The Comparing Mind. Most of us know it well.
You are scrolling though Facebook and there’s another one of her photos with her cute hair and happy kids. Your ‘comparing mind’ starts piping up: Ugh, she is always doing SOMETHING. Who has time for that? She’s so perky; how annoying. I’m probably a bad mom because I’m not taking my kids to the zoo every other day. I really should be better at that.
How can we possible love ourselves if we are always holding ourselves up to the standards set by others?
With social media providing us with a constant slideshow of everyone’s ‘good side,’ there is always someone to compare ourselves to — some image to remind us that we are not skinny enough, pretty enough, rich enough, happy enough, popular enough, organized enough, productive enough, etc etc etc.
I’ve written before about ENVY – the green monster who slides under our skin, jiggling awake feelings of resentment towards others and loathing towards self. But the Comparing Mind is envy’s sneaky little sister.
It masks itself as motivation — by striving towards the attributes and successes of others, we can believe we are somehow improving our (flawed) selves. We chide ourselves that we would be better somehow if we could only achieve what that other person appears to have: If I could have her flat stomach/bouncy hair/smiling children/organized life/confidence/JOY, then I would be a better person.
But come on now— I know I don’t need to tell you that things are not always what they seem!
Underneath the shiny, happy status updates and filtered Instagram photos, 99.99% of us all have our shit: The personal flaws we are examining and denouncing in the mirror, the fear of the unknown future, the anxiety of judgment, the pain we choke down each morning, the bad habits we’re trying to break, or the old traumas that still subconsciously drive our behavior.
That ‘perfection’ we assign to others as we see their smiling, smoothed-out faces on the screen is unattainable —because it doesn’t exist! We are all imperfect — and unique in our FLAWS and SPARKLES. It is the cuts in a diamond that catch the light!
As women, we are encouraged by society to compare ourselves to others– to find ourselves lacking and spend money to ‘improve’ ourselves. The more flaws we see in ourselves, the harder we will try (and the more we spend) to make ourselves ‘better.’
Think about it: if you already view yourself as ENOUGH, then would you need to rush out and buy that magic face cream, new diet shake, designer purse, or case of White Claw?
And plus, if women are always in competition with each other, we are prevented from joining forces and taking over the world! 😆
In the immortal words of Oprah, THIS IS WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE:
That women are stronger when we collaborate rather than compete.
That I DO NOT benefit by comparing myself or my life to someone else’s.
That each and every one of us is PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.
©Skye Nicholson 2021