So, you know that comparing yourself to other women is a destructive habit. But breaking that habit is a completely different thing. Most of us have a pretty bad case of comparitis. Where do we need to start to stop comparing?
Stop Comparing: Banish Your “That Woman”
Remember the “that woman” that we were talking about in my past post? The one that we love to hate because she seems to have the perfect life? Think about what it is that she is doing to get under your skin. Are her Instagram photos and Facebook posts making you feel inadequate? Unfriend her! Is she making snide comments that make you feel as though she is judging you? If you can, avoid having to have conversations with her. If you can’t, remember that her comments are probably coming from a place of the insecurities that she personally has.
Now, if your “that woman” is a close friend, there might be some fundamental problems with your relationship. If you are finding yourself despising, feeling jealous of, or feeling put down by a person that is an important part of your life you may need to reevaluate your friendship. You should be feeling joy when they are successful, proud of who they are are, and affirmed in who you are in your friendships.
Now if we could just get rid of every woman that made us feel less then, that would be great. But that wouldn’t solve the real problem. In order to stop comparing you need to go a whole lot deeper.
Stop Comparing: Recognize Feelings of Inadequacy
Deep down, why is it that you are comparing yourself to other women? It’s because you feel inadequate, insecure, or less then already and that woman brings those feelings to the surface. When you find yourself comparing, it is an opportunity to find out where those feelings are coming from.
Are you just experiencing a crappy day when everything seems to go wrong when Miss Put-Together happens into your life? Does Pilates girl remind you that you are not happy with you weight? Are you already questioning whether you are a good wife when someone throws an elaborate surprise party for their husband?
Stop Comparing: Start Thinking More About You
Comparing is wasting time thinking too much about other people, most of whom don’t matter in the grand scheme of things because you’ll never see them again. It’s time to frame comparison differently. When you are feeling the temptation to compare yourself to another woman, choose to think about what you have to offer. Life isn’t about someone else’s version about success, it’s about yours.
So when I see a woman that is always put together and looking fashion forward, there is a little part of me that wishes I looked that way everyday. But honestly, mostly I’m thinking, you look great, but I would rather sleep in instead of spending an hour plus perfecting my hair and makeup. Here’s more about why I chose a minimalist makeup routine.
Start celebrating the things that you do great. What do you love about yourself? The joy you get when you bake goodies for your husband? The look on your students’ faces when you read a story with all the voices? How your friends come to you when things get hard because they know what a great listener you are? Think about all the things that make you awesome. Your uniqueness is what you have to offer to the world and what you need to remember when you start to compare.
Stop Comparing: But Don’t Think Too Much About You
Doesn’t that contradict what I just said? No, not really, because if we are thinking too much about ourselves and how we are feeling, we completely forget to see things from the other woman’s perspective. In the comments of my last post, one woman brought up that there was a woman that she kept comparing herself to on Facebook because she seemed to have the perfect life and marriage. Then she found out that all wasn’t as it seemed. That same woman had been through a difficult divorce and had struggled with infertility and other health problems in the past.
For every “that woman,” you have, you are probably a “that woman” to someone else. There might be another woman that is jealous of me because I’m married and she is still single (not too long ago I often felt the same way). Or feels intimidated by the fact that I am confident enough to leave the house without makeup on.
We really have no clue what is going on behind closed doors for the people that we come in contact with on a daily basis. Just like you try to put on a happy face in public so as to not reveal the chaos that is going on in your head or home, so does everyone else. We all have crap and insecurities that we are dealing with. No one is perfect.
How do you to stop the urge to compare?