I spent the vast majority of my 20s and early 30s dealing with trauma from my past. And for many years what “dealing with trauma” looked like for me was denial and suppression. But when you suppress pain that is begging to be brought to light, it only makes it fester.
And no matter how far down you bury it, it still manages to find its way up, seeping out through invisible wounds.
I know that many of you reading this have experienced trauma. And perhaps many more have experienced anxiety and depression. So you will understand when I say that during those dark years some days felt like pure survival and other times it felt like the darkness would never end… yet it did!
But I’m not writing this to tell you of my “hero’s journey,” nor am I writing this to elaborate on my challenges. Rather, I want to highlight something I used to do that was incredibly unhelpful, which just needed a simple shift to make a huge difference.
I used to play the comparison game. All too often I would compare myself to others in career, home, family, and wealth. And do you think this ever made me feel good?
According to me, what I had achieved, where I was, and what I possessed was never good enough. I should have started a family earlier. I should have a stable career. I should have a bigger home.
To compare is to despair, and I didn’t realize that to feel better about my life, all I needed to do was change my perception.
Instead of focusing on all the “shoulds,” I started to focus on what I had achieved while dealing with trauma. I focused on the baby steps I took and the love I had found while working through anxiety and depression.
This simple shift in my perception has made me feel so much better about myself and my life. Now I look back at all I have been through and I celebrate where I am! I look at all I have overcome and feel proud of what I have achieved in my life!
I am where I am because of all I’ve been through. And I am who I am because of all I have experienced.
Playing the comparison game is futile because there is not one other soul that has ever lived, that has had my life experience—and the same is true for you.
If you ever find yourself getting caught up in the negativity of comparing yourself to others, try switching your perception.
Look at all you have grown through to get you to where you are now. Look at all you have overcome to become the person you are today, and be proud of every single step you have taken to bring you to this moment.
Your life story is incomparable. Your life story is as beautifully unique as you are.