I was talking to a friend the other day about goals and what we need to do to achieve them. We were specifically talking about the things we can do on social media to get more of a reach. He had mentioned that he doesn’t like being in his social pictures with his product because he doesn’t want someone to see him and not buy his product because he doesn’t think he is likable. For a minute I was flabbergasted because I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t like him, but then I realized, I’ve had similar thoughts. These are thoughts of comparison. We are comparing ourselves to those who have come before us in the industry that we are trying to break into.
For me, the comparison comes from years of bullying during school and from my parents. It also comes from years of me bullying myself because of my lack of self-esteem. For others, the root behind their comparison isn’t as easy to figure out. When we can’t easily figure out why we are comparing ourselves to others, we can go into a dark place and have a hell of a time getting out of it.
I am learning more and more that I care about people more than most. What I mean by that is that I am always finding ways to make other people feel good or to take care of others or to lift their spirits. I do it because I love seeing people’s eyes light up or seeing them feel loved. And I probably love seeing those because I always wanted that feeling within myself.
I am currently struggling with a situation of feeling like I care about other people more than they care about me. I am struggling with going down a spiral into I’m not good enough to be cared about.
I recently learned that one of my friends is going to have a major surgery in the next couple months. My first thought was, I would be willing to hop on a plane and go help out while working remotely. My second thought was, they have people close by, I’m not needed. My thought that is sticking with me and is really filling me with consternation about my level of caring and being good enough, is that I can simply send flowers to brighten my friend’s day.
How does that leave me in consternation? Because I had my major surgery nine months ago and I didn’t get any flowers or signs of love or caring from anybody but Eddie’s cousin who I asked to make me carnitas. I am going down this thought spiral and it is uncomfortable.
Why am I the only one who cares enough to show it? Why am I not good enough to be shown this type of caring or love? What have I done to other people that I am not thought about when in the same situation? Why am I comparing this friend’s situation to mine? I’m being selfish because I am turning this act of love that I want to do around making it about me. Will the flowers even be appreciated? I’m fucking stupid for going down this spiral. Who cares what others do for me, do what I want for them regardless. I’m dumb for expecting or even hoping for the same level of caring or love that I show to others.
I can go on and on. These are the thought spirals I battle consistently. They aren’t helpful by any means, nor are they easy to control. I’ve overcome many of them, but this one is one I am still working through.
I believe I have this thought spiral because my love language is Acts of Service. And to me, doing something like sending flowers is an act of service. Some of you might not agree with me, but hear me out. I see sending flowers as an act of service because, to me, the action is not about giving a gift, rather it is about enriching the other person’s life. Putting a smile on their face. Giving them something beautiful to look at while they are laying in bed recovering. I see it as an ease to the burden of the recovery process.
It isn’t that I’m being selfish in comparing my surgery and situation to my friend’s, it’s that I cherish acts of service and the situation is a trigger for identifying where I did not receive acts of service when I feel compelled to do it for someone else. In the end, it has nothing to do with that person that I love dearly and what wasn’t done for me. My thought spiral is wrapped up in my love language. My feelings are wrapped up in my love language.
I am not making this person’s surgery about me by working through these emotions and thoughts. I am finding new situations to work through that I need to realize that I may care or show that I care more than other people even think about. Eddie tells me all of the time that I am more observant and care more than the typical person. I think about other people more.
We talked about this the other night and I acknowledged what Eddie says which helped me realize that my thoughts are connected to my love language. I doubt I will ever find someone who is as cognizant of other people’s situations and needs or simply as cognizant and caring of other people’s emotions. I have to work through not feeling like I’m not good enough because I didn’t get the level of outward caring that I give to others. I also can’t expect that anybody do as much as I am compelled to do for others.
So do I hold back on how much I give to others because I don’t receive the same? Historically, I have. I have felt that since they don’t care enough about me and that I’m not good enough for them to acknowledge whatever it is I am/was going through, then why would I do it for them? But as I continue to work on my emotions and overall health, I realize that line of thinking isn’t helping me at all. In fact, it is probably limiting me because it is creating some level of pain within myself through the comparison.
I am working to truly feel through and understand that just because I care and want to show that I care, more than other people typically do, it doesn’t mean that I am not good enough for the same level of caring. It just means that other people don’t focus on it as much as I do.
Have you ever thought that? I have. It is defeating. It is depressing.
But there is so much wrong with that thought. It took me years to realize it and learn how to overcome it every time that I encountered it.
Now, I see that others might be thinking the same thing about me. No, I’m not getting conceited on you. I’m acknowledging that I am further along in my personal growth journey than some and that might be intimidating.
That thought, “It’s easy for her, there is no way I could ever be like her” is a comparison. It is a comparison that I’ve made for every step of my life. Do any of these sound like things that you have thought?
Yeah, but it won’t be easy for me…
I’m too far gone to be helped…
I don’t know how or where to start…
Self-help/Self-development is for people who are extremely fucked up, that’s not me…
When I first was presented the idea of personal development, I had the last thought. I seriously was of the mindset that only fucked up people read self-help books. I judged them before I ever gave them a shot.
Then people I knew were recommending a couple books in that space and the books didn’t sound like they were weird. So I started reading. All it takes is one step to start.
You have taken that step. You are reading this blog. I share personal development, self-help information. I share my journey through it all.
Personal development isn’t easy. It isn’t because going through the work to truly grow is emotionally and difficult. It takes time. It takes dedication.
In my opinion, nobody is too far gone. Each of us can take a little step every single day. Little steps are how I’ve gotten to where I am. It didn’t happen overnight.
Again, you’ve already started, you are here. Blogs, books, podcasts, etc. There are so many resources out there depending on what you feel you need to work on. If you don’t know how to determine what to work on, go back to my post about thought work. You can sit and work through your thoughts that are plaguing you. Thoughts always plague us.
I know you’ve probably heard this multiple times, but stop comparing yourself to others. Even as you are growing, comparing yourself to the influencers and to those of us who are a little further along can be painful for you. All you are doing by comparing yourself is strengthening your insecurities. You are making the things that you want to change worse than they already are.
If you want to change something, you can’t compare yourself to someone else. Your journey is different than mine. Your issues (yeah, we all got issues) are different than mine. Your dreams are different than mine. Your situation is different than mine.
It wasn’t easy for me.
I started and stopped in my personal growth journey multiple times. I have battled with some of my issues over and over and over again. There are times that I feel like I’m doing really awesome with one thing and bam! that thing rolls me. Everything I share here is after I’ve done continuous work over long periods of time. I have a lot of life to unpack. I have a lot of work to still grow through.
It isn’t easy for me. I have had to make some big changes in my life just to get to where I want to be. I’ve made big changes to get to this point today. I still struggle with my growth.
It isn’t easy for me and it won’t be easy for you.