Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, they’re all wonderful. How else would we be able to constantly connect and keep up to date with our friends as far back as grade school? No matter where we go, we can instantly stay in touch with loved ones all over the world.
Sign into Facebook and you’re inundated with updates like: “Andrew and Lisa are Engaged,” “I just purchased my first house,” “Check out my new ride,” and “On my way to Fiji!” People are certainly quick to share good news, and this is great. However, it’s important that we remember to congratulate people on their individual successes and not internalize others’ activities as an indicator of our deficiencies.
Recently, I spoke to someone who expressed that they were feeling a little anxious. A number of their friends were engaged, or moving on to new jobs and they were starting to feel as though they were falling behind. Let it be noted, that the person referenced is working hard towards his or her own goals. Nonetheless, they aren’t immune to slipping into a game of timeline comparison. “Well, he’s 24 and just got engaged. So, I should be ready to do the same, right?” Not at all.
It’s easy to look at one person’s life and relate it to your own. I’ve done it myself. Occasionally, I catch a glimpse of someone’s vacation photos and think, “Why am I in this office? I need a vacation.” Whenever I have moments like these, I try to remind myself why I’ve chosen to do what I’m doing for that moment. Because, a solid ‘why’ can erase every bit of my self-doubt.
Now, while there’s the danger of falling victim to endless comparison, there is an upside. My friends and I always talk about “Stepping our games up.” And, this isn’t so much about measuring our own successes against our peers; it’s about allowing our peers to help elevate our progress. Seeing others thrive and achieve serves as inspiration rather than a litmus test.
So, if you’re happy with the direction you’re headed, stay on the path. If you think it’s time to switch gears, make a change. And, remember to congratulate people on their decisions and successes, but don’t compare.
I hope you’re all enjoying the start of June!