Perhaps it was one of those days when you forgot to set the alarm. You awakened with your heart racing as you jumped out of bed, and frantically tried to get everybody out of the house on time. The older kids are grumpy and moving at the speed of frozen molasses, and the youngest don’t have any concept of time, playing with Lego’s while still in their pajamas. Trying to put your makeup on while simultaneously making breakfast, packing lunches and looking for lost homework, you herd your family out the door for the ride to school. Finishing up your mascara while you wait in line to drop the kids off, you discover that you grabbed your tennis shoes instead of your pumps – and you forgot to brush your hair. Combing your fingers through your hair, your heart sinks as you catch sight of an acquaintance. You know she has more children than you, yet she looks radiant, poised, and perfectly dressed. All. The. Time.
She has more children than you, yet she looks radiant, poised, and perfectly dressed.
All. The. Time.
1. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Even if the person you’re comparing yourself to grew up in the same house with you, they didn’t have the same experience you did. Everyone is a unique individual and responds to different life experiences in unique ways. Though there are people whose life experiences may share common threads with yours, no one can really, truly say, “I know just how you feel.”
2. You’re stunting your growth. Comparing yourself to someone else works from a place of negative perception rather than positive perception. Even if you are busy saying that you’re better than Agnes across the street, you’re indulging in a negative activity. You have to put Agnes down in order to make yourself feel better. Negativity stifles love, while love allows you to grow and improve yourself. Showing tolerance, acceptance, and love toward people (including yourself) is an amazing exercise that will alter your self-perception just as readily as it will change the way you feel about everyone else.
3. Comparing yourself to someone else is often an excuse to relinquish taking 100% control of your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying you can’t accomplish something like so-and-so because they were born rich, got scholarships to pay their way through college and you didn’t, or because they knew all the right people. When you stop all blaming, complaining, and making excuses, you realize that you are the captain of your own ship of life, and you are responsible for the kinds of outcomes you are experiencing. While we can’t always control what happens to us, we CAN always control our responses to what happens to us, and that makes all the difference to the end result. Winners take responsibility for themselves.
If personal growth is what you are really aiming for, choose to make a habit of only comparing yourself to how you were yesterday. Are you stronger, wiser, or kinder? Are you better today than you were yesterday? If not, what can you change today that will make you move closer to the person you want to be tomorrow? This one little mental shift will make an incredible difference in your life, I promise.