December, unlike the other months of the year (including one’s own birthday month), is a month that requires a process that many of us dread doing: reflecting. It is in this month that people come together with their friends and family and celebrate the successes they reached throughout the year; celebrate the fact that they successfully made it through yet another (difficult) year; and build on the failures they went through.
But, just like all other things in life, the month of December doesn’t treat everyone the same way. While for others it is a month of happiness, celebration and success, for others it is a month that reminds them of difficulties they have gone through and makes them feel like less of successes than others.
It is usually said to young people that they should never compare themselves to others, that their lives are different to those around them, and that because of this difference, their journeys towards success will not be similar to theirs. Unfortunately, though, this advice, like the many other advice given to young people, is something that is easier said than done.
Living in the social media world with instant access to information, it has become easier for people to share with each other the successes, no matter how big or small, they achieve while on their journeys towards their dreams. It has become easier for people to share with each other images of, for instance, the first car they just bought, or the house they just built for their parents, or the holiday they just went on.
This is not something that should ever be frowned upon. It is important for people who grew up having nothing to celebrate, should be able to share the news when they managed to do something for either themselves or the people they love. People should be allowed to be happy, and they should also be allowed to celebrate the fruits of their hard work. But it is those who haven’t been as lucky as those around them, those whose hard work still hasn’t paid off, that we need to be worried about.
It is basic human nature for one to measure their level of success in relation to that of the people around him or her. As humans, as social animals, it is easier for us to look at those around us and see if our successes are happening in the same way as those around us, than it is to just live in seclusion and not worry about other people.
When our successes don’t match of those around us, we begin to wonder if we are working as hard as we think we need to, or if there is something that is wrong that you’re doing and the people around you are not.
This gets even more difficult during December. If your luck hasn’t been like that of the people around you, if your hard work hasn’t born any fruits yet, December, instead of being a month of celebration and happiness, ends up being a month of self-doubt and self-crucifixion. But this doesn’t mean that a person cannot beat the temptation to compare their successes to those of the people around him/her.
As cliché as it may sound, there are ways of beating this temptation. The one is to know that people share their successes, but they don’t share their failures. So those pictures on social media do not tell the whole story.
And another way of avoiding this constant comparing to others it remember what your end goal is, and know the type of time it takes for a person to reach something like it. For instance, if your end goal is becoming a world-renowned author, it is important to remember that this will take longer than most things. Because of this, your successes will not come as fast or as easy as those of someone whose end goal is finishing their degree and getting a job.
You need to draw out a timeline of reaching this goal (I know, also cliché) and a list of the things you need to do to get there. Remind yourself of these, every time you feel like you’re not going anywhere. Come up with a plan and stick to it, no matter what.
Another cliché thing to do is choosing who you keep around you. Most of the time, people feel inadequate because the people they keep around them make them feel that way. If you keep the right type of people around you, if you choose to surround yourself with people who not only know your end goal but support of journey towards it, you will not only feel like all the successes you’ve made throughout the year were important, you will cherish them even more.
In the end, we all go home in December to be surrounded by those who love and care about us. We go home to be not only with family, but with friends. We go home to visit old memories and make new ones. So, when you go home this December, please don’t forget to be with the ones who always remind you of what is important – be they friends or family!
Tell us: What does December mean to you?