Image sourced from ivorymix.com
Confession time: I compare myself to others – a lot. I know it’s pointless. I know it’s not good for me. You want to know something? I do it anyway.
I can’t speak for every person in the universe, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all been in this position before. Humans are a pretty insecure bunch, when you think about it. I mean, there are probably a couple of truly confident people in the world, but even they would have faltered once or twice. Surely.
I find it baffling how we all just completely ignore how insecure we are. We feel ashamed when we compare ourselves to others because we already know that it’s a pointless exercise. So, instead of tackling these feelings head on, we squish them down and ignore them.
By not acknowledging our insecurities, we are unable to confide our worries and woes to other people. This means that we don’t realise that everyone feels the same way we do – insecure and envious of the people who seem to have their lives together.
Plot twist? These people don’t know what they’re doing, just like the rest of us.
Let that sink in.
Another plot twist: there’s a chance that someone out there thinks you are a person who has their lives together.
It seems laughable, I know, but just think about it for a moment. If we’re all pretending to be on top of things, then how are other people supposed to know we aren’t? Wouldn’t they automatically assume that you are what you pretend to be?
We’re led to believe that comparing ourselves to others is a bad thing, and I don’t disagree. Sometimes it’s just unrealistic – like a photoshopped model on a magazine cover. We’re physically incapable of looking like this. I get it.
Yet we still feel embarrassed that we have insecurities and ignore the fact that everyone’s got them. When we pretend they don’t exist we end up isolating ourselves and begin to believe that we are alone in how we feel, which is a bit dramatic, but still true.
In my humble opinion, bottling up emotions we perceive as negative is even more harmful than having them in the first place. Why do we need to pretend that we don’t have feelings and stuff? It’s a mystery. We should all be free to discuss what worries us. It can be a huge relief to discover someone feels the same way you do about something.
So, in the name of airing out insecurities – let me be the first to share mine.
At the moment, I’m a bit insecure with the whole “future” thing. Now that I’ve finished university, I don’t really know what I want to be doing. I’m still at the same casual job I picked up a few years ago – with not even as many shifts as I would have hoped for. It’s not ideal – and yet, I’m not sure what my ideal future even looks like anymore.
I see the people who know what they want – to keep studying, to find a job in their chosen field, to travel – and I can’t help but be a bit envious of their drive. I don’t really know what I want to do other than to keep writing in this blog.
I’ve discussed this before, so I won’t get into it all again, but the point I’m trying to make is that though I have insecurities about my life, I’m not going to let them be something I feel the need to hide. The only way we can overcome our insecurities is by acknowledging them and, if we’re brave enough, to share them too.
We’re all muddling through our lives at the same time, and I think it’s nice to know that we’re not alone in feeling like other people are living a life better than ours. If we could just start being honest with one another we’d realise that a “perfect” life doesn’t exist and that success looks different to everyone. Let’s stop being ashamed of the fact that we compare ourselves to others. If we all do it, then there’s nothing to really be ashamed of, is there?
Help answer some questions:
- What do you think about all this?
- Do you compare yourself to others?
- Have you ever thought someone had a perfect life only to discover they didn’t agree with you?
- Do you think feeling this way is something that should be suppressed and never discussed or should we be more open about it?