Hussling and bustling through the day has become such a normal part of my routine that I’ll sometimes take a look up and say, ‘wait, it isn’t February?’

It seems technology has, unlike all the rumors to the contrary, given us less time, what with all of the demands from the Facebooks and the LinkedIns and the Twitters and such. That’s before we even get started on work.

I recently spent a weekend at a writer’s conference where I was a. glad to spend time around other people in my profession and b. amazed to see myself through a lens that indicated I was further along on my path with writing than I realized. All of the speakers – and I mean all, from a book agent to an editor at Writer’s Market – focused on social media, social media, social media. I’m not sure if we are supposed to really do anything else these days other than to Tweet.

The part I want to focus on is not my issues-with-technology-even-though-I-make-a-living-off-of-using-it. Instead, I want to focus on my second realization: viewing myself through a particular lens. In this case, it was a positive one – I felt my direction had been deemed correct by the “professionals.” Just as easily, though, I could have felt beaten, as I think some in the crowd who had yet to develop a website or get on Facebook did.

It’s tough to look around and think, “wow, all these other people are getting it and I’m not. What’s wrong with me?” Often, this leads to either self-flogging, projecting anger onto others, and/or wanting to give up. None of which are good for anyone involved.

Then I read this piece ( by Sonya Derian. Ah, right - ‘tis human nature to compare ourselves to others.

But that doesn’t make it a good thing, or something we have to accept as “that’s just how it is.”

Derian writes:

"We compare ourselves to others and gauge where we are based on what we observe them to be doing…The thing about comparison is that there is never a win. How often do we compare ourselves with someone less fortunate than us and consider ourselves blessed? More often, we compare ourselves with someone who we perceive as being, having or doing more. And this just leaves us coming up short."

I find even if I estimate myself as ‘better’ than someone else in a particular situation, it has to do with an inflated sense-of-self to make up for those situations where I feel less than. So feeling ‘better than’ is only part of the cycle that will eventually lead back to ‘less than.’

What to do? You can’t just stop comparing yourself to others, because the “mind wants to quantify,” according to Derian. I can agree with that. Her advice is rather than compare yourself to others, why not compare yourself to…yourself?

Yup. Look to your past self – who you were 5 years ago, 5 months ago, 5 days ago and think of who you are in the present moment. Of course, the further you go back, the more you can see how much you’ve changed, but sometimes, even 5 days is enough to show you, “wow, I moved through that situation at [work, school, with partner, family] in a much better way than I anticipated.”

We all change so much every year, yet rarely take the time to acknowledge our personal accomplishments, unless it’s New Year’s or our birthday. What if we consistently stepped back, as we often do in those split second comparisons to others, and thought, ‘man, I would’ve handled that fight with my friend way different in the past.’

Most of us have improved over time. It’s called evolution. And that is what we are here to do.

Author's Bio: 

Christine Garvin is a Holistic Wellness Coach who holds a Masters degree in Holistic Health Education and is a certified Nutrition Educator. She runs the site Living Holistically (, is co-editor of Confronting Love (, and has written for a variety of health, travel, and relationship sites and magazines. She maintains a private nutrition practice in Black Mountain, NC, working with clients nationwide via Skype. Follow her on Twitter @livingholistic or on her FB page (