The comparison game (part 1)

This whole comparison game, especially between women, is totally out of control.  I have several friends that constantly compare themselves to other people and I wish they really knew how amazing they each were.

Are you guilty of this too?  How many times in your life have you compared yourself to someone else? My gut tells me it’s more times than you could count. I’ve heard it all and I’ve said it all before.  Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to identify these voices in my head and turn them off when they start to talk.

For most of us women, this starts super young (Using between beginning puberty and the first time shaving our legs).

Her hair is so much prettier than mine.

Ugh, I wish I were as thin as her.

She’s so much smarter than me, I could never be that good at…. Fill in the blank.

He’s younger than me and more successful, why isn’t that me?

How is she married with two kids already, why isn’t it me?

Take a moment and think back to when these thoughts are rolling through your mind.  Did comparing yourself to others make you feel better about yourself? Also just as bad, did you find yourself hating on someone you maybe didn’t even know?  Did it put you in a positive mindset? From past experience, the answer to these questions is no.  More than likely it made you pissed off, upset, and angry at the world.  

What happens when you focus on what other people have that you don’t? You give them your power and your mental energy.  Your brain is consumed with thoughts about someone else.  Now, ask yourself if it’s ever helped you?  

Let’s take a step back and try to look at this from an outsider’s view.  Have you ever thought that maybe you have qualities about yourself that others covet? i will bet you $100 your friends have even pointed out some amazing qualities about yourself and you didn’t even believe them.  You thought they were “just being nice” or “just trying to make me feel better”.   

Here’s what I think.  One, first of all we are way to harsh on ourselves.  We doubt ourselves and get jealous of others so easily.    Secondly, I truly believe we all have our own strengths and we’re not supposed to be great at everything; we are each unique from anyone else.  Third, we are all on our own time schedule. Your timeline is not like anyone else’s. That person you know that got married at 23 or became a successful business owner at 25?  You will also do great things but on your own time, when the timing is right for you. Maybe you need time to mature and grow. Maybe you’re not ready yet.

There are several things I think we can all do to stop comparing ourselves to others.

  1.  Focus on what is great about you.  Find your strengths and own them.  Be confident in your abilities. No one else is quite like you.
  2. Focus on how to become the best version of yourself.  It would be super beneficial to take the time to seek therapy, read a new book, learn a new language, or work on your running pace (I’m not a runner, so that’s all you 🙂 ). 
  3. Realize that there is no “time-line” for your life.  What if you’re 65 and still want to get your master’s degree? Do it!!  If you are still breathing, you should do what makes you happy.  Stop comparing someone else’s time line to yours.

I believe what this comparison dilemma boils down to is throwing out our self-hate and instead choosing self-love.  

Let’s not miss out on what our best life looks like because we were so focused on what someone else had that we didn’t.

In the next blog post I will go into the biggest types of comparison and talk about how to retrain our brain to think differently about them.