I saw this quote on Pinterest and it definitely resonates with what I have been thinking about with the close of 2011 and the start of 2012. I have realized that I am extremely guilty of letting comparisons steal my joy. I have been using other people's success as a measuring stick for my own- even when the situations are completely unrelated. These comparisons take me from a feeling of triumph to a feeling of inadequacy...even when NOTHING about my own accomplishment has changed. Especially in the blogging world, even when we know that photoshop and selective sharing paint an incomplete picture of the lives of others, it's easy to forget about the untold parts of the story, and believe that we are the only ones who don't have our acts 100% together.
Not too long ago I remember reading something else about comparison, and it too rings true in so many ways.
(I can't for the life of me remember where I read this idea originally, the the paraphrasing and image creation are mine)
Think about it: when we compare, we either come out on top, or we don't. We either feel better about ourselves, or worse. Comparing ourselves to others is a part of human nature- and I don't think that it ever will stop. I think that good can come from comparison. But being aware of its potential to steal your joy, or create pride or discontent, is essential in finding peace. Look to others for inspiration or life lessons, not to build yourself up or break yourself down.
In the past, I've let comparisons steal my joy, and I've let other people's actions (or lack thereof) influence my world. This year, I want it to be different.
This is my mantra for the year.
I can't change people or make them behave in a way that best suits my world...but I can control the way that I choose to act and react in any given situation. I know that there will still be many moments when the first thought into my head is one of jealousy or insecurity, or when my gut reaction is to pass the buck and place the blame for my unhappiness upon someone else.
But my goal for 2012 is to put my best foot forward, act with intention, and be proud of what I put out there- regardless of what the world gives back to me. I can't control the return on any investment that I make- but I can choose my reaction. I can choose joy over imagined competition. I can choose inspiration over jealousy. I can choose introspection over blame. I can choose how and where I focus my energy, and I will choose to focus it in a productive direction.
What are you going to choose?