Comparison. A very real and raw topic in this world today. Why do we all struggle to be content with who we are? We are always looking to follow trends and to look a certain way, according to what society accepts or portrays. We say, if only I could look like that? I wish I had, what if I could have? Why can't I have? Why me? Why can't I be? I want to. I need to. Notice a pattern with these words? They all involve a common theme.
"Me, myself and I".
Comparison means "the act of examining things to see if they are similar or different" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Another version reads, "the fact of considering something of similar or of equal quality to something else." (Cambridge Dictionary)
Ever heard that saying, "it's like comparing apples to oranges?" There is only one of YOU. How special is that? Imagine how boring this world would be if we were all the same?
"There is no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it's their time."
We ALL struggle with this Girl. I have come to realise throughout my teenage years and early 20's, that comparison can leave you in isolation and darkness. Filled with anxiety, fear, insecurity, jealousy and ultimately bitterness. It can limit our world, because we are constantly "stuck" in this downward, paralysing spiral.
The truth is, we become enslaved by our own minds.
We are never truly satisfied.
It can cause us to live in a limited world. We are so focussed on what we lack and we lose our ability to give. We cannot compliment others, love others or praise others, because we aren't happy with OURSELVES. Why can't we admire beauty in others', without questioning our own?
"Comparison isn't just the thief of joy, it's the thief of everything. Keep your eyes on your purposeful path. Celebrate others. Celebrate progress, NOT perfection. Cultivate gratitude over comparison. Gratitude turns what we have into MORE than enough."
Comparison is not limited to body image.
We compare our status, our wealth, our health, our children, our friends, our skills, our values, our possessions, our LIVES.
I believe it is okay to look at someone and say, "wow they are so successful, I am going to work hard like them" or "I love how they dress, I might change it up." That is normal and definitely healthy. It is simply acknowledging someone and complimenting them. It becomes unhealthy, when we are envious and resentful towards to them.
I am speaking from experience here Girls, we ALL need to hear this. I have fallen into this overwhelming cycle many times.
I have learnt something very profound, by my Mum and a few of my best girls. That it is rare, but also an incredible gift in this world to be EXCITED and CELEBRATE your friends successes. It is SO easy to get crippled by comparison and its LIES, thinking we are not good enough, or "trendy" or our life is not "exciting" and as a result, finding it difficult to GIVE to other women.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that worships "perfection". Social media can be more negative than positive these days. Working as a Physiotherapist, I met women, daily, who suffered from anxiety and depression. I asked them all the same question, "what is going on in your life? Is everything okay". Most of them answered, "nothing really, I have a good job, I am healthy, I have an amazing family, great friends, but there is just something more............I NEED."
ALL of these women were successful and had everything they required to live and MORE, yet they spent HOURS comparing their lives to other women. Facebook, instagram, twitter, youtube, insta story, facebook story, snapchat, magazines, TV, SELFIES, SELFIES, SELFIES. We live in an incredibly resourceful world in terms of technology and "communication". However, this constant, "show reel" of our lives is NOT why we are here on this earth.
Don't get me wrong. I am all about social media to use it in a positive way or for business purposes. I personally, use it everyday, BUT when it takes a hold of your life, causing anxiety and feelings of inferiority, it is dangerous.
LET'S THINK ABOUT THIS.
What if we were so captivated with our purpose in life, that we were distracted from comparison?
What if we stopped comparing our "behind the scenes" with everyone else's highlight reel?
What if we celebrated when our friends succeeded, even when we were going through challenges?
What if we encouraged other women instead of gossiping out of bitterness and jealousy?
What if we got up every morning and instead of writing a list of "needs", we wrote a list, "I am so thankful for.........."
What if we complimented "the lady at work" who everyone begrudged because she was successful?
What if we did something for someone else weekly, instead of focussing on OUR needs?
What if we uplifted our friends during moments of hardship AND success?
What if we stopped comparing and started preparing to be a better person?
What if we loved and didn't judge?
What if we put aside our NEEDS and put others FIRST?
What if we replaced ME and I with YOU and US and WE?
Hey Girl, comparison leaves us feeling empty, always WANTING more, never fulfilled, insecure, lacking generosity and self-confidence. Our self-esteem and self-worth can be robbed from us.
"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just BLOOMS."
It is so important to fill your mind with word's of positivity and wisdom instead of scrolling for hours on the internet "wishing" your life away. Those moments spent worrying and comparing are moments you could be building a foundation to be authentic, resilient and fearless in your life. Moments you could cherish, despite the situation, good OR not so good.
Create your own dreams, your own goals and strive to live for your purpose, while encouraging other women.
Let US be women who say NO to comparison and replace it with gratefulness, generosity, gentleness and a GO-GETTER attitude.
"Don't let your ice cream melt when you are counting somebody else's sprinkles."
(quotes from Pinterest)
7 WAYS TO COMBAT COMPARISON
1. Surround yourself with women who empower, encourage and celebrate with you.
2. Limit your time on social media.
3. Have time during the day where you are away from your devices.
4. Read daily words of wisdom which will give you strength to get through your day; a book or someone's story.
5. Be motivated by other womens' successes. Compliment other women, when you give you GAIN.
6. Write your thoughts down, keep a personal diary.
7. Celebrate with some self love, a pamper session or your favourite treat when you achieve your goals.