You like me, right? I hope so, because I’m about to tell you something rather shameful.
This is NOT a nice thing to admit about myself. But I find courage to tell you from the fact that I strongly suspect that many of you will be the same way.
I can’t stop comparing myself to others, and measuring up my successes and failures against theirs. I’m competitive. And often-times, envious.
What do I compare? Everything. It’s like we women are in some kind of universal league table. We tally up points for everything: how pretty we are, how much we weigh, how glossy our hair is, how many pairs of shoes we have. How happy we are, how busy our social life is, how many friends we have, how close we are to our family, how beautiful our spouse/children are, how stylish our home is. Our career status, our personal and public achievements, our ambitions, our intellect, our wit. Everything.
The net result of it is, we comparers are always way down the bottom of the league table, looking up at all the beautiful, successful, intelligent, popular women above us.
Now I know that this is wrong. I know it affects the way I relate to other women, and how they relate to me. Worse still, it reduces other women to something far less than the sum of their parts.
I know it’s damaging. I know it makes me unhappy.
What I don’t know, is how to stop doing it. I want to stop comparing, measuring, assessing, competing, but I don’t know how to. Truly.
I was discussing this over on someone else’s blog recently, and someone made a very thought provoking comment that I would like to share with you. She said:
“Just remind yourself that your life, I’m sure, is plentiful, and that no one else’s achievements, body, or life has anything to do with yours, and so should have nothing to do with how you feel about your own life, body and achievements.”
This really resonated with me – I keep revisiting the page to read the words over. To try to get them to sink into my heart, not just my head. Because logically I know this to be true, but still I find myself slipping back into comparisons.
But there’s a really profound truth here. I am me. You are you. We are utterly and completely unique. We are not linked in some kind of bizarre chain reaction of status. If you achieve something, that does not automatically push me down the scale. It does not change my achievements. If I walk into a party, and there are ten women taller than me, and ten women shorter than me, that does not actually change my height! I am, what I am. You are what you are.
I have written and rewritten that paragraph, but any way I word it, sounds crazy. Because it is crazy! But if you are a comparer, you’ll get what I’m saying. And if you’re not, lucky you. But I’m not jealous.
Well, I’m trying not to be, at any rate.
So, tell me, do you compare yourself with others? How do you deal with it?