How often have you compared yourself to someone else, only to fall short in the comparison? Do you imagine that if someone else doesn’t have the destructive habit of perusing through the fridge at midnight that they are somehow more evolved than you?

We are all a collection of habits. We like to pride ourselves on being very intelligent—and we may be—but the truth is that everything we think, say and do today, more than likely we have thought, said or done yesterday. Too me, that realization is a little bit embarrassing, but it also actually gives me hope. Because if I realize that I am truly nothing more or nothing less than a collection of automatic responses based on past and present triggers, it gives me a tremendous opportunity to carve out the life that I want.

What this tells me is that my destiny is not necessarily carved in stone. I begin to ponder, “What if each of us had the possibility for several possible destinies, and the one that actually plays out is solely based on our interpretation of our life’s events, and the habits of thought, speech and action we cultivate?”

This mindset is helpful to me because it also makes me realize how crucial it is to choose thoughts, words and deeds that will lift me up and take me down a higher path. If I thought that I could get away with a nasty, judging thought, or if I take the viewpoint that this one little cookie won’t hurt me, I’m probably right. Indulging in the luxury of a negative thought or a sweet treat probably wouldn’t have much of a destructive impact on my life. However, once I admit to myself how much of a creature of habit I am, my motivation to pull in the reins on myself becomes much stronger.

The understanding that judging my human brother or sister based on the hurt I feel that their actions have caused me, or eating foods that are poisonous to my system, will perpetuate negativity within me, helps to increase my motivation to avoid those choices.

When I realize that the sooner I simply sit with my feeling of hurt with acceptance and self-love, while forgiving the one who I think “caused” this feeling and myself for anything I might have done to contribute, the faster my hurt will heal, and the less likely I am to attract more darkness into my life, then I am on the road to creating a better destiny for myself. When I release my urge for the cookie based on my past experience that once the sugar is in my bloodstream, I am like a hound on the hunt for more, my destiny to live my life healthfully, with more happiness, and at my ideal weight, becomes a much greater possibility.

Whether we compare ourselves to another and come up feeling somehow less than or whether we look at another and secretly pat ourselves on the back for seemingly greater success in one area of life or another, we are bringing down our level of ultimate happiness. This is because either way, when we compare ourselves, even if we come out ahead, there is an uneasiness that fills us at a deeper place within. This is because somehow we intuitively know that we may not necessarily be able to maintain our status. Even if we are thinner, prettier, wealthier, or have more dynamic, well-behaved children, there is always a flip-side to all of our life experiences and achievements.

Therefore true happiness can only be found when we accept the fact that we don’t have to take credit for how special and wonderful we are—but only accept these gifts from Spirit with gratitude, and we don’t have to feel guilty or ashamed of our weaknesses, as these are also “gifts” that we are working through in this life, in order to access greater attributes within ourselves, such as strength, patience, compassion and courage. Isn’t it our greatest challenges that mold us into becoming much more authentic and higher versions of what’s possible for ourselves?

By navigating through our difficulties, like the rock that is ground down and polished to become a gem, we access our greater potential and have the opportunity to create a more profound destiny than might have been possible if we only basked in our obvious gifts of beauty, wisdom, and health.

The problems we face give us a chance to see our habitual patterns of coping with difficulty. Once we witness these habits, we come to see that we are so much more than this collection of routines that we are playing out day to day. All of a sudden, we become aware that we are thinking the same thoughts almost every day, and we can ask ourselves, “Where does that thought lead? How does that thought make me feel? What do I want to do with my hands and my tongue when I have that thought? Is the thought even true? What is another thought that I could think right now that would lead me to a greater expression of myself? What is the destiny I want? What thought would I need to think and hold to make that destiny more likely?”

We are so used to judging ourselves and the people in our lives as good, bad, right or wrong. In truth we are all made of the same stuff. It’s the habits of thought and action that mold us and create our differences.

Every thought and action you take today is likely to be repeated tomorrow unless you step in and decide to choose differently. Our repetitive ideas and behaviors create pathways in our brain and reinforce our identity. We begin to believe about ourselves, “I’m a person who is easily distracted.” “I’m a person who needs coffee to get going in the morning.” “I have no patience with my children or elderly parent.” These statements are only true because if you believe them to be.

