When I teach yoga I often say to students ‘don’t worry about anybody else, just do your own thing, this is your practice’. However human nature tells me those words often go a wee bit ignored. I see it when student’s look around, I see it when they move their mat to a less conspicuous place, I see it when they say I wish could do that or I can’t do that. There seems to be a constant need to compare ourselves with others. If we can do a pose better than someone, yah! If we fall, oh dear, delete. Often that is why students don’t push themselves too much because it is safer to look better than to look like you are out of control.
One day I made a conscious effort to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Especially in my work. It became apparent that the more I compared myself ( is he/she better?) then the more uptight about everything I got. When I decided to just be the best that I could then things slipped off me more easily. The promotion that someone else got, the special job someone else got,the extra hours or the time spent with management that they got, seemed irrelevant and not so irksome. However this takes a lot of practice as I found out the other day.
I thought I had hit the enlightened jackpot until I found a blog site that was better than mine. The site was pretty, the author gorgeous, the content wonderful, the plaudits so loud my ears rang. She was a savior of the 21st century, the one to watch and admire. In my eyes and pea brain my blog suddenly went down hill. Why do I bother with it? There are so many people out there doing so many more wonderful things. They know more, it’s all much better. I haven’t a hope.
This continual rating of ourselves on a scale of 1 to 10 is stressful, joyless and unnecessary. Unnecessary because there is no one way to live, learn, grow or feel.
Practice for today: Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Just do your own thing and do it to the best of your ability. Be true to yourself only. Walk along your path without comparison. There life is not better than yours, just a different path.
“Comparison is the death of joy.” -Mark Twain