Let’s talk about you. ‘Cause you’re pretty amazing. (Didn’t you get the memo?) But you can’t be truly happy until you stop comparing yourself to others, so let’s push those poisonous thoughts out of your head once and for all so you can shine like the diamond you are and stop giving a flying fuck what anyone thinks of you. Ready?
Everyone has flaws, so don’t beat yourself up over your own. (If you are, maybe you need a strong dose of this post first: Love Yourself For Who You Are). No-one out there is perfect and the fact that we keep putting people on a pedestal is wildly optimistic and dangerously inaccurate of us. It’s fine to look up to people, as long as we’re not looking down on ourselves.
We all have our own strengths and weaknesses but, at the end of the day, they all just cancel each other out so that what we’re left with is “human being”. Yes, sometimes someone will DO something better than you, or HAVE something better than you; but that doesn’t make them better overall. They’re not “more human”, and you are not any less of a person. Their “successes” in certain areas are not your failures.
Just because you can’t play the guitar, sing beautifully, be a mathematical genius, write best-selling books, raise well-adjusted children, home-cook all your (organic) meals from scratch, all while balancing a successful career and being a sports star… That does NOT mean you’re not good enough. Hell, I haven’t even managed ONE of those yet. Do I think I’m a failure? Fuck no.
The truth is, you could do all of those things with one eye closed and one arm tied behind your back while hopping on one leg, and there’d STILL be someone out there who seemed to be doing it better.
But you know who else is out there? Homeless people. Lepers. People who have lost entire families in tragic accidents, or lost limbs in wars. Assholes who don’t get Christmas cards ‘cause no-one loves them. Sick children. People with bad breath.
Are you seriously going to feel sorry for yourself ‘cause Mary Jane has shiny hair and a rich husband? I mean, he’s probably banging the secretary anyway.
Here’s a great saying that always helps me when I start comparing myself to others: If we all threw our problems into a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
Some people may have a big house, a huge pay packet, and a butler named Jeeves at their beck and call. They may take exotic holidays every year, throw great parties, and have a large circle of friends. In short, they may seem to have their shit together and you may convince yourself that all those things make them “better” or “more successful”.
But none of that stuff means that those people have fewer problems. It doesn’t mean they’re more respected. It doesn’t mean they’re happier or healthier. It doesn’t mean their friends are more loyal and sincere, and it doesn’t mean they have a more loving family. It doesn’t mean they’ll live long, prosperous, happy lives and die peacefully in their sleep.
How many “celebrities” do we admire, only to discover that they’re addicts, in bad relationships, or are battling depression? Or all three?
You don’t know what problems others are having, because they’re probably doing a bang-up job of hiding them. Yes, you have problems too, but they’re your own; you can deal with them. You don’t know what shitstorm someone else is facing, or what demons they’ll have to deal with in the future.
And even if they ARE happy and successful, who’s to say how long that will last? Lots of people who have it all end up losing it. Such is the fickle nature of life.
So what good does it do you to compare yourself to someone when they’re naturally going to hide their struggles and only air their highlights, and when their happiness may be fleeting? None whatsoever.
And whatever you do, do NOT compare yourself to people in magazines or ads. Models have an entire team of experts who work on them non-stop for about six hours just to get them to the point where they can be photoshopped.
Yeah. We’d all look flawless if we had that.
And look, I can’t speak for you, but I know I’d rather spend those six hours eating pizza, watching cartoons with my daughter, and curling up on the couch with my husband. So you can keep your glossy locks and your bony legs… I’m perfectly happy with my straw hair and post-pregnancy belly, thank you very much.
Most of our insecurities come from a fear of being judged, or from some dick who’s told us we’re not good enough. (Sometimes that dick is ourselves.) Here are two facts about life that will put your mind at ease:
- People are judgemental by their very nature, and they’ll judge you just as much for conforming and doing everything you think you should be doing as for what you really want to do. So fuck it.
- Most people don’t give nearly as much of a shit about you as you think. So fuck it.
Look at it this way:
- How much of your life do you spend thinking about the random weirdo on the bus? Not much, I’m guessing.
- And how many hours do you spend silently judging the stranger in the shopping centre who’s singing away to herself? Could it be “zero”?
- And how much time do you spend sitting around laughing at that person who face-planted in front of you last week? If you’re a normal human being, you’ll have forgotten about that by now.
Why? Because you’ve got other things going on. The same way everyone else has other things going on and they’re not sparing a second thought for your frizzy hair, mismatched socks, or taste in music.
Seriously, the people in your life who love you think those things are charming, and no-one else gives a shit. You don’t have to feel bad ‘cause some sad sack made a disparaging remark; I can assure you that