For most of our lives, we measure ourselves against other people. When we ask ourselves, “was I a good mom?” we are comparing ourselves to all of the other moms in the world.
When we buy “anti-aging” creams and potions, we are measuring our beauty based on external criteria.
When we purchase a shiny new car, most of the time we are subconsciously trying to convince ourselves that we can “still compete.”
The problem is that comparisons are happiness killers. When we compare ourselves to others, we enter a fight that we cannot possibly win. Why? Because no matter how much we achieve, there is always someone who has more. More money. More success. More happiness. More beauty.
As we reach our 50s and 60s, we have an opportunity to abandon comparisons and focus on loving and accepting ourselves. It doesn’t matter how successful your neighbors are. It matters whether you have the financial resources to meet your goals.
It doesn’t matter how old you look compared to others. It matters how healthy and radiant you feel in your own body.
The first step to abandoning comparisons is to learn to recognize them. Take a look around your house. How many of the products that you own are intended to make you look younger, more successful and richer?
Pay attention to the advertisements in the magazines you read and the TV programs you watch. How many of them use unfair comparisons in an attempt to try to get you to buy something – based on my own experience in marketing, I can guarantee that the majority of them do!
Once you become more conscious about the external comparisons that exist in your external environment, start to be conscious about your own thoughts. Write down a list of 5 things that you love and appreciate about yourself.
Now write down a list of 3 things that you would like to improve about yourself. Make sure that the second list focuses on improvements that you want to make for your own sake – not to compete with others.
Life after 60 should be a time for exploring our passions, not being trapped by comparisons. Let’s all make a commitment today to loving and appreciating ourselves. You are an amazing person and you deserve your own admiration!
Do you agree that being happy requires us to abandon, or at least soften, external comparisons? Why or why not? Please join the discussion.
Here is a short video that I recorded about loving and accepting yourself after 60.