How to Stop Comparing Yourself
I was sitting on the grass in the summer sun, at a concert in the park as a gorgeous young woman took the stage. The person who introduced her mentioned she lives in LA and just got back from a tour in South America. She was very stylish and confident, and her unusual music and presence blew me away. She was playing an upbeat, hip-hop type music track and signing over it with fun and inspirational lyrics. I have to admit that, at the same time as I was admiring her talent and ease on stage, I was secretly comparing myself to her. My thoughts went something like this:
I wonder what kind of life she has? I bet she is enjoying amazing fame and success, touring in exotic places and living as a star in LA…it must be so glamorous…Lucky her! Gosh, she sounds so good! I wish I was as successful as she looks – she’s so comfortable in her skin. She’s so young, yet she is already so famous! She puts me to shame. Have I even achieved anything? What do I have to show for my life?
I turned to my friend who was sitting beside me and asked her in a hushed voice “Do you know this girl?” And she replied, “Yeah – and you do too! It’s Erica!” I thought about it for a second and then it hit me – OMG – she was the sweet younger sister of one of my classmates from elementary school. From that point on something shifted – it was as though a higher part of me started coming through to help me learn something from the situation. This is how it went:
Don’t compare yourself to her Terri. Just think if you were in her place – how would it feel knowing that there was an audience full of people who were externally appreciating your talent, but internally cursing your success because they envied you? What kind of a world is this where we are all comparing ourselves to one another instead of genuinely applauding and supporting one another? Your insecurity, and fear that you are not good enough, is what is stopping you from flourishing. Here’s a new way to think about it – imagine each one of us as beautiful twinkling stars. The only purpose in life is to shine your light as fully as you can. Not to be brighter than others – but to be the most fully-expressed version of YOU possible. This will create a world of shining lights that are not competing for attention, but cheering for one another. Shining WITH and FOR one another.
This completely shifted my perception. My heart immediately opened toward Erica, towards all of us that are on this journey of unfolding, and to myself. I was able to see the two of us, in that moment, as precious human beings in a process of our own unique evolution. Not a threat to one another in any way. You see, I made a choice to see myself on the same level as her – instead of sizing her up and deciding if she was competition. AND, I was also able to relax and be fully present to enjoy the beautiful music she was creating. I could genuinely celebrate her success! Energetically I started sending her love and gratitude, instead of daggers of jealousy.
Next time you find yourself comparing yourself, I hope you’ll remember that you actually have no competition. No one can be a better you.
Here’s a good tune of Erica’s that I heard that day at the concert in the park. Enjoy!