When I decide to breathe and concentrate, and choose activities that help me with that goal—like exercising or perhaps doing yoga or meditation, then I am no longer so easily distracted. When I conclude that caffeine is having a negative impact on my life, I will realize that I am stronger than that addiction and can decide to take on a new identity as a person who doesn’t drink coffee. When my desire to look back on my life at my time of death and know myself as an excellent parent or daughter becomes important enough to me, patience with my children and parents will become my new mode of operation.

Expand your vision of yourself. Just because you’ve judged yourself as being fat for the last 20 years, and your whole life has revolved around that judgment, doesn’t mean that’s how your next 20 years have to be. How do you know that the weight won’t just melt off you when you finally accept yourself, your mistakes, acknowledge where your patterns have led you, and re-design your whole life to live it fully at your ideal weight—free from struggle?

To me, the greatest freedom is the realization that when left to our own devices, we are going to continue to react to life the way we always have, but that we also have the amazing potential in any moment (including this moment and this breath!) to make a life-changing shift in our perceptions. Instead of berating yourself for past mistakes, take the opportunity to look at your patterns of thought and action. Separate that from the events in your life that you think caused you to think and act as you do. Those reasons really aren’t going to help you – they are only going to give you an excuse to justify your patterns.

Instead ask yourself, “What if I could re-write the script? I can’t necessarily recruit new actors because my play doesn’t have the ability to do that. But what if I changed the lead actor’s role?” You are the lead actor in the drama of your life! Sit down and re-write your qualities, characteristics and responses. Even though you can’t eliminate the other actors in your play, you can add as many new supporting actors as you like. Invite all the people, real or imagined, dead or alive to come into your reality and support you and coach you.

Imagine yourself now responding to the circumstances of your life with all this inner and outer support. Picture yourself going through the days ahead of you with the awareness that every thought and action you choose to repeat more than once is likely to become a way of life for you unless you intervene. Your thoughts and behaviors are being fed into your subconscious mind, which then gives them back to you in the form of automatic thoughts in your head, words that spring forth from your tongue and actions that come from your hands.

Plant the seeds of thought, word and action that will lead to the responses that you would like to receive from life. When life doesn’t give you what you want, you experience pain and suffering. But rather than trying to fix life, which is impossible over the long term as we can’t control other people or situations, focus on what you can control.

Look to your automatic thoughts, feelings, words and actions, and seek to discover which ones are ultimately creating pain for you. Trace them to gain insight into where your thoughts are leading you. When you think to yourself, “I’ll always be fat. What’s the difference? It’s so much work!” Where does that thought lead you? When the thought becomes automatic (as it does with repetition), what kind of a life is it going to give you?

Of course, we can’t choose every thought. And the good news is, every thought isn’t creative. Only the ones that are accompanied with strong emotion do create. Since mind and body are connected, make a decision to keep your body as relaxed and healthy as possible to increase the likelihood that your thoughts and emotions will be gentle and loving. Focus on the things and people that make you feel good and all that you are grateful for. Notice and forgive your mistakes while acknowledging and celebrating your successes.

If you catch yourself comparing yourself with another, re-frame your comparison by seeking to discover what you admire about that other person and finding and developing that same quality within yourself.

If the rose were complaining that she’s not a tulip, we would laugh at its obvious lack of awareness of its own essential beauty. If the rose were demanding that the tulip be more like the rose, it would be obvious to us what a mistake that would be and how that would detract from the magnificence of the entire garden.

When we compare ourselves to another, whether we fall short or come out ahead, there’s no difference. Either way, the judgment causes us to feel uneasy inside. What a relief it can be to realize that there is nothing that needs to be fixed. The only task at hand is to discover the character traits that we are identified with and to look deeper within to determine whether this identification is preventing us from true happiness. If so, change the script, bring in all the supporting actors you need to help you, embrace an expanded vision of who you are, and step into the highest destiny possible for you.

Author's Bio: 

Rena Greenberg, Director of Wellness Seminars, Inc, is the Author of The Right Weigh: Six Steps to Permanent Weight Loss used by over 100,000 people (Hay House Publishing 2006) and The Craving Cure: Break the Hold Carbs and Sweets Have on Your Life (McGraw-Hill 2007). She is the creator of the transformational Subconscious Imprinting Technique for Permanent Weight Loss.

Rena continues to speak about weight loss to large groups at hospitals, corporations and governments throughout the country. To view amazing weight loss success stories using Rena's SIT, Listen and Lose method, visit