For When You Start Asking: Am I ahead Or Am I behind? | Unlearning Comparison
We’re almost done with the first half of the year. Some of us has started on our mid-year review and with the easy access to the lives of others, it is easy to fall into a deep pit of comparison we have unconsciously dug for ourselves.
Comparison is both unhealthy whichever side of the stick you are on. “Arrogance, deceit and resentment are destructive forces that result from comparing ourselves to others and being frustrated with what we do not possess.” (source) When you compare yourself to others , always be a sense of winning/losing because you’re either thinking you are lesser or greater than others and there will which should not be because truly, there is only one person we should be comparing ourselves with and it is who we were yesterday.
Really, how to stop comparing yourself to others? How do we stop being frustrated with what’s not in our hands and instead, start being grateful for what we have? Like they say, comparison is the thief of joy.
Although I have made much progress, the art of comparison is still something I’m trying to unlearn.
And recently, there were two events that just shook me this girl didn’t know what to do with herself.
A few weeks ago, I visited my cousin in Calgary to attend his graduation. It was a week full of coffeeshops and living my downtown girl life in the city that has my heart but more than that, it was a trip that caused me to stumble too.
I have attended 3 graduation ceremonies in the past year and every single time it makes me rethink my choices. I was in the first semester of my 3rd year in college when I left Manila to be with my family in Canada at the start of 2018.
Here’s what I remember: standing amidst all kinds of people in a packed train on my way home from classes a few years ago. At the time, I felt as though I was in between major life choices. All kinds of things were running in my head.. what am I supposed to do? When I told other people about my plans -- they called me nuts and prodded on to tell me how a waste it would be of the three years I had spent. But even though I was really grateful to have met amazing friends on my journey there, I knew it wasn’t meant for me to stay and it wasn’t something that made me joyful.
I’m supposed to graduate in a few weeks.
As I watched my cousin go up on that stage and as I look at my friends having their yearbook photos taken, it brought me back to this spiral of confusion. I felt happy for him and even though there’s a part of me that still feels bad I couldn’t give my parents a picture with me wearing a graduation gown holding a diploma, I found that as they spoke about the feelings they have about graduation, of perseverance, of disappointment, of joy and passion and pushing yourself forward no matter-- I realized that I feel those too with what I do and my own journey in this thing in what they call “the real world.” Even though my ego told me I’ll never measure up, I heard a deeper lighter voice that said, you’re right where you’re supposed to be.
On my last night, I asked my cousin if we could open the windows as we drove downtown while the sun was setting. We talked about how time passes so quickly and how before we would know it, we’d be having our own families and how our babies would be besties too like we are. For the first time I allowed myself to open up about my frustrations too at the time and gosh, do I crave that kind of conversations. I don’t find myself opening up so much to people, I just write a lot, and it was different having someone outside me see how silly I am and have him remind me of where I am now.
Know Book Feature
And then I came home to this.. A feature on a book called Know alongside 100+ other entrepreneurs, leaders and creators in Edmonton. Women who are years and years ahead of me, owning successful establishments, properties, and businesses. I also get to be there with people I consider my friends. I am the luckiest.
My podcast, called the Get It Girl Radio, first started as a blog series called “Women To Watch Wednesdays” and in that book, I was on a section called “Women on the Rise/Women To Watch” and that has just undone me.
For the launch we were able to have a +1 and it was the first time I had brought my mom with me to events and really more than the book, I was grateful that I get to bring her and show her my world, hoping it would help her expand her horizons.
And here’s what blows my mind out of all this: we got this picture of the two of us sitting in a couch. And almost 2 years ago, it was the exact thing on my first vision board. I had that board hidden somewhere because I have my current one posted, but still, it proved to me that once you’ve made an intention, it will be planted into your heart and will come to pass even if you don’t focus on it. In fact, letting go is what’s going to bring it to you.
Now all of this happening within a short period of time has got me confused. Am I ahead? Am I behind? And I just dug a hole of comparison I fell into when I kept weighing what others are doing with what I am doing.
I compensated by trying to remind myself how even when they're doing that, I'm doing this.. but can you see how wrong I am in that?
What I Learned and Resolved To Do
Never again will I measure my progress based on someone else’s ruler, nor compare my journey with that of others.
We’re all trying to figure it out, making difficult decisions and hoping that along the way, we’re proved right.
The truth is:
We stumble when we look at other people’s paths instead of our own.
We stumble when we look at what could’ve been and fail to recognize what is.
We stumble when we walk out of purpose trying to catch up with others when we’ve been freely given a pace that’s all fulfilling and never requires us to strive.
We stumble when we try to find our identity in accolades, in what we accomplish, in who we become and in the process, forget who we already are in the Father’s eyes.
So if you haven’t heard it lately, you are doing a great job. And if you choose to bravely walk in your own unique purpose, you’ll find there’s no reason to feel afraid nor confused.
I will have to celebrate myself, stop for my own milestones. Because there wouldn’t be convocation ceremonies or parties to remind me I’m doing a good job. There wouldn’t fancy graduation gowns to let me know I did it and it’s now time to go to the next chapter.
It wouldn’t have to make sense first for it to be right for you. There’s no need for you to feel alone. Let go of fear. Of frustration. Then let’s get back in the gates.
Having no path paved before you doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You see, the whole world is your playground, coffeeshops are your office, and you get to give yourself your own permission to blaze a new trail.
Now, isn’t that the best thing ever?
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