Embrace Who You Are; Stop Comparing Yourself

Before I even get started here, let me say this: GUILTY AS CHARGED!

This topic comes into my mind every now and then and I always spend some time thinking about it.

We spend way to much energy comparing ourselves.

Recently, in the span of just one week, I confronted this in three different ways and got thinking, there’s something to this. I’ve got to blog about it. And what better time than at the first of the year.

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So let me share those three different scenarios that got me caught up in this topic again.

Scenario one:

We will just say a friend, that I have been coaching and supporting recently through some self-awareness has questioned themselves.

I challenged them with getting feedback, and specifically asking for descriptive words from others to help understand how others currently see them. This is a pretty routine exercise that helps us understand the shadow we are casting around us and helps in self-awareness.

When this friend came back after the exercise and we were talking about how they were described, they said something to the extent of, “…no one said I was [all the other things that other people are, and who they are comparing themselves to]…”

My immediate thought was, this is about YOU! Not comparing yourself to someone else. It’s about finding out who you are and capitalizing on that!

Second scenario:

I was getting ready to go to a few [outdoor] parties with the kids. We hadn’t done anything like this in literally months, as we’ve been pretty rigid about staying home and avoiding much contact with people outside of our bubble due to the wonderful COVID-19.

These were events outside with people in our bubble, so we were going.

So here I am going through multiple outfit changes, hating what I have to wear, hating how my body looks and hating that I don’t have more trendy clothes (I also hate shopping).

All of this stemmed from a comparisons that don’t even matter in the big scheme of things, but here I was struggling big time.

And while we are here, let’s call it what is is: social media comparison.

Third scenario:

A friend posted on Facebook a post by another momma. I’m sure you’ve seen and read these before where it’s the stay-at-home momma (typically the one’s I read) and how she’s pulling the weight with the kids, but trying to reason with being grateful.

This one always gets my mind rolling,

“hey momma, I see you, but I’m over here wishing I could have your life for even just a month!”,

While she’s obviously a little jealous of my life.

Or “geeze, the same post could be written by a working mom and how she feels she is practically letting another mother raise her children!”,

or

“In the depths of football season, as a coaches wife I feel the exact same way, but, I’m also pulling a full time out of the house job and doing most all of the household duties (my husband is amazing about pitching in even after a long day of work and coaching, by the way), so get over yourself!”

We are filled with a world of comparison and wanting to not just fit in, but to be better than and have the best.

When I was little, I wanted to badly to be liked by friends, by cousins, by anyone. This mindset is extremely influential in the decisions we make. 

And in a world of a healthy lifestyle, working towards a fit body, there is so much comparison.

I want her abs, her legs, her body, her amazing skin….

Comparison is always going to be there. What you do with it, how you use it to build yourself and others up and avoid an over infatuation of it is what is important.

It can be wasted energy, or valuable energy if it’s used in the best way.

We can’t over-dwell on what someone else has, physically, mentally, or materialistically. 

Transitioning from a negative to a positive mindset is critical to making good use of the comparison you are making. 

This is much of emotional agility. Creating space to acknowledge the comparison, move past it or use it and react in a way to be productive with it.

Focus on yourself, do things for you to make you feel good. Worry about you! This isn’t being selfish or not considering other people. In regards to being critical of yourself, you are using information to better yourself.

So let’s go back to our three scenarios:

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Scenario One: 

If this friend continues to stay so engrossed in how others are and how she is not, then how will she be able to focus on what really needs the attention – HER!

She can acknowledge that there are characteristics that she’d like to spend time focusing on and developing, while leveraging the characteristics that are true to her. Not becoming who she is naturally not.

Scenario Two:

This is the prime example of irrational thinking, right? 

I’ve worked really hard on a healthy fit body. Honestly, it’s perfect in every way, made just for me. 

I hadn’t put jeans on for a really long time. In all honesty, it’s probably time to do a closet clean out. After two kids, the same jeans I wore in high school and college are going to fit different.

Scrolling through Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram doesn’t help anyone’s self-perception. The social life and the In Real Life (IRL) is so misconstrued. And I’m guilty as charged here too – I mean how many of us retake, and retake, and retake a photo or video to get it just perfect for social media? Be honest.

Thankfully I did find something to wear and we moved on.

Reflecting back on this, and how to move from it, continue to work on self acceptance, clean out my closet getting rid of things that don’t bring me happiness (clothes that don’t fit) and get some clothes that do fit and I feel great in.

Scenario 3:

Look, the thing is whoa is me and whoa is you! Neither of us is looking for a pity party, maybe just someone to say wow you are really doing a great job, and a place to let out our struggles and thoughts. 

We all have struggles, some days, months, years, let’s be honest 2020 hasn’t been the most forgiving, but we have to get over ourselves.

We have to stop comparing ourselves.

We have got to put that bitterness aside and focus on what we have. And stop looking at what others have, because it’s easy to paint the social life on the social platform verses the IRL.

And there are so many others that have so much more terrible things that they are pulling through.

When these types of thoughts come into your life, it’s okay to have your quick little pitty party, shoot even vent about it to someone, but really move forward from it.

Come out of it by writing down 5 things that you are grateful for because you have the life or situation you have. 

Get out of that funk and stop letting something like that pull you down. 

It’s not always about feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Life isn’t fair, but comparing ourselves just pulls us down. 

And you are so much stronger than that!

About On Posts by Kylie Livingston

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