Pretty much since birth we have all been measured – length, weight, and where we place on the national average. We didn’t have control over that. Nor did we have control over all the other measurements that happened in our childhood; our boy is smarter than little Johnny; our little girl is more creative than little Suzy; our boy needs to study harder because his grades are lower than the other 5% of the class…. And on and on and on. This has instilled in us an unhealthy way of viewing ourselves and our own progress. No matter what we are doing, we are constantly measuring ourselves against everyone else. My co-worker is such a kiss up, that’s why they get more raises than I do. I can’t believe I am this slow/low on my spiritual path. Look at Mary, she is a Reiki Master and charges more than I could imagine for her services. Look at James, he has 4,000 likes and 2k followers on his social media. Why can’t I get that many? Then starts the internal dialogue about how you are not good enough and can’t get anything right. It’s exhausting!
This habit is best described by Pastor Steve Furtick, who once said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” I know I struggled with this habit when I first began to pursue development of my Psychic Medium abilities. I know I didn’t have all the answers, so I found a group where I hoped I could learn and grow. Yet within my first few meetings with the group, I began to feel very poorly about myself and my abilities. I would look around at all the people who could give messages seemingly effortlessly, could speak coherently about Spirit and explain concepts to people who had questions and I would feel so inferior. The internal dialogue ran along the lines of, “Who do I think I’m kidding? I could never do that. Why do I think I could ever understand those ideas and be able to explain them?” and on and on. I was tripping my own self up before I gave myself a chance to learn.
Over the next ten years, I had many varying experiences with a lot of different people. I learned and grew. However, I also had pit falls, negative experiences, and a lot of self-doubt. The most important lessons I learned were on my own without anyone’s assistance, guidance, or teaching. I had to learn to really listen to myself. Having grown up a people-pleaser who was so used to putting other people first, I had to learn how to stop that behavior for my own peace and well-being. One huge realization I came to was that I had no right to feel bad about myself by comparing myself to other people. I do not know their background or their journey, nor have I been doing this type of work for as long as they have. It really was okay to keep working on myself and my own path at my own pace. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone other than myself. I may not be as good as someone else, but I am better than the person I used to be having learned more and grown more personally.
While I do catch myself occasionally being self-critical of where I may be on my own journey because I have compared myself to someone else, I always remind myself that I shouldn’t compare my behind the scenes to their highlight reel. After all, I don’t know what has gone on with them. For all I know, they may be putting their best face forward at an event or to the world while their behind the scenes is complicated, just like mine is. So the best we can do for ourselves is to be kind to ourselves by being mindful that our path is our path alone and no one may walk it for us. The best we can do for others is to not judge the proverbial book by its cover. You never know what their rough draft looks like or how much of them it took to get it out in the public.