Hey Gemmers, this is not my typical blog post, I’m not here trying to give you a how to or list post. I just wanna talk, I just wanna give you Ofai (not Dr O) without too much fluff, I’m just gonna talk to y’all. I’ve done little to no research for this or whatever but I do hope you can pick a thing or two. This was a suggestion from one of your fellow Gemmers and naturally I put a little spin to it. Please Like, Comment, Share & SUBSCRIBE. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Let’s goo!
The Comparison Mentality
As little kids, we start to compare ourselves to others to make sense of things, to try and fit in or just trying to find our place in this world and the environment we're in or the adults around us may or may not aid this type of behaviour. If you have a good sense of self-confidence and esteem from an early age then kudos you may have dodged the bullet. But what happens to you when you don’t see yourself as good enough or likely to succeed in comparison to others? It doesn’t matter how you got to this point, whether you thought of it all by yourself or others told you or implied you aren’t good enough. This kind of negative self-talk can have several deeper effects on you as you grow (see How to Combat Your Negative Thoughts and Quieten Your Inner Critic to kick start some change!)
Can You Resist The Temptation?
The temptation to compare is one of the strongest known to man I mean how can you not? Let me give you a couple scenarios:
Scenario 1: You’re 26 and probably living with your parents or don’t earn much, you go on social media and you see an 18-year-old has bought a house or perhaps a fancy car, a German! How do you feel? What thoughts go through your mind? Do you compare yourself and see yourself falling short? Do you feel stuck? (see 10 Ways to Get Unstuck in Life) Do you feel jealousy and/or envy? Or perhaps do you feel motivated to keep grinding?
Scenario 2: This is typical amongst Nigerian parents but let me know if you can relate in the comments. You’re in school and your grades are not up to expectation and your parents say Chima, our church member’s son that is carrying As up and down does he have two heads? I hope you read in a Nigerian accent, it’s funnier that way. How does this make you feel? Motivated or dejected?
Scenario 3: Your partner keeps complaining or nagging to and about you and tells you why can’t you be more like this person s/he always does this and that for their partner? How do you feel? Happy? Satisfied? Annoying? Sad? Belittled?
Scenario 4: You’re feeling marriage pressure from your family especially when everyone around you is getting married even your younger siblings. Every time you’re out at a function just like bills always come on time you hear the infamous words “when will you marry?” (I detest this question!) How do you feel? Stuck? Sad? Reluctant? Lost? Angry? Drained? Tired? Or perhaps unbothered?
It is human to compare things and just like many things it can be positive or negative depends on what or who we’re being compared to. For example, as a writer of sorts if you compare me to Wole Soyinka (Nigerian Nobel Prize winner for Literature) I will be honoured, if you compare me to Usain Bolt, I’ll know you’re playing but if you compare me to like an ape like Roseanne did to Valerie Jarrett (senior advisor to Obama) on Twitter last week then you might have to catch these hands lol.
Comparison can be necessary for various reasons. Let me give you a little story from last week. So where I stay the roof is a bit shaky and 4 am on a Saturday morning I was woken up to come check it out because of fear that the roof can come off anytime due to the strong wind! We’re in rainy season and it rains almost on a daily, if the roof peels off then some people are rendered homeless. So, we call a carpenter to come through and check it out and he brings the quotation but the problem is his labour cost is too high, it even more than doubles the cost of the materials for the job. Now the smartest option is to look for another carpenter to compare their price and see who has the better bargain. Comparison isn’t a black and white thing because negative comparison can bring out the best in people and so can the positive and also the other way round. After all, there’s a whole lot of colours on the light spectrum.
Just to digress a bit, look at the whole Drake and Pusha T situation the comparison is quite straight forward, in my opinion Drake is a better artist and his diss track, Duppy Freestyle had more quotables and is more appealing to listen to. Pusha T is better at rapping and his 2nd diss track, The Story of Adidon had shock value! Now back to it!
