The Cult of Comparison
Comparing ourselves to others seems to be baked into the DNA of society. It is the fuel that keeps the current system ticking over.
When we do not feel enough we can be bought and sold more easily. We are a gaggle of neurotic homo sapiens meandering about in insecurity. When we exist in this state we are easy to manipulate. It can be so easy to get lost inside of our own heads and start to believe that everyone else has everything all worked out.
Did you miss the memo on how life works?
It turns out we all did.
We walk down the street, sit in boardrooms, and stand in the kitchen at parties wondering how everyone else is coping so well.
How is Andy always so calm?
How did Simon and Michelle manage to create the perfect family?
Why is Angela so fearless in business?
The problem is, everyone in the street/ boardroom/ kitchen is probably muling over some version of this same story to some degree or another.
Andy is feeling socially anxious and hopes his mask is covering his inner panic.
Simon and Michelle have just finished an extensive programme of couples therapy and are praying nobody notices the cracks.
Angela hasn’t had a day off in three weeks and is thinking about how exhausted she feels.
Or maybe they have got it all worked out right now, but it may have been a tumultuous path to get there and tomorrow it might crumble. We don’t know, so we manifest a scenario in our heads and then repeat it over and over until it becomes true.
The more we analyse ‘comparison’ the more it seems ridiculous. None of us start in the same place or have the exact same opportunities. It’s just not possible. Comparison is so prominent because we have created a system that thrives on competition.
We have been conditioned to believe that we need to get ahead and that we need more. We learn that to do that we need to step over the bodies of our rivals. Maybe it is the time to unlearn and know that our differences are the very things that fuel the fire of life.
We are tiny, tiny pieces of an ever evolving jigsaw.
We know deep down that none of the longing we are feeling deep down can be found in the external world or in the life choices of others, but we are afraid to step out of the line and make the changes we yearn for because the Cult of Comparison needs us to be trapped.
When we can accept ourselves and all of the lovely little flaws that make us human, we can break out of the cycle of needing validation from the wrong people and places. We can start to live the lives we need to live.
We can thrive.