written by Nancy Roberts, The DISC Wizard
5 Things to Remember When Comparing Yourself to Others
I was grocery shopping the other day when I noticed a beautiful woman of about 45. She had a great body, from nicely filled out jeans to a very healthy bosom. My comparing and finding myself lacking complete, I proceeded to the checkout.
When I was outside waiting for my ride to pick me up, this woman approaches me from behind and says, “Can I tell you something? You have perfect legs. I know because I was looking. Not one vein. My father has varicose veins and my mother has spider veins and I have both. That’s why I never wear shorts.”
Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. Here I was checking her out with envy while, unbeknownst to me, she was doing the same to me. It was then I realized I needed to write this article.
While this article says it’s for ladies, I’m sure men can relate to it. Although I do believe women are a bit more susceptible to comparing themselves to others. One area I will talk about today is our physical bodies. Why? Because quite honestly this is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. How long? Since grade school.
There are many reasons why women feel inferior when it comes to their shape or size and none bigger than what is projected to us as ideal by the media and Hollywood. It’s been said that the average size of a women on a reality TV show is a size 2, while the average size of a women in the U.S. is a size 14 (and I believe creeping up to a size 16). Talk about a perception problem!
Let’s also not forget that for many centuries (and still today in some cultures), women were not the bread winners. For their own survival, they had to attract and keep a man. If they were not able to attract a man by their physical appearance and pleasing personality (there’s a whole other article there), they could potentially be left to die. So you can see, the importance of “looking better” than the next woman is built into our DNA and way more than just plain vanity.
And while I could go on and on to the unfairness of it all (and believe me, I have), I’d rather leave you with some empowering tools I have used to help me deal with this disempowering habit of comparing.
What if Oprah’s preoccupation with her weight prevented her from achieving success? What if her desire to look like Halle Berry took so much energy, she wasn’t able to focus on helping others on the grand scale that she has? What a loss this World would experience if she wasn’t able to set her insecurities aside in order to fulfill her purpose.
While we can’t change the media – I’m afraid the show The Bachelor is here to stay – we can change how much of it we see and how we respond when we see it. Turn the TV off without angst and judgment. Buy magazines that have more realistic and healthy body images portrayed. Talk to your girlfriends and find positive outlets (not complaining and blaming) for your insecure feelings. Mentor a young girl and help raise her self-esteem and body image. Tell her what you wish someone had told you at that age.
Maybe it’s just that she is “enough.”
“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” ~ Unknown
“Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that someone else is missing.” ~ Unknown
“I used to look in the mirror and feel shame, I look in the mirror now and I absolutely love myself.” ~ Drew Barrymore
“I find it more interesting to work with what God gave me.” ~ Pink, on why she will opt out of plastic surgery