Friday, June 21, 2013

Comparing to someone's 'outsides'

How often do you look around at others in your life to gauge how you are doing? Silly, isn't it? Yet we all do it. And perhaps even more frequently than we care to admit.

I have a dear friend who always says, "Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides." She means that you know the back story of what you do and how you feel. You know how many times you've fallen down in your attempts to get it right. You might not always be proud of where you are or how you feel about things.  It may not be where you'd like to be. But when you compare to what you see of someone else's life from the outside, you'll always lose out. You don't know their back story. You don't know their struggles. You don't know how they feel about themselves or what they are doing. All you know is what you see on the outside, and that's really not very much.

Compare to yourself. Don't worry about anyone else. Is there something you'd like to learn or to develop further? Then set your own goals and break them down into smaller action steps so they are achievable. Celebrate the progress you are making—and forget about comparing to anyone else. Typically, it only discourages you.

If someone can serve as an inspiration to you, that's quite different. Even so, try to not get caught up in comparing yourself to that person. Simply take what inspiration you can from her and let it spur you on. Savor the journey, learn as you go and don't worry about what others are doing. Again, it's about your own authenticity—about being who you are meant to be.

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