The antidote to the game of comparison
Updated: Apr 4, 2022
I've been battling with comparison lately. Comparing myself to people my age who are married, have kids, and successful in business. Spending time on social media amplifies the comparison game as you look at everyone's pictures and seemingly perfect lives.
Then I remembered what someone told me when I was married with a huge rock on my finger and living in my dream custom home. "You have everything. A husband that clearly loves you very much (this was determined by the size of my ring), a beautiful house, a stable job where you are well liked and respected. Why do you want to throw all of this away and get divorced?"
To everyone else, my life was perfect. I had everything. What else could I want?
What I wanted was deeper than what people could see about my life. I wanted:
The ability to come and go without having to ask for permission
To know how much money we had in our bank accounts and have access to the money I made
To hear "you're beautiful" just once
To be touched, hugged, kissed
To not live in fear of being hit every day
Comparison is an evil game that we engage in by ourselves. We don't need anyone else to play the game, and it always ends with feeling inadequate, worthless, defeated, and often shame. When I find myself playing this game, I remind myself that my journey is unique and there is no set of rules in society that outline where I should be at age 38 or what I should have accomplished.
When you find yourself starting to play the comparison game, where does your brain go? How do you get yourself out of the game? My tips for you are:
Recognize you're playing the game
Remind yourself that there are no rules you have to live by
Refresh your memory of times when you maybe had the "perfect" life but were unhappy
Make a list of things you're grateful for
Gratitude is the antidote to this game. Look at the past to acknowledge how far you've come, and journal about what you're grateful for today.