“He looks so happy.”
“Why am I depressed?”
“She’s from a big, loving family.”
“Why do I feel so alone?”
The Comparison Curse strikes again.
I live a fun life. My wife and I have circled the globe for seven years as professional bloggers.
My 9-5 job friends admire me but sometimes feel jealous about my globe trotting ways. If you get two weeks of vacation annually you may feel envious of someone who spent six months in Bali.
But life has not always been a dream for us. We both went through tough times.
I used to be the jealous of people who had:
- a stable income
- 9-5 jobs
- supportive families
- firm life goals
I compared myself to society. I hated what I saw. Everybody seemed so comfortable and on their way while I struggled to make pennies. I was cursed.
The Comparison Curse
The Comparison Curse is the depressing habit of comparing yourself to people who seem to be happier or more successful than you. Even if things seem to be going well in your life a simple visit to Facebook brings the curse alive. Pain, misery, jealousy, envy, anger and a general malaise invade your being. Depression often sets in for hours or even days.
I suffered from this dreaded mental meme over a decade ago but eventually cured myself of this paralyzing plague that saps your ambition, deflates your drive and dampens your spirit.
Decide today to free yourself from the comparison curse by following these steps.
Embrace that Everybody Takes a Different Journey
You are a spirit in a meat suit.
The spirit in you decided to have a human experience for your life span on planet earth.
Every experience is different.
But you are in the perfect place at the perfect time, right now.
I vividly recall my high school buddies buying homes and starting families while I tossed and turned on a sea of circumstance, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I finally decided to own my less than traditional path in life versus comparing myself to other people.
I have never owned a home. But I have lived for months in places like:
- New Zealand
- Costa Rica
Over the past seven years. I just booked a two month trip to exotic Oman yesterday.
I live a dream life now because I did not bail on my dreams when the Comparison Curse begged me to take an average, common path, just to fit in.
Walk your path guys by respecting we each take a different journey during our human experience.
Beware the Facebook Effect
If you believe your life sucks because someone posts one smiling selfie on Facebook you fell victim to both the Comparison Curse and Facebook Effect.
The Facebook Effect is believing a Facebook friend lives a happy, peaceful, stress-free, perfect life based on one snap shot you process in a split second. Your snap judgment and current unhappiness deludes you into believing one photo perfectly sums up an individual’s life. Women who struggle to get pregnant feel horrible comparing themselves to the friend who shows off her four smiling kids with a Facebook photo. Men with $10 to their name feel hopeless after seeing a friend driving a $100,000 super car.
One Facebook snap shot represents 1 millionth of an individual’s life. If someone lives their dreams they went through highly difficult circumstances for a sustained period of time to share that Facebook photo.
Before you judge me as always being happy because of one smiling selfie snapped in Fiji understand that I went bankrupt, struggled for years with my online business and had to accept the fact that my mom suffered from a terminal illness to strip away deep fears so I could be the guy I am today.
Most human beings feel bad after comparing their low points to a successful person’s highlights but would feel horrible if they reached the depths that successful people dropped to before picking themselves up.
Do not judge a life time on a single snap shot. Remember that the whole roll of film consisted mostly of duds before the seemingly perfect snapshot appeared. @RyanBiddulph (Click to Tweet!)
Your Journey Makes You Special
Every one of your life experiences makes you special.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Own your wins and losses. Celebrate your success and struggles.
Even if you are going through tough times now these challenges will catapult you over obstacles on your journey.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.
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