I’ve come across friends’ posts in both my cancer world and my non-cancer world were people are comparing themselves to others in such a way that makes them feel less of themselves.
The first was in a cancer post. Someone who had a smaller cancer, which had not spread, such that treatment didn’t need chemotherapy. She was comparing herself to others within the community who had much more advanced forms of breast cancer. That comparison made her feel like her experiences were not significant. However, a bunch of us jumped in to let her know that her feelings were real, her concerns were real, and her experience sucked too. There is no value in comparing because you’ll always find someone who is worse off, that doesn’t make your experiences or feelings any less valid.
This also happens frequently within the cycling community. Riding 40 km is a huge accomplishment, especially for those who don’t normally bike. But for those who are cycle tourist and are accustomed to 100+km ride days, 40 km feels like nothing. It is no less of an accomplishment for the person who rode 40 km for the first time. Oh how I am looking forward to being able to break the 20km boundary again, and some day, I too shall be able to ride 40km, and maybe even 60km.
My point is, we have this nasty habit of comparing ourselves to others, which we use to devalue our own experiences. If you catch yourself doing it, remind yourself, that your experiences are real, your experiences are valid, and your accomplishments are significant!