We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves. ~ Jean Guitton
It is the most natural thing to do… to compare yourself to other people. If you become aware of what you are doing, you might notice that you ask endless questions about how you compare to others and how far you are advancing and how quickly you are doing it. As you progress through the toxic western education system, you learn very quickly that where you ‘rate’ in a test or a class is of ‘crucial importance’. “I came top of the class Mum”, or “I am in the best group for reading”, is an issue for all children – even in today’s more politically correct world.
More recently, educators, psychologists and parents try to build self-esteem in children by encouraging that: “it is not the winning that is important, it is the taking part”.
But it is clear that this is not true. Winning or not is an issue for most people throughout their lives. Did you ‘win’ that job against all the other candidates, or even did you win that contract or the World Cup?
So you learn very early in life that how you achieve in comparison to others will determine the kind of life you live.
And your ego-centric mind takes this on with gusto, happily walking through life asking itself ‘am I more than’ or ‘less than’ so-and-so’. And whatever answer your mind comes up with from its limited perspective determines how you feel about yourself, others and your life. And as you know from previous tips, how you feel about yourself and others will influence the results you get in life.
The cat lying on the chair is just being a cat. It is fulfilling its essential potential for being a cat. And the greatest value that it can offer the world is just that – to be a cat. Imagine if it suddenly started to compare itself to a dog. “I am not as loving and friendly as a dog” (cue – feel bad about self); or “I am much cleverer than that stupid dog over there” (cue – feel good about self). Sounds ridiculous when we look at it like this, doesn’t it?
Still, maybe it is not half as crazy as comparing yourself to your neighbour, work colleague or partner!
When you e-value-ate yourself and find yourself inadequate you will feel bad about yourself. As a result, you will find that you are less able to achieve what you want to achieve and then will feel that your e-value-ation is confirmed. From here, a spiral of ever-lower self confidence occurs.
On the other hand, if you compare yourself and find that you are ‘more than’ another, then your self esteem becomes boosted. But this boost is short-lived, because it is based on a false premise: that it is possible to compare yourself to another and reach a reasonable assessment of whom you are. Nothing, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is that you are an infinite being, with infinite ability to contribute in your own unique way to the world and its people. It is only when you become self-conscious about yourself, instead of being yourself that you limit your potential.
A cat that is self conscious about itself as a cat will no longer be able to express its uniqueness as a cat. It is impossible to ‘be’ something if you are ‘thinking about being’ something – because thinking about it gets in the way of the true expression of it.
So can you afford to compare yourself to anyone? The risk is that by doing so, you will lose who you really are.
Remember that wonderful quote by Marianne Williamson, that Nelson Mandela used in his inauguration speech as the first black President of South Africa to encourage a whole nation of people who believed erroneously that they were ‘less than…’
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson