What I Learned: Comparisons
I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but comparing myself to other people takes all the joy out of life. Unless I’m better than that other person, then I feel awesome…for like five minutes.
Comparisons are nasty things, either you’re pushing someone else down (even if it’s just in your head) or you’re pushing yourself down. It’s a lose lose situation. I’ve struggled with comparisons pretty much my whole life, I remember being in primary school and comparing myself to the girls I went to school with and the people I saw on TV, everyone from Kelly Kapowski to Alex Mack. Now that I’m a grown woman, a small business owner and a mother you think that these tendencies for comparison would no longer be a problem, but unfortunately you would be wrong. I still struggle and having a baby has made it even worse. I was walking through Country Road the other day and I passed a woman with a baby much younger than Walt, she was the size of my leg and didn’t even look like she’d had a baby. I looked down at my own pooch and honestly I felt ashamed, which is ridiculous. You know what is also ridiculous? I felt bad about myself for the rest of the day. I did something amazing, I made a baby! But I let someone else looking good rob me of the joy and pride I felt.
The whole comparison issue doesn’t just apply to my body either. When I see other people having success professionally it’s not unusual for me to beat myself up for not being as successful. When we were trying to conceive I would compare myself to everyone who announced they were having a baby. It’s poison and I don’t want it in my life so these are the things I’m doing to change.
1. Encouraging people: If I think nice things now I try to remember to say them, if someone makes something amazing or looks good I want to let them know. This archives two goals, one it makes them feel good which is important because I’m yet to meet anyone who isn’t their own worst critic. And two, it takes away the negative power that the comparison has over me, I acknowledge what they’re doing well at (even if it’s just looking super attractive) and I let it go. Try it, trust me it works.
2. Actually have human contact with people: Social media can encourage comparisons. We see the pretty parts of peoples lives and so we’re comparing our everyday life to their ‘highlight reel’ (I know this has been said many times before, but it’s totally true!). If you actually take the time to actually talk with people, you’ll find that the majority of the time their life is rough too. They may not be struggling with the same things you are, but they have stuff too. Other peoples lives are far less glamorous when you take them off the internet.
3. Encourage myself: Now I know this seems a little weird but it helps me to tell myself how good I am. Not to puff up my ego, but to help me have a realistic vision of myself. Confession time, occasionally I stand in front of the mirror before I have a shower and find the best parts of me. How many times do we examine ourselves and dwell on all our negative body parts? Or ignore our bodies all together? I say find your ‘hot parts’ and tell yourself they’re hot! Along that same vein, encourage yourself when you do other things well. It could be as simple as when you clean your bathroom well or push yourself harder at exercising, it doesn’t have to be anything big. Most of the time we’re the first to beat ourselves up when we fail and the last to acknowledge when we succeed.