You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Dare to compare” used in advertising and commercials. It’s a concept that definitely caught on. We are hooked, comparing everything we do, have and say with someone or something. Our entire being gets caught up in creating a picture-perfect life. We compare ourselves to others in every area of life: money, career, social status, parenting, marriage, homes and even our spiritual lives as in prayer and service. Part of the decision making process includes thoughts of what others will think or say in reaction to what we are about to do or buy or change. Ironically, we are more stressed out, discontent and unsatisfied than ever. An entire market segment has grown around helping us relax and find true meaning through meditation, mindfulness, massages as we continue to acquire new ailments born out of our chronic stress and over-commitment. As the Rolling Stones put it, we just “can’t get no satisfaction.”
As I analyze stress and other general forms of discontent in my life, I have come to realize that the source of much if not all of it resides in my own head, my over-active thought-life. The thoughts causing me so much anxiety and discontent are all based in comparison to an outside standard for what my life is supposed to be like. As I learn about the power of habits, I am also aware that thought-patterns of comparison are nothing more than a bad habit. As such, it can be changed or rewired. Through a process of simply becoming aware and intentional about replacing toxic, comparison thoughts with healthy ones based on the truth about what really matters to me (and what does not), I can kick this habit to the curb. Comparing is one of the most damaging habits we have. Now I am daring YOU not to compare. Quit comparing and live your life.