Comparing Yourself To Others
Why Is Everyone Always Better
We compare ourselves to others to know where we stand. Without jumping too far down the philosophical worm-hole, we live in a relative world. You can’t know hot without cold or dark without light. So to know ourselves better we contrast ourselves against others. But you might have noticed something interesting. Do you generally come out the loser in these comparisons?
You’re stacking the cards against yourself. It’s an unfair comparison when you take something you don’t like about yourself and compare it to some perceived ideal in another. Then to top it off, use the results as evidence of how you don’t measure up. How could anyone win setting it up that way?
I think Albert Einstein said it best when he claimed, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Comparing yourself to another in the area of personal worth is a futile because we each have our own unique attributes and talents that make us special. Even Stephen King would conclude he’s a bad writer if he compared his poetry to Emily Dickinson. Zeroing in on what makes you unique would be a much more useful exercise. But if you insist on comparing, at least try to make it a fair.
Comparing Yourself to a Model in a Magazine
So many women compared themselves to models in magazines and end up feeling like ugly ducklings. This game is rigged. You’re not comparing apples to apples. Make some modifications to level the playing field.
First off, the model needs to be your age and have the same genetics. This is a "must do" because none of these things are within your power to change. This means she will have your facial structure, skin, hair and body-type. Take off her $2,000 designer clothes and put her in whatever you’re wearing. (Sweats?) Remove her makeup and give her a home dye job. (Don’t forget to remove the hair extensions, false eyelashes, and spray-on tan.)
And finally, make sure the photo is untouched. Airbrushing out any warts, blemishes, bumps or stray hairs isn’t permitted.
Even after all that, it won’t be apples to apples, but at least you’ll both be in the produce section. Remember this phrase the next time you start to compare yourself to another woman. "Compare creates despair."
Comparing Yourself to Shoulds
If you enjoy movies, sitcoms, music, and magazines, you will hear an onslaught of assumptions about how life is suppose to be. In some ways, we watch and listen for them to tell us what is right and wrong, good and bad, and how we are ought to be and act. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll adopt those beliefs without question, many of which are definitely worthy of questioning.
Yet we conveniently forget what’s behind the media we consume – people. People just like you and I are writing the dialogues for these dramas and the lyrics to those songs. Who gave these authors special powers to determine such mandates on human behavior? You did, but you can stop. Most of these writers are simply playing out their own internal questions and battles in the stories that they tell.
The good news is society and the media only hold power over you with your permission. You don’t have to buy any of it, figuratively or literally. You can take over the role of rule-maker by examining your beliefs and making your own determinations and guidelines. Trust your own thought process, they’re valid. You will find it useful to use the Option Dialogue to examine some of these beliefs you have so blindly accepted without question.