A friend is fond of saying “You don’t know what you don’t know!” when he is telling people about his business.
The problem for most people is they think they do know.
We always seem to believe that everyone else is doing better than we are. We think we KNOW what’s happening in their lives and we aren’t doing as well. When you compare yourself to what you think others are doing, you may come up short.
Perhaps you have a demanding job, a husband, two children and a dog. You feel stressed, overwhelmed and are always thinking of what you need to do next. Yet, your neighbor has the same workload, but always seems happy. You ask yourself “What’s wrong with me?”
What you don’t know is that your neighbor’s retired parents live down the street. They do all her childcare, laundry and errands. She also has a housekeeper and a gardener once a week. She has much more leisure time than you do. But you didn’t know that; so you criticize yourself mercilessly.
Comparisons, while imbedded in our culture, always leave us feeling inadequate. They stimulate our perfectionist inner critic and knock our nervous systems into fight-or-flight—making us stressed and unable to do our best. To counter the negativity of comparisons, create a daily practice of appreciating. Appreciate yourself for all you do, appreciate your job, your family and your neighbor.