Beware the Comparison Trap

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As a young actress, I was ridiculously envious of another young actress I’ll call Madeline. Madeline was short, cute and perky. And she seemed to be having the acting career—and thus the life– I wanted (Starring roles in Broadway Plays! Lead roles in interesting, prestigious films! The acclaim and adoration of A-list agents, producers, directors and colleagues!) I wanted to be Madeline. For a brief time (and I’m embarrassed to admit this) I even tried to dress, walk and talk like Madeline—you can imagine how well that worked out.

Madeline was, of course, completely unaware that I was I constantly comparing myself to her. She simply continued to live her life, which I continued to wish I was living instead of mine. It took me a long time not to feel the pang of envy when I heard her name, or read an article about her. And then, one day, it hit me– hard: Comparing myself to Madeline was doing nothing but making me utterly miserable. And it was stopping me from stepping firmly into my own life and embracing my own gifts and uniqueness. I had fallen into the Comparison Trap, and it was time to climb the heck out.

Have you ever fallen into the Comparison Trap? Have you ever thought “If I was living HER life/had HER job/had HER love life/had HER luck, everything would be perfect?” Have you ever worked too hard to live like, look like or be like somebody else instead of standing in who you are fully and without apology?

Take it from someone who’s been there, done that: It is a complete and pointless waste of time to compare yourself to someone else. You are, after all, unique. You are meant to explore, develop and share your individual gifts and purpose in a life that is tailor-made for you. .

Nobody can be you better than you. And nobody can do what you’re here to do better than you.

As the Bhagavad Gita so beautifully puts it. “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection”

This week, have the courage to live your own destiny. Live your own rich life, imperfectly and fully. Celebrate yourself by being who you are, as you are. And stay out of the Comparison Trap.

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In your journal, take a few moments to muse about the following questions:

1.When in your life have you fallen into the Comparison Trap? How did it make you feel? Are you currently stuck in the Comparison Trap?

2.What do you love about your own life and your own path?

3.What could you do to stop from comparing yourself to others, and start focusing on living and celebrating your own life?