I am blessed to have truly amazing people in my life (that's my darling dad, sister-in-law and her daughter, hubby and Curly above - I adore my family) including friends that I have made that I haven't even met yet. One such gal posted this wonderful morsel of wisdom on her facebook page and it was so perfectly phrased and rang so true to me that I would be doing a dis-service in not sharing it.
"I've been thinking about the human tendency to compare ourselves with others. WHY do we do this? It is so lose-lose!! A better way is to have an abundance mentality and look for the good in ourselves, and in others. A true friend is one who is genuinely happy for other people's successes. They understand there's more than enough success, (and talent, beauty, etc.) to go around. A better way is to compete against ourselves and try to be a little better than we were yesterday, and to encourage others along in their journey to self-improvement. Comparing ourselves to others gets us nowhere because we do it through broken lenses - we aren't capable of seeing the full picture. And we all have seasons in life. Isn't it true that so often we compare our winter with someone else's summer?
Besides, doesn't God deserve the glory for it all anyway? He and He alone is the GIVER of all good gifts!!" ~ Nicole Hudson
Comparing, criticizing and complaining are also effective in hindering us from seeing our personal strengths and progress which ultimately lead to discouragement and even hopelessness about ourselves and our lives. It's impressive how quickly engaging in these practices or thoughts can get us off the path and render us immobile (and the goal is to always be progressing). Self-loathing and negative self-talk has never been found to be inspiring, motivating or positive and seems to produce more of the same. I'm learning to find victory in the small moments regardless of the pitfalls that also happen. Play on those good moments and remember that it is inevitable that we will make mistakes daily - if not hourly. Learn to be honest with yourself when you handle a situation wrong and be big enough to admit it and consider what the better options would be and to then seek forgiveness when it involves someone else. Guilt-trips are stupid and don't proffer any sort of good results - just shame that is most likely unwarranted. I also really like Jillian Michael's bluntness, "Perfect sucks! Perfect is boring!" And she continues to say that it is all about effort. And if you are always trying, there isn't much more to it.
Life is too short to always be beating ourselves up. There is so much happiness to be had if we focus on it!