THE THIEF OF JOY.
How we make ourselves feel like failures.
A friend once said whenever I shared content on Facebook I get a lot of likes but he never gets nearly as many.
I later realized what was happening was that he only saw my posts that went viral, he didn't see the 90% of posts that never made it to the spotlight. He then compared the reach of his posts with just 10% of mine and assessed his performance based on just a slice of mine.
We do this a lot— we make unhealthy comparisons. Like someone said we compare our behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.
There are 3 things that can prevent us from making unhealthy comparisons that steal our joy and make us feel like failures.
1- Those you celebrate and compare yourself with have failed too.
For every successful result of people we celebrate, they've had more results that didn't get so much applause.
Think about your favorite music artist. You probably got to know them through some hit song of theirs. Then you got their album and realized they had many other songs that weren't famous.
Or your favorite athlete. For every game that brought them fame, they have played dozens of other games that were unpopular or that they failed.
This reminds me of a quote by famous Basketballer, Micheal Jordan, "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
But you don’t hear much of Jordan’s failures, right? Only his success. This is why we make unhealthy comparisons— we compare our struggles and failures with people’s success alone, not realizing they also had their failures.
2- Social media can be misleading.
Social media gives many the false impression that everyone is succeeding in life but themselves, and this perception puts immense pressure on people.
Not everything we see on social media is the whole truth of people’s lives. People often share a version of their lives that crops out their struggles and failures and shows only their beauty and success. Others then make unhealthy comparisons of their lives with the shiny parts of people’s lives they see and despise their own life.
Don’t fall into that trap. You don’t always know the backstory of the success stories of people.
Focus on your life, your success story is being written. And when it is published, consider sharing not just shiny pictures of your success on social media but also your journey to it, to encourage those aspiring for where you are.
3- We Can Choose Healthy Comparisons
Unhealthy comparison with others steals our joy; it makes us focus on what others have that we don’t, and causes us to despise the good in our own lives, the milestones we have achieved and the growth process God is taking us through.
We choose healthy comparisons when we train ourselves to be challenged by the success of others— challenged to desire more, to become more, and to do more, without being jealous of what they have or ungrateful for what we have and despising the process God is using to grow us and prepare us for the great things ahead.
How can you replace unhealthy comparisons with healthy ones today?
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Hi. I'm Dipo. I write, speak and train on interpersonal/soft-skills, teenagers, emotional healing, and overcoming fear, failure, shame, rejection, and other self-limiting obstacles to your progress.
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