Why are you comparing?!
Hi guys! Thank you for coming to my TED talk again! So today I thought I'd talk about something that I've seen poison people's minds, relationships and just life in general. Today, I'll be talking about the curse of comparison.
If there's one thing that I know can poison people it's comparing themselves with other people. Likewise, one of the things that can poison relationships is when you compare each other with other people. I think it's a really hurtful thing to compare your friend, partner, child, parents or siblings with another person. It makes the person feel less than.
There are actually two routes with comparison. If you're comparing yourself with someone else, you either feel like you don't measure up, which means you're hurting yourself. Or, you feel like you're better than the other person, which is quite condescending and egotistical in some form. At the end of the day, it's not a positive thing.
While some people might believe that comparison can build people, comparison mostly creates negative feelings. So why do we do it? What makes one person better than the other? What makes you think that one person is worth more or less? What makes another person's life or choices better than mine?
I've seen teachers and parents compare two siblings because one of them seemed smarter than the other. So they'd say things like, "Why can't you be like your brother? Why can't you be smart like your sister?" "Your sister is the beautiful one, you're the smart one". Like what's the point of that? Why must you make that dig? At the end of the day there's no point in comparing people.
I've found that even when some people compare two people with themselves, with the belief that it will "make the 'lesser' do better, or try better", it never makes a positive difference. It just makes people fall into the stereotype created. It's determined people and thick skinned people who learn to brush off the comments and refuse to internalise what's been said about them.
The most annoying thing is that the comparisons are sometimes baseless. I have a sister friend who was compared to her sister while growing up. She talks about it on her YouTube page (bluemoonpearl). She said that they used to call her sister the pretty one and herself the smart one. Except she's actually stunning guys. They used their own subjective and skewered yardstick to measure her beauty. Which in turn created insecurities and pain that didn't need to be there in the first place.
So guys please let's stop comparing our children, siblings and partners with each other. One of the things I didn't like about Debbie from the blue therapy show was the fact that she kept comparing her partner to her best friend's partner. I think that's just mean and uncalled for.
You know what yeah? The statement "the grass is greener on the other side" is actually very valid. You never know what the person you're comparing yourself with is going through, or what demons they're battling. I've always said this and I'll say it again, I don't wish I was anybody else but myself. I don't wish I was on any other persons journey but mine.
There's a beauty in resting in who you are, celebrating your strengths and working on what you see as your weaknesses. In reality, everyone's journey is totally different, we all have the timing that's perfect for us. But that timing won't sit well on some other people.
There's this society constructed timeline that everyone is trying to follow and that people expect everyone to live within. When you don't meet up to that timeline, you're seen as a failure in some way. But you know what? It's a timeline created by society. What makes you think society isn't wrong? Why should you box your life in because of society?
As for me, my life is based totally and absolutely on the timeline that God has for me. Don't get me wrong, there's a season for everything, but not everyone's season is the same. So there's no reason for you to compare your journey and time with someone else's time and journey.
It doesn't matter if your brother is earning a certain amount more than you, or your friends are married and you're not. We all need to learn to be content in our present state, while working to achieve more. Because there's no other you in this world, no one has the same make up, background, thoughts etc as you do. You're uniquely you and so you have to embrace that. Imagine an apple comparing it's timeline with a strawberry? That's just ridiculous. They don't grow the same way, or do the exact same things. Apples don't compliment the same dishes that strawberries do, and neither do the strawberries compliment the same dishes that apples do. They however have their benefits and their lovers.
My dad decided to go back to uni to study law three years ago and he graduated yesterday. I'm so so proud of him. But you know what? Imagine if he hadn't gone for it because he felt like he was older with three children? Imagine if he'd compared himself to everyone else, or had followed society's timing?
If he'd done any of that, we wouldn't have had our celebration yesterday. He would have probably regretted not going for what he wanted. At the end of the day, allowing society or comparison to drive you, could either lead you down the wrong road, or prevent you from achieving what you're capable of.
Imagine chasing someone else's dreams because theirs looks much better than yours, or their results look much better than yours? It just means that you'll go wherever the wind blows you because you're running after something that isn't yours simply because it looks better.
But not all that glitters is gold. You know the nitty gritty parts of your life, but you only know what other people show you of theirs. If you want to change something in your life, please search yourself and find out why? If it's because you genuinely believe it's the best, next and natural step for you, then please go for it. But if that desire to change stems from you comparing yourself and your life with someone else's, then please look deeper to see if it's worth it.
I'm not against change, or working harder, or working and wanting to be a better you. What I am against is working to be someone else, or making someone feel like they're not enough compared to someone else.
We all have our strengths and we all have our perceived weaknesses. So work on yourself, work to be the best you, not the better someone else. Because at the end of the day, you're the only one who can achieve the best you, but you'll never achieve the best someone else.
Once again, I love you and God loves you.
P.S I'll be taking a break for two weeks after this post. I promise you, I'll be baaaaaaack!!!!! So don't miss me too much.