Choose to Let Go of Comparisons to Others
I remember it started when I was about ten years old—comparing myself to others. I desperately wanted the solo for the part of Wendy in our choir’s production of “Peter Pan”, and I rehearsed my little heart out, knowing my main competition was Wendy Bell, a girl who was a year older than me and had a voice that could have won her a part in the cast of “Annie”. On top of all that, Wendy looked the part with a cute button nose and beautiful, thick hair. Plus, she had sharing the character’s name going for her, so when she got the solo I wasn’t surprised. She usually got the good solos. I was, however, incredibly envious. I spent many hours wishing my voice was as strong and clear as hers, instead of timid and airy. Wishing that I had her thick, lovely hair and pretty face instead of my thin, stringy hair and awkward, freckled face with large, geeky glasses.
I got older and my voice got stronger. I even earned some choir solos as the years went on. But I didn’t stop comparing myself to the Wendy Bells of the world. And when I did compare, I somehow never ended up feeling good about myself.
I realize it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes those comparisons are gauges for our own growth and sometimes they spur us forward to grow. But most of the time when we compare, we end up feeling inferior or superior, neither of which really helps us focus on who we are as much as who we aren’t. And that’s not really the best way to grow or to have a realistic view of who you are as a person. After all, it’s not really fair to compare yourself to others, is it? We are each a unique set of talents and weaknesses, challenges and strengths, experiences and lessons. While some of us have similarities with others, we haven’t been through the same things in the same ways. So comparing ourselves to others is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. We’re all fruit, but that’s about where the comparison similarities end.
This week, release the need to compare yourself to others. You may find it hard to do, but try it and see what happens. Focus on who you are instead of who you aren’t. If you feel comfy, share your experiences in a comment.