Every person that I have ever met has a deep-rooted desire to be accepted and loved, as is. No changes necessary! Without fail, many of us feel that may never happen. Instead, we fall victim to the curse of comparison and struggle for our worthiness. We may have had a mother or another caregiver that taught us comparison by plotting our bodies, talents, or smarts up against another person. Their intent may have been good in an attempt to improve our self-esteem or to make us feel better after a stressful time in our lives. Comparison is ALWAYS dangerous because there will always be someone prettier, smarter, or more talented.
Two edged sword
Temporarily Comparison can puff us up and give us a false sense of superiority, this often times feels good in the moment; or comparison can do the opposite, it may be extremely painful because we recognized that we weren’t enough as we are. OUCH! Either way, comparison is a curse that haunts almost everyone. Both puffing up and tearing down take away our ability to just be who we are. Comparison is like a toxic gas that can’t be smelled or seen, yet it can seep in and be deadly.
Not good enough
I learned how to compare at a very young age. I learned that my younger sister was more attractive and desirable than I was. My mother, not understanding the damage that was being done compared us. She was blonde, thin, popular, and loved by the boys. While I was brunette, a little chunky, I had a lot of friends, but most of them were not boys. By the time I was in high school I knew that I was not the type of girl that the boys were interested in. I was the buddy, the friend, and I played my role well. I can look back now and see that her comparison made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I have talked with my sister and she said that things for her got worse in college. She said that for the first time she was living in an apartment with a few girls. The other girls would compare themselves to her and they didn’t like her because of how she looked. She said that it took her awhile to get it, she didn’t know that they didn;t like her because of how she looked. Comparison left both of us with damage.
I have talked with my sister and she said that things for her got worse in college. She said that for the first time she was living in an apartment with a few girls. The other girls would compare themselves to her and they didn’t like her because of how she looked. She said that it took her awhile to get it, she didn’t know that they didn’t like her because of how she looked. Comparison left both of us with damage.
Comparison left both of us with damage!
Comparison and women
The media and the world loves comparison, it convinces us that we need to buy in or we aren’t good enough. Makeup, plastic surgery, weight loss, these are all industries that make money off of people feeling bad about themselves. We buy these things to look better to be better, to change. Our buy in sends a clear message that we are not happy with how we are.
The attack on men isn’t helping
Not only does the media tell us as women that we need to be different, but it tells men that we need to be different too. Pornography is filled with women who have unrealistic bodies that are unattainable for 97% of the population. The pornographic industry is targeting boys as young as age 10 to get them stuck on these images before they have even reached puberty. This leaves women feeling inadequate. I remember finding images in my home and crying because I knew that I could never look like those women. In my head, there was no comparison. I LOST!!
Finding Peace by fighting the curse
When in therapy I began my journey to finding peace. I recognized that if I continued to plot myself against these women I would always feel like a loser. I continued to age, and although the women in the images aged also, there is a new set of younger women just waiting to take their place on the front page. No woman can compare with this flood of newer and younger faces. You can find peace, quit comparing yourself.
How to stop comparing
In order to stop comparison, as a curse, I had to stop it on all levels. I found that I couldn’t compare myself to those that I felt were better than me, or those that I felt were worse than me. In order to do this, I set a bottom line for myself that said, “I will NOT compare myself to anyone.”
three-second rule to accomplish this, and practice, practice, practice.
Example: When I went to an exercise class and happened to be standing behind a thin beautiful woman my internal dialogue would go like this.
Comparison Thought: She is so beautiful, why can’t I look like her?
Recognition: “Norma, that is comparison,” Think of a STOP sign or something else that will make your thinking stop in its tracks.
Then I count to three….1…….2……..3………(This gives me three seconds to change the thought)
New Thought: She is a child of God and I am a child of God, we both have gifts and talents that we have been given. I’m okay where I am at.
Then I distract myself and think of something different.
In order to stop my comparison and feel better about myself I had to do this over and over again….probably a thousand times. It gets easier and faster with time, and It did improve my confidence. I still catch myslef comparing, but I try really hard to follow this pattern so that I don’t.
I am God’s intentional creation and so are you
I have come to believe that God made me exactly as I am ON Purpose. He has given me exactly what I need to be able to do the job that he sent me to do. None of us were a mistake. Being perfect is a distraction from the larger goal and purpose that we are here to accomplish. Find your gifts and bless others.