Guilty or Not?

Have you ever compared your success to that of your friends, neighbors, or acquaintances? I assume most of us have done this; I know I have. Of course, you want them to be successful in every way. But obtaining a valid discernment from surface only, gives you no facts. Everyone has a story.

fruit

If you compare yourself to your perception of others, then the possibility of your self-esteem deflating is great. The negative assumptions you allow to roll around in your mind can be harmful to your mental well-being. Even though the outward appearance seems perfect, it’s exactly that. ‘Seems’ may be the key word because that individual could be struggling inwardly.

Is there one method of how you measure success? Essentially, it’s up to interpretation. What does success mean to you? Think about what you want in life. What kind of person do you aspire to be? In my opinion, here’s what you shouldn’t do – don’t give dollar signs too much power in measuring success. They can be misleading. Other factors display victory, such as volunteering, honest work ethic, being a loving parent, sister, daughter, son, friend, etc. The list is endless.

measure-success

Think carefully how you measure success because the last thing you need is to fall into a depressed mind-set caused by comparing yourself to others. Letting those unfavorable thoughts take control of your mind will only create clutter and make things messy in your life. So, here’s a must-do…focus on what makes you feel successful. Everyone has demons. It’s in our DNA to judge. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy. You and I both know it’s not, so try not to do it. It’s as simple as that. Focus on you, not on how others seem on the outside.

Do you have any thoughts on this subject? Any experiences? For example, I’ll start by saying that since I didn’t go to college, I’ve compared myself to those who have. As a result, at times, my mood shifted into puddles of negativity. As some of you may remember, I did a post years ago about returning to school. I was excited and had taken all the English courses (which I loved) needed for an Associates Degree. Then I began thinking, “Why am I doing this?” I truly thought deeply about what going back to school would entail. Sure, the diploma would look great hanging on the wall next to my husband’s and children’s. However, I came to the realization that a college degree doesn’t define who I am. I’m Me with or without it. So, I didn’t quit; I just chose not to continue, but I gained a lot from those English classes I took. This entire paragraph’s subject may sound silly to you, but was anything but silly to me – divulging this is me being vulnerable, too. Moving forward, I no longer think those college-educated people are better than me. What they accomplished is commendable, and it’s as simple as that.

The easy road spirals downward; the challenging road stimulates your mind and nudges you to look deeply within yourself.

be you

Lauren ❤
All photos courtesy of Google.

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27 thoughts on “Guilty or Not?

    • That’s awesome, Ian! I honestly can say the same thing, except for getting stuck on the college thing. 🙂 But I’m over it now, and all is good in my world. Have you ever veered off on the path of comparing though in past years? I think it really is human nature, as long as we get back on the right path eventually. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend…

  1. Social media certainly helps in making us feel inferior sometimes when you see all the great things others are doing. But of course most people are far more likely to share their successes than their failures. A lot of us judge ourselves pretty harshly, though, even though we know we shouldn’t.

    Many rich and famous people have pretty lousy lives. Excessive amounts of money or success seems to exacerbate people’s problems rather than solve them. When you ask yourself why you’re doing something, you usually find that most things you do or want really don’t mean very much.

    • You touch on many great points, Binky, and all I agree with. So, in conclusion, we shouldn’t compare or judge ourselves. As I told Ian, I think it’s human nature, as long as we understand the importance of not hovering in the mindset – to focus on our own selves and lives.

  2. Good subject to contemplate, Lauren. I’ve always struggled with an inferiority complex so up until the last few years did a lot of those comparisons. Getting older I’ve given that up and am more self-accepting. (Except for perfectionist tendencies – augh! That’s a lost cause. 😆 )
    Thanks for sharing your own story. It’s human nature, I think, to compare and judge ourselves.
    Have a good week! ❤️🌸

    • Thanks, Betty! I appreciate you sharing your story, too. I would’ve never known, so it goes to show that everyone has a story, and it’s not always visual. Yes, getting older does help, which helped me in deciding about school – the time involved, the homework, and time away from family. I agree in that it is human nature to compare, as along as we keep moving along. 🙂 Have a good week, too! 💕🌻

  3. I’ve never been envious of others success in life. I haven’t had to do a job interview from the time I left school and things just seemed to fall into place over the years with me being offered jobs I was surprised to be offered considering myself unprepared for such lofty heights. lol. I’ve learned in each job and seen a large slice of the world into the bargain. I look back with surprise and delight at people met, fulfilling jobs enjoyed and places visited.

