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Have you heard the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.“?
I’m sure the majority of us have heard it and even said it ourselves a time or two.
Basically, what that saying means is that no matter what you have, there will be always be someone else that appears to have it better.
The key word there is appears.
The truth is, just because it looks like someone has a better life than you, doesn’t actually mean anything.
Appearances can be deceiving and that facade you see could actually be hiding a total mess. Of course, it could also be a totally accurate depiction of what life is behind the scenes. The reality is, you can honestly never know for sure.
Unless you walk in another man’s shoes, you have no idea their worries, struggles, demons, etc.
Too many people waste too much of their own precious time worrying about what’s going on over there on that bright green grass and neglect what’s going on on their own side of the fence.
I’m definitely guilty of this.
It’s easy to look at someone else and think they have it all and feel down on ourselves.
It’s hard to look at ourselves and say, “Hey…YOU! Are you doing YOUR best? Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The only person you are qualified to judge is yourself!“
Sometimes, when we turn inward and ask ourselves that tough question:
“Are you doing the best that you can do?“
The answer is uncomfortable and requires effort and risk that we aren’t ready or willing to take.
Sometimes it means we need to give up something or in some cases even someONE that we love.
Often times it means that in order to grow and work towards our best self, we have to change something that we have previously resisted changing.
The problem with comparing ourselves to others is that we use those that we feel are doing better than us as a scapegoat. A reason for why we can’t be our best.
Let me tell you, that’s too much power to give someone else.
I know, because at times I feel like I give that power freely to everyone else BUT me.
It’s a challenge to give up standing in judgement of others and instead to turn that judgement around on yourself. It requires action and it requires tough decisions. When we stop comparing ourselves to others though, the only one we have to compare ourselves against is that person who stares back when we look in the mirror.
This week, my challenge to all of you (and to myself) is to ignore what everyone else on the planet is doing and just focus on you . Are you doing your best? If you are not, what do you need to do to get there? What actions can you take so that you are moving forward and not staying stagnate or even worse, backsliding into old habits.
For me, it’s helpful to write it out and see it in black and white. If I just think about it, it quickly gets pushed from my mind. But if I write it out and put it in a place I can see it daily, it convicts me a bit more.
Here’s me, shining the mirror on myself, and realizing where I am not being my best and where I am falling short:
Personal Life: I need to make more time for myself. I need to take care of my health better by working out more often and spending more time with friends and family. I need to structure my time more efficiently so that it adequately reflects my priorities.
Professional: I need to make sure my work time is purposeful and efficient. I need to have definite boundaries between work time and personal time. I need to be sure that I’m creating work that I’m proud of and that I think makes the world a better place (key word there is “I” because I’m looking inward and I can’t pretend to know the desires or motivations of others). I need to become better organized and be sure I am meeting or exceeding my objectives. I need to stop looking outward for appreciation and respect, and stop comparing/evaluating my success with others who have different goals and different passions than I do. To do this, I think I’m going to have to drop back from some of the networking groups I am a part of once again (I did this once before after my father passed away and it definitely helped cut out the clutter. However, sometimes I need these resources so I’m not going to outright leave, just hide/cut back). They are helpful from a professional standpoint, but they also put too much noise into my head and too many other voices.
Parenting: I need to revel in the little things more. They are growing so fast and sometimes I get caught up in the big picture of our day to day living that I neglect the small moments that mean so much. It’s hard for me to stop and slow down, but I NEED to if I’m going to be the best parent I can be.
When I reflect on me, and I stop comparing myself to others, I see that I need more improvement. That I am not performing to the best of my abilities in 3 very important areas in my life. If I had instead taken that time of reflection and thought about what everyone else had and how I could get it, I might not have made the realizations that I made. I might have started clawing my way towards something that wasn’t worthwhile, wasn’t fitting with my goals, wasn’t something that would make me a better person.
What are some things you need to work on to be the best YOU that you can be?