There’s a lot of talk out there about the big C word.
Whether online or off, comparing yourself to someone else is said to be only one thing – damaging.
Go and take a look on blogs, in videos, on Facebook and you’ll mostly find that everyone is trying to give you quotes, ways, ideas and pointers to help you stop doing it and indeed, you want to stop because when you compare the way you look, who you are, how you are and the way you live your life to the next person, you always come off worse.
It feels like an addiction like all others. You know it’s not good for you but you keep doing it so the actual act of doing it coupled with feeling bad when it happens makes you feel a thousand times worse.
Yep, you need to put a stop to this comparisonitis behaviour; it’s much too unhealthy.
But is it?
Is it as unhealthy as everyone has made out over the years and do we really need to stop comparing ourselves to others as much as we think we should? Maybe we’re missing something here and I say that because I had a bit of an insight around this which is why I decided to write this post.
Comparing Yourself to Other Women is Helping You More Than You Realise
It really is. The thing is, we’ve been looking at this all wrong for so long. We’ve been seeing it from only one angle.
You compare yourself to someone else > you come off worse = wrong/bad/must find a way to stop.
And reaching that conclusion makes sense when all we’ve ever done is feel bad when we do it. Even I have and still do get caught out on many occasions so i’m definitely not immune from thinking it’s a bad thing but there is one thing that hit me recently.
What came to me is that when we compare ourselves to others, it’s actually helping us to understand and get to know ourselves better and that’s what we’ve been missing all along.
Think about it, if you compare what you’re wearing to what someone else is wearing and your resulting belief is that you look like some kind of vagrant, what it may mean is that you’d like to dress up more, you’re ready for a makeover or at the very least, you would love to have one – you like the idea of dressing to feel good.
If you compare skill levels and you feel pangs of jealousy over the fact that someone has a higher skill level in a particular area than what you currently have, it might mean that you would like to develop your skill further.
If you compare yourself to someone you think has a much prettier face than yours and you feel… ugly, it means you’ve got some inner work to do to help you reach a place where you don’t feel so down on yourself so much.
It might mean you want to start wearing makeup or change up the way you’ve been wearing it and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s not because you feel that’s the only way to make yourself look ‘prettier’.
You’ve been feeling bad because it’s been a case of ‘they have this thing and I don’t. Now I feel awful’. The End. In other words, you haven’t dug a bit deeper and asked yourself what that means for you.
But you can only ask that question if you’re willing to go beyond answering that it means you’re ugly or you’re skill level is rubbish or that you’re fat and frumpy. You know stopping there won’t help you.
So it’s all about not simply focusing on your first reaction which is likely to be one of feeling unworthy or embarrassed or boring or jealous or hopeless or…ugly but remembering that it’s giving you something to learn about yourself.
Used in the right way, comparing yourself to others is healthy
It’s helping you to look towards your needs, your wants and desires. Maybe it’s doing nothing else than helping you to change how you view your current situation if it’s something that can’t be changed now or ever.
So you don’t necessarily have to try to stop comparing yourself to others – which can be quite challenging anyway – instead, you can use it to help you learn more about yourself and grow.
Whether you take the opportunity to do so is another matter but it is there for the taking.
Have you listened to my quick bites? They’re super short and will give you snippets of encouragement, inspiration and reminders to help you stay true to who you are. Come and listen in.