Comparison is the Thief of Joy
I was listening to a podcast the other day that discussed why we compare ourselves to other people. The message reminded me of a conversation I’ve had over and over again with a few of my fellow travelers. Sometimes it can be hard not to compare our lives to others around us, especially those we grew up with. Most traveling healthcare workers have a life that looks “different” from other people. People in our hometowns are settling down, getting married, and having kids. Not saying some of us travelers aren’t doing that, but the majority aren’t and if they are it doesn’t “look the same” as people who are more stationary. Their timeline isn’t your timeline.
If we start comparing life paths, we can slip down the rabbithole of feeling like we are “behind” because we don’t have the same type of life trajectory/stability. But that’s an unfair thought. Life isn’t a race, there is no specific timing to do anything. When we as travelers sink into these thoughts, it can lead us to feel ungrateful for the amazing opportunities we have. I bet you money the same friends we are comparing ourselves to are looking at us thinking, “wow I wish I could travel to a new city every three months.” They wish they could have the opportunity to meet new people, experience new cultures, take as many vacation days as they want, etc.
When we compare ourselves to other people it makes us ignore what we have achieved as travelers. We have so much to be grateful for. We have the ability to travel and see the world, all while making great money. We are lucky to meet so many people and have so many experiences that the majority of people don’t get. We get to learn to adapt and grow professionally. We learn new skills we never would have if we had stayed in one place. We learn to be more independent while also learning how to be intentional with making new friends. The list goes on and on.
Sometimes it helps to stop, snap ourselves out of the “comparing” mindsets, and instead come from a place of gratitude. Focusing on the positive aspects of traveling will not only reflect within your personal relationship, but also translate into the care you provide in the hospital/clinic setting.
If you are like me and so many other travelers I’ve had these conversations with, you are not alone. Stop and reframe your brain to focus on the opportunities available vs the ones we feel like we might be “missing out on” if we were being more stationary.
Comparison can be the thief of joy but gratitude can be the solution!
Written by: Ashley Duerr, MedVenturist and Traveling Radiology CT Technologist
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