We live in a world where playing the comparison game has become routine. We compare ourselves to friends, family members, co-workers, and even strangers in our careers, relationships, successes and every aspect of life. Although social media takes the fair share of blame for this, it is also the fault of the immense societal pressure to live according to the same timeline as everyone around us.
Whether it’s on social media or in everyday life, we are constantly surrounded by news and announcements of other people’s achievements and major life events. Your friend just got married, the other had a baby, a co-worker just got engaged, a cousin just finished grad school, your mom’s friend’s daughter just started her own business, etc. When hearing of these accomplishments and milestones, it’s normal to reflect on what’s going on in your own life, but it becomes harmful when we start comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we’re not good enough. We worry why we haven’t yet reached the same milestones as our friends instead of focusing on the present and enjoying where we are in life right now.
Just because your friends are getting married, doesn’t mean you need to rush and get married too. Alternatively, if all of your friends are still single and you’re thinking of settling down – by no means should your friends’ relationship statuses stop you from doing what’s right for you. If you feel like your career isn’t progressing like your friends’ careers, it doesn’t mean you’re behind or on the wrong track. Or if you are further ahead in your career than some of your friends, it doesn’t mean you need to slow down. We need to remember that it’s perfectly normal to live according to our own timeline; in fact it’s intended that way. Just because a promotion, a home purchase, or any other major event happens to someone you know, does not mean it should have already happened to you as well. You will experience what’s meant for you when the time is right for you.
We all have our own dreams and aspirations that make each of our individual journeys unique. The timeline for our lives is not written by anyone other than ourselves, and even then it’s not set in stone. Life moves quickly, major changes can happen instantly, and we just have to figure it all out along the way. It’s good to have a personal expectation of how you want your life to play out, but at the same time we must be flexible enough to realize that life almost never goes as planned. Focusing too much on the future will hinder you from living fully in the present and you could miss out on some of the best moments of your life. The feeling you get when life doesn’t go as planned can be crippling, which is why we have to be realistic about our expectations, and confident in our ability to achieve our goals on our own time.
If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, you’re missing out on the opportunity for self discovery and the personal growth that is needed to get to where you want to be. Instead of comparing and resenting others for making major strides in their lives, we should be celebrating our friends’ milestones and successes, knowing that one day they will do the same for us. If you’re feeling behind or discouraged by your progress towards certain goals, remember that you are living your life for yourself – on your own terms and on your own timeline. Just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it never will.
A working professional and a lifelong dreamer, Bohdana strives to merge her passions with her everyday reality. She is a proud Ukrainian and a loyal Chicagoan (despite the winters). She loves traveling, reading, pursuing self-improvement, and sharing her stories. Allow this blog to bring you motivation and inspiration on your own journey to rise beyond.