As we go through this crazy time of quarantines, social distancing and stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, I've done a bit mindless scrolling through Facebook and other social media platforms, as I'm sure most of us have. I saw a friend repost this and it really resonated with me:
WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT.
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
Life is hard. Why make it harder by comparing yourself to others?
Who, or what, do you compare yourself to most? If you think, 'no, I don't compare myself to anyone...' think of the last time you checked any social media platform. Did any posts make you envious? Or in contrast, did any updates make you feel smug, or better than someone?
Go ahead...take some time to really think about it.
Comparing outsides to insides
Equestrians often compare lives with someone else. Any of these sound familiar?
We compare what we have and what we do to what we see others do or have.
Read that again.
We compare what we have and what we do to what we
SEE others do or have.
The best thing you can do, which really spoke to me from that Facebook post I mentioned earlier, is that other people's 'outsides,' or what you see others do or have, cannot be compared to your 'insides.' Unless you are really close to someone you can't use an outward appearance, or what you perceive, to judge the reality of their life. Social media posts can be curated to to only show the best of what happens. People can also do the same as they live their lives publically. If someone's life ever gives you a reason to feel bad about yourself, remember, you don't know what really goes on behind closed doors.
Looking at Your bigger picture
The curse of comparison is that you lose sight of the bigger picture of your life. You should be grateful for the good in your life and resist the "it's not enough" thoughts.
The only comparisons you should be making are to who you were yesterday, last week, last month or last year. By doing that you will see the growth and successes that make you, you.
Last year could you get around the cross country course in a brave and forward manner? Maybe now you can.
Last year you were only riding once a week. Now you've prioritized riding and the impact it has on your life. Now you're riding more and maybe even considering an in-barn lease.
Last year those pirouettes that were so hard – either for you or your horse – have now become one of the highest scored movements in your test.
Last year that gangly baby of an OTTB got off the trailer and now – because of your hard work – is supple through the bridle, understand leg aids and through nutrition and grooming shines from the inside out.
Last year you were in a dark place because your heart horse passed and thought you'd never move on. Now you've got a new horse and are happily building a beautiful parntership to accomplish amazing things.
When you compare yourself to others, you fail to see all the good times, successes and growth you have experienced.