It is natural to compare ourselves to others. It gives us a way of seeing how we measure up. And more importantly, it can open our eyes to bigger and better ways of living and drive us to become better versions of ourselves. This is not to say that we should try to be exactly like those around us, but to use the great attributes and successes of those around us to motivate us and expand our minds to what is possible within ourselves.
There is one big problem with doing this though. Things aren’t always how they appear. A person may give the impression that they are successful, happy, and living a great life, yet behind closed doors, they may be a disaster.
We have all heard stories or actually known people who appeared to be living in financial abundance, only to find out that they had to file bankruptcy. And I remember saying these exact words about one couple… “Those two will never get divorced,” only to get a call from them one day telling us that their marriage had ended.
When we look to someone who appears to have it all together, it’s critical to realize that, while someone is very successful in one area of life, or even several areas of life, they often have weaknesses or failures in other areas of life. It is also critical to realize that others can make it look like they are doing so well in one area of life, yet behind closed doors they may actually be struggling badly.
I remember thinking Tiger Woods seemed to have it all together. As it turned out, he had golf all together. His marriage was a disaster, and he had other issues related to other women. And Lance Armstrong was the poster boy of success, athletics, and contribution, until he wasn’t. It turned out that he was a cheater, treated others poorly, and is super arrogant.
Aside from super stars, professional athletes, and those we read about and hear about every day on television and in the news, what about neighbors and friends? These are the people you are more likely to compare yourself to day in and day out. We are regularly surprised to find out that those we most admire, and maybe are even envious of, aren’t exactly as they appeared.
There are two points I’d like to make here… First, be careful comparing yourself to others. You may be beating yourself up for no reason. People are not always what they appear to be. Second, strive to have balance in all areas of your life.
True success comes in the form of doing well in all areas of your life, not just one or a couple. You may be ultra-successful financially, yet have a marriage that is terrible. You may go to church every Sunday and participate in a bible study, yet treat those around you poorly. Your business may be booming, but you’re fifty pounds overweight and struggle to get through the day.
If you’re wondering who has it ALL together… the answer is no one! So don’t feel bad about struggling in certain areas. Acknowledge those weaknesses and work to get those areas as strong as all the others. Authentic success is not being phenomenal in one area of life, it is to be balanced and strong in ALL areas of life.