Stop comparing yourself to others no matter your impairment

A habit a lot of people have is feeling jealous of other people’s success or comparing themselves to those with similar abilities and skills. It can happen more to people with a disability or health condition who may feel their impairment restricts them from having a fulfilling life.

Disability and lifestyle blogger Ross Lannon, from A Life On Wheels, shares how he is trying to stop comparing himself to others while living with spinal muscular atrophy.

One of my most toxic traits is the fact I compare myself to others. I’ve only recently realised how much I do this, and it’s definitely something I need to work on.

I was scrolling through my Instagram the other night and the following quote really inspired me:

Life is easier when you don't concern yourself with what everybody else is doing

Living with a disability can take its toll sometimes, as it’s so easy to get bogged down by all of the things you can’t do.

Jealousy and comparisons

I constantly compare myself to others – and whilst that may be a good thing in terms of my goals and ambitions – it can also be a really negative trait to have.

“Jealousy is a feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has”

In terms of disability representation, I’m always a very positive person, as I believe it’s important to celebrate the small wins in life. However, I am also a realist and would never want to paint a false picture of a “perfect lifestyle”.

Ross Lannon showing two finger peace sign

I have become increasingly aware of what I post online recently. Despite sharing certain aspects of my life publicly, I am also an incredibly private person. Some would say “a man of mystery”.

At the end of the day, I think we all get a little jealous sometimes. We’re human, and it’s only natural to look at somebody else’s life with a sense of awe. However, there needs to be a balance, which is something I’ve definitely opened my eyes to.

These are just some of the most common thoughts people have:

  • Wow, look at their house!
  • I wish I had a body like that!
  • Their job must be so cool!
  • I want a relationship like that!
  • I wish I had their money!

Being grateful for the life you have

There’s a famous saying that says – “there is always somebody worse off than you” – which I absolutely hate, but it’s true.

I’ve always struggled to see myself in any position of awe, but I guess that comes down to my own self-esteem. I often take for granted the fact that I can drive, or that I live independently, which is something I know many other disabled people strive for.

The point I’m trying to make is this…

We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others in such a negative light.

Life is constantly throwing us curveballs, and our happiness or success should not be determined by what others are achieving.

We are all doing our own thing, in our own time, in our own way. There is no rulebook in life that defines what is right or wrong – other than the law, obviously.

By Ross Lannon

You can follow Ross on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Also, subscribe to Ross’s blog, A Life On Wheels, for more stories.

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