    • Wow, Ian, you are one of the lucky one’s, I think. I assume most people can’t say the same, so that’s great, and I’m happy that things just fell into place in a positive way for you. Thanks for sharing your joy, too! It’s always good to hear!

  4. Excellent thoughts here Lauren, and I never went to College either, Just straight into factory life at the age of 15 the then leaving age from School
    In those days I aspired to do well, so I worked hard and worked my way up the ladder .. But to be very honest I never envied my bosses or those who on the outside looked to have more.. Because inside I thought we are all the same.. And I did get myself in some hot water once by telling one bombastic boss so. 🙂
    I most certainly appreciate the gifts we have, and the blessings we often take for granted..

    Hope you are having a wonderful start to the year, January almost out.. 🙂
    Love and Warm hugs xx

    • Thanks, Sue, and it’s kind of nice to hear of someone else who didn’t go to college. I went right into working, too, as I was burned out with school. I’ve done great, but I think I had some bosses who were related to your bombastic boss! That made me smile.
      College, the learning and discipline it takes is beneficial. But success can be measured in many ways. If someone is so busy working all the time with no time for themselves, family, or friends, to me that’s not success. All the money in the world wouldn’t be worth it, in my opinion. But we’re all different, and that’s the beauty. Otherwise, this world would be quite boring. 🙂
      I truly appreciate the gifts and blessings, too, as you mentioned. January has been a good start, and time is flying. Love and hugs to you, my friend…❤🌻🌹

    • Thanks for chiming in, Audrey. I like what you said about life not being a race, and that we all have something special to offer. This is so true, and words we should all hold onto dearly and daily. Have a lovely day. 💕

  5. Lauren, your post is full of wisdom and clarifying the importance that we are aware of the motivation of our actions. It’s not always easy but vital for our own mental and emotional health. I totally understand why your self-realisation meant so much to you, a key moment in your life even. The other day I met someone who had such a chip on their shoulder about not going to university. I hadn’t even thought about it and to me it’s something a long time ago and no bearing on life today for any of us. Unfortunately, I felt this stood between us…My brother left school when he could and has since become hugely successful in his life (perhaps even too much as he is so busy travelling around the world). We all find what suits us, our strengths, without judgement. Thought-provoking article, Lauren, thank you for sharing and raising awareness.

  6. Hi Annika, thanks so much for your thoughts and stories. It’s funny how something that would’ve happened so long ago can still impact how we feel about ourselves years later. I’m over it now, but I confess to harboring regret often over the years. Then again, regret probably isn’t the right word, because if I had gone, I wouldn’t have met my husband and had the beautiful family I have. 🙂 I guess there were times when I wanted it all. Anyway, I loved the classes I took, and I may take more classes in the future, but I won’t stress about a degree. That would take too much time away from my husband and family, something I’m not willing to do. You’re right, we all find something that suits us, and I believe the choices we make are the right ones at that time. Thanks for your kind words, and your book is on its way. Can’t wait! Have a great day! 💕

  7. Excellent post, Lauren! Yes, it’s so easy to compare ourselves with others, especially the ones we know and to fall into the trap of thinking we’re not as successful as they seem to be. I have done this so often, and still do sometimes, but try to overcome this exactly by doing what you’ve proposed – to measure success in different ways than by just putting dollar signs to it (or Euro in my case 😉).
    And I understand how you must have felt because of getting that degree or not. I’ve had a friend who always seemed to have trouble with having not gone to university and who sadly seemed to look for signs in others that they didn’t value him because of it. Which of course no one did. I mean, look at me: I’ve got a master’s degree in art history and financial wise I’m not better of if I hadn’t studied at all thanks to current politics etc. So I would need to think that the degree was all for nothing and I’m stupid for having gone through all of this, right? Wrong! Sure, sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have followed this particular path, but life is a journey and we can’t get back to our starting point and need to accept this sometimes hurtful truth.
    Sorry for the rant, it seems you’ve touched a sensitive spot here with me. 😉 Hugs and love! xoxo 💕

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