peace. You start stalking their profiles, their face book statuses and lo you will soon feel you are worthless.
In other words comparison is deadly. So never compare yourself with others. So what can you do?
Here are few tips to stop comparing with others.
1. Sit with yourself:
The next time you compare and upset your mood, do this. Get away from the place and sit down at some secluded corner and think what makes you compare. Maybe you had a friend who was attractive and she always got compliments while you were left behind. Or perhaps you felt your brother or sister got more love from your parents and they were better than you? Go deeper and find your reasons. Each one of us has some powerful memories from childhood that dictates how we behave today. The idea is to become aware of your thoughts and realize what goes on in your internal subconscious mind.
2. Self awareness – Accept Yourself:
Acceptance can only happen when you sit with yourself and think about your strengths and weaknesses. You may never be good at certain things but you may be great at certain skills. So make a list of your strengths and become better at it. Compete with yourself. The satisfaction in improving yourself is quite high.
3. Let it go:
In spite of your best efforts some thoughts can keep coming to bug you. These things happen even when you spend time understanding yourself and your thoughts. So in such cases practice letting go. For every unwanted thought you get , imagine them as a whiff of smoke going up and disappearing. Or write them down in a paper and imagine burning each of the upsetting thoughts. It is helpful to hear the song ‘Let it Go’ from the movie -Frozen. These lyrics never fail to inspire me
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymoreLet it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anywayIt’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at allIt’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
4. Pamper yourself:
We don’t not need any encouragement for this. Head to the parlor, or that spa; paint your nails. Get that dress or hair cut or even the pair of earrings that you have always ogled over. If we don’t love ourselves and then who will? So spend once in a while simply for yourself.
5. Spend some ‘Me Time’
Make a date with yourself. Keep the motto ‘I need to relax’ in your mind. Do whatever it takes to get to the relaxed state. It could be going for a nature walk, listening to uplifting music or just dancing to dance the blues away. Or indulge in your hobby. I know a lady who does pottery every day to unleash her creative energy and also just to be at peace with herself. So what will you do daily so that you remain peaceful for at least a couple of minutes?
6. Be open to learning:
Take time to learn. Take an online class, or learn via videos. Create something new every year. This will give you a healthy self respect about yourself.
7. Have some faith:
In the book ‘The Power of Positive Thinking‘ by Norman Lewis, he recommends saying these words several times a day.
I can do all things through God which strengthen me
Say them early in the morning, before heading to bed and whenever you feel low. Some more tips that the book suggests is to keep motivational messages with you. Write down positive messages in cards and keep them where you can see them everyday. Say in your bathroom at the brush stand, near the vanity mirror , in your kitchen and car etc. The idea is that reading and thinking positive thoughts will put you in a better frame of mind everyday.
Make God your partner. Believe that God is with you helping you , guiding you and healing you. Here visualization is important. So spend some time, closing your eyes and thinking that God is besides you and he is giving you strength to cope the day.
A three minute video to help you stop comparing:
Here is a three minute hilarious video by Joyce Meyer. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her, she is a famous christian speaker. Her voice is aggressive and masculine and many times she was mistaken to be a male. Initially she was hurt as she wanted to be considered a sweet, gentle person. In this video she talks about this comparison and then she says, I am not a mistake, God has something for me to do. Most probably her short talk will resonate with you.
So do read the tips and see if they help you out. Do write back if you are following any other tricks to help you stop comparing with others.
For people who wish to read the book on positive thinking here is the link. It has got a good set of reviews in Amazon.
The book has been touted as inspirational, powerful and a fantastic read. The reviews also mention there are a lot of examples to help you do when things are not going your way. On the flip side some do not find the book great as they find it heavily influenced by Christianity. Personally I feel the book is helpful as it gives you some informative tips to unleash your positiveness.
[The link is an amazon affliate link that is helping the site to survive.]