Your best friend just bought an expensive new luxury car; all of a sudden, your ride looks kinda clunky by comparison.
One of your roommates just got into an Ivy League grad school program; now your day job feels like a total dead end.
Do you ever feel like you’re just standing still while everyone else in your life is hurtling toward a phenomenal and fantastic future?
Welcome to the land of comparing yourself to others.
It can be a dreadful place, and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been a resident a multitude of times.
How did we get here?
We’ve been here all along. It’s the world we live in; we’re taught to compare ourselves to others from a very young age.
My parents would say to my little brother, “Study more like your sister,” and they often compared our grades.
Throughout school, kids are encouraged to do better than their peers, and it prompts them to form cliques in which they include/exclude other kids who excel at the same things — athletics (the jocks), academics (the nerds), instrument playing while walking around a field in unison (the band geeks, aka yours truly), etc., etc.
To a degree, it’s a part of life. There can’t be a good job without a bad one to compare it to.
There is simply no comparison
When you’re no longer able to accept your failings and can only see yourself in the context of others, the comparisons have to stop. A distorted self-image might lead you to ignore all of the great things about you — the ways in which you’re different — and focus only on the ways you feel you don’t measure up.
And at the other extreme, an inflated sense of self can drive your friends and family away. Either way, it’s a lonely way to live.
Here’s the good news (and it is good news): like any habit, constant comparing can be unlearned.
Replace your inner dialogue with a new script. Say, “I’m different from so-and-so, but that doesn’t mean I’m worth any more or less.”
My inner dialogue goes a little something like this: “I’m creative, caring, funny and unique in my own way.”
It’s not always easy to remember, but it gets easier with practice.
Do you feel you compare yourself to others too often? I’m guessing I’m not the only one…
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. The power went out this afternoon, and Tabs and I are playing cards by candlelight, LOL! I hope it’s on by morning…
P.P.S. Have a good night.