Comparison does not prove a thing
Just recently, I enrolled for an advanced course in facial make-up and skin care with this amazing tutor. My tutor is a young successful woman, who also happens to be married. When I meet new people, I make it a habit to do less of the talking, and more of the listening (believe me, you can learn a lot about people by just listening). And so as we spoke, I allowed her to take the entire spotlight in our conversation. Her success story was so inspiring and motivating; it was indeed a true definition of what one can achieve with perseverance, faith and courage.
But my focus today isn’t on her success story (believe me, someday I will share her story), but my focus is on what I felt on hearing her success story. True to say, I was awed by how much she had achieved at such a young age, but somewhere beyond the admiration was an emotion I was well too familiar with; an emotion I hated because I had once given it control over my life-inferiority complex.
Yes, as ‘evolved’ as I was, as intellectually enlightened as I claimed to be, for a moment I felt so small and insignificant before my amazing tutor. I mean, I write and give lectures on emotional mastery, but at that moment, I allowed the feeling of inferiority to creep into my head again. Yes, I felt inferior, and I am not ashamed to accept that feeling; because the purpose of this website is not to tell you how or how not to feel, but to help you understand and manage those feelings when you experience them. Emotional maturity is not the absence of negative emotions (negative emotions also come with hidden messages), but the ability to understand and manage your emotions- both the negative and positive emotions.
My first session with her was horrible- not because she was a horrible teacher, but because I couldn’t let go of my feeling of inferiority long enough to learn. When I got home, I allowed myself to:
Determine the root cause of the emotion I was feeling (inferiority complex). Every emotions; negative or positive has a root cause. For you to effectively manage whatever emotions you are experiencing, you must first identify the root. I discovered that I began feeling inferior and small the moment I began comparing myself to her. After I successfully identified the root-emotion- comparison, I went a step further to:
Accept the ‘root emotion’; take the hidden message and then discard. The moment you start comparing yourself with others, you end up becoming bitter, vain, and envious. Comparison is a very negative emotion that drags other negative emotions along with it.
You cannot clear your own field while counting the rock on your neighbor’s farm-john Welch
The truth is ‘you can’t successfully manage an emotion until you accept that you felt that way. There is no shame in feeling sad, fear, angry, or even inferior. It is how you handle what you feel that truly matters. It is only after accepting your root emotion that you can be able to decode whatever hidden message it brought with it. And for me, my hidden message was this- ‘learn to appreciate your strength and achievements more!’
When you move in this train of life without taking some to appreciate your success so far, you will be indirectly leaving room for comparison. Everybody have strengths and weakness, but comparison makes you ignore your strengths and focus on your weakness (simply because your weakness is another’s strength). You must create your own system, your own plan, appreciate and develop your strengths- or someone else’s will limit you. What happens in another’s life- success or failure has nothing to do with you. We are different, so are our strengths, weakness, and life’s vision. Identify yours and work with them.
Don’t measure yourself or your success through another’s eyes. Don’t measure your strengths with another’s yardstick. Once in a while, give yourself time to appreciate you, embrace your achievement (no matter how minute you may think it is), it will help you create less room for comparison.
When you are trying to be someone else, the best you can be is second best-john mason
I thank God for that little experience; it gave me the time I needed to appreciate myself more. So you see, most times, some of the negative emotions we experience act as a wakeup call.
I love my tutor and I think she has the most amazing personality ever; but I do not wish to be like her. I want to be the best of me, and I can only be that when I am ‘being me’…
Have you ever had moments when you felt inadequate, or inferior? What was the root emotion and how did you manage it???…I would really love to hear your experience.