Self-awareness is a BEautiful thing, although sometimes you find out that what you become aware of isn’t so pleasant. This happened to me last week and it really helped me to understand something I find myself doing from time to time. The wonderful gift of awareness is the ability to change what isn’t working.
I saw a Facebook post from a friend of mine that shared some activities he’d been doing. One of them happened to be some writing he was contributing to some large online sites. Another person I am friends with was sharing how they were leading some workshops in their area of expertise. In each of these cases I had all kinds of thoughts and feelings come up.
Hello Thoughts and Feelings!
My first and immediate response was not one of joy for them, but of disgust and frustration. I had all kinds of thoughts like, “Why are they writing for that site?” and “I should be writing there” or “I need to be doing that!” I was feeling annoyed, frustrated and jealous. It seemed like a thousand thoughts and feelings were rushing at me and through me. It didn’t take more than a minute of this before I became an observer of what was happening.
We can’t become aware of anything unless we first observe.
Most of the time life is spent reacting and responding to thoughts and feelings. Usually so fast that we don’t even realize (we’re not aware of) the very thoughts and feelings we’re responding to. Stepping back (in your mind) and in a non-judgmental way, we can observe those very thoughts and feelings. We can then make our choice of how to respond based on our awareness and conscious reflection, not our previous conditioning. That’s what was happening here…
I realized that I was getting a charge here and thought more about what was going on. I realized I was comparing myself to those people. It was then that it occurred to me how evil comparing really is. There are two deadly things that occur when we compare to others and they both happened to me.
When I began to compare myself to my friends, I had a bunch of very unpleasant feelings. These feelings all came from my own fears and my own false belief. Jealousy, hate, anger and annoyance all come from fear if you trace them back far enough. I knew I must have been carrying around a false belief from my past. That false belief that I wasn’t good enough or that I didn’t matter showed up. It makes perfect sense. In that moment when I read those updates from my friends I was wearing my glasses of false belief, so it went something like this…
Thoughts: John Doe is writing for a website
Meaning (based on my false belief): this person is more important than me and I’m not good enough to be doing the same thing
Feelings (produced as a result of the meaning I applied to the thought): angry, frustrated, jealous, and annoyed
Response (we almost always respond based on our feelings): negative talk and time spent thinking negative thoughts in the end, my comparing of myself to my friends only reinforced my false belief that I’m not good enough and that I’m not important. I had all those feelings because I was reminded once again that I’m not good enough.
The truth is, I am good enough and I am important. The truth is, my friends are very talented and deserving to do all the things they do. The truth is, I support, encourage, and cheer my friends on to be the best expression of themselves. The truth is – their accomplishments say nothing about me (good or bad).
Keeps Me Small
If I’m wearing my glasses of false belief, I’m going to stay small. When I compare myself to others, the false belief is amplified and the feelings I produce as a result do as well. If I walk around feeling pissed off, frustrated, jealous and angry, how much room am I going to have for my inherent qualities of love, creativity, joy, flexibility, intelligence and passion? Very little, right?
The only way I’m going to live the dreams I have for myself is to be the BIGGEST and FULLEST expression of mySELF. My authentic self are not those feelings but rather my inherent qualities. Those inherent qualities get crushed and thrown aside when we walk through life wearing our glasses of false belief.
I know that when I compare myself to others, it’s my own false beliefs showing up again. I know that I don’t need to compare myself to others. In fact, I shouldn’t do it! The next time I find myself comparing I’m going to remind myself that I don’t want to be small and instead I want to be the best expression of my authentic self. My/Our best expression is completely independent of what others think and do! Completely independent.
Just like it’s literally none of our business what others think of us it’s also literally none of our business what achievements and accomplishments others make. Do you find yourself making comparisons to others? When you do, what thoughts and feelings come up for you? Can you make out what false beliefs you’re carrying around?