Healthy competition is cool, but comparisons can crush us. So if you do one good thing for yourself today, do this: Remember what you have to offer. Let me say that again with some emphasis: remember what YOU have to offer. That means you stop looking around the room and thinking destructive little thoughts, such as: I wonder if my ass would look that good in those jeans. Is it the jeans? What brand is she wearing…(you do the giraffe-neck stretch to peak at the label, glad you’re wearing sunglasses so your eyes are untraceable). But maybe you’re not so vain. Maybe you don’t obsess over body parts.
How Comparisons Crush Us
If you’re like me, you make a slew of subconscious comparisons every day. You compare your to-do list to see how you measure up with the productive folk. Because everyone knows that busyness equals godliness. The busier you are, the more important you must be. Get that woman (or man) a medal who can work double digit hours and sleep under 6. Never mind the Prozac. Never mind the high blood pressure. I read an article somewhere that mentioned a study involving a group of people carrying large travel cups of coffee. Those surveyed said the people who carried them appeared more successful than those with no coffee. Apparently, caffeine indicates a hurry-up-and-go lifestyle. Starbucks, you’re so chic.
Ashamedly, I’ve compared kids — mine to my friends’. Mine are cuter of course, (moms are required to say that), but are they more respectful, better behaved? Probably not. Yes, it’s incredibly unfair to make those comparisons, but I believe they come from a place of insecurity — that small accusing voice that says, “You suck and if your kids fail the world will know it.”
Often, comparisons come from a place of insecurity…and dissatisfaction. If we were truly happy with our progress, physique, relationship, career status (insert your own idea here), there’d be no such thing as the the green-eyed monster. I’ll rephrase that for the urbane reader: there’d be no such thing as a hater. If we knew how awesome we were, we’d stop looking around with our mental measuring sticks.
So if you do one good thing for yourself today, do this:
Remember to be authentic and give yourself permission to be who you are, flaws included. That doesn’t mean we exclude healthy competition. A bit of that makes great motivation!
So maybe you’re not as thin as her, smart as him, financially stable as them. You have something to offer that they don’t. Figure it out and show it off. Because the world doesn’t need anymore Joneses.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” ~Theodore Roosevelt