On the negative side there are many connotations to comparison, especially in relation to success. The truth of the matter is when we compare ourselves to others or when we’re being compared it is usually in favour of what or whom we’re being compared to; basically comparing you in areas where they’re better. What do we expect to achieve from this? What’s the likeliness of you winning an away match? This will lead you to feel inferior or lack self-confidence or self-esteems (see 12 Tips to Boost Self-confidence or Self-esteem). Can you compare Michael Jackson on the stage to Serena Williams on the court or vice versa? Of course not, it’s stupid because they both dominate in their respective fields! It’s important that we get this important sense of sense and knowing our strengths, that’s a healthy way of realising that comparing ourselves to others is NO longer necessary and was never really necessary. This is really a very powerful and liberating concept. You'll have many small wins along the way please allow yourself to celebrate them as you go along.
Comparison and Success
It’s important to know that everyone has a purpose on earth (see 7 Methods to Help Find Your Life Purpose). It’s also important to know that everyone’s race is different, the track is wide enough to fit everyone and not everyone can cross the finish line at the same time, matter of fact, everyone’s finish line is different. For example, I was 17 when I first to uni and abroad simultaneously. Compared to some ‘ajebutter’ kids (rich kids) whose abroad stories I used to listen to, I used to feel like I went abroad quite late because I felt my parents had the means of at least taking us on holiday a couple times abroad. I later had to tell myself that some haven’t had this opportunity and some will never get it. I also graduated at 19 and for most people that’s early but it doesn’t mean there weren’t younger people graduating or that because you’re a mature student you’re too late. I love to see those social media testimonies where people are graduating in their 80s, 90s or even 100s, it just goes to reinforce my point that everyone’s race is different.
It’s imperative for you to recognise that success is a continuous journey not a final destination, if you know anything about final destination movies then you’ll know that they always end up in gruesome deaths. So, keep going, don’t rush into things too much. I know you feel you should be somewhere but you’re not there yet the most important thing is that you’re always on the move and in a direction that is best for you (I bet you know the story of the tortoise and the hare and who eventually won their race). Here’s a story an acquaintance of mine told me when he tried to rush things. He was telling me about how he lost so much money in a day or two of getting into forex trading which was a new fad in Nigeria last year or so. On his first try he made some ‘cool cash’ and like any typical rookie gambling story, he made a rookie mistake, he put the money back in to make a whole lot more and boom! In an instant he lost money, in a day or two he lost so much money, he said he fell sick for a while afterwards. He told me that he realised that quick money wasn’t the way and that there’s no need to rush! It ties in with the saying “it’s not how fast but how well”.
King Solomon, the wisest man ever said, ‘I have seen something else under the sun: the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all’. (Ecc 9:11).
Even biology would agree with me through the concept called ‘variation’ which is everyone is different. Some are short, some are tall, some are skinny, some are bulky, etc. When you feel some type of way about yourself, make sure you tell yourself that you’re meant to be different and you've got the power! But power is only potential until it is used.
Albeit I have said to go at your own pace and what not this does not mean you should be complacent or lazy. If you’re not too sure if you’re lazy or not check out my post (Symptoms and Solutions to Laziness). Please remember to TAKE ACTION because to know and not to do is truly not to know!
QOTD: “The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.” – Unknown
So did you enjoys today’s post? Then don’t hesitate to SHARE it with your friends so they can enjoy it too. Sharing is caring. Comment what you enjoyed or just your general thoughts and if you have a topic request or suggestion. SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t so you can join the Evergreen Lifestyle Gems Family and to get our free subscriber only resources! Lastly, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya on Wednesday because I’m dropping another post but not a books post! So leave your topic suggestion comments below!!! I'm also opening a quotes page to help as a reminder for you lot to take continuous action. So from now on I'll post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!
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My name is Ofai and I'm passionate about blogging and it gives me fulfillment that I can help you out so sit back, relax and enjoy your weekly carats of #SelfImprovementGems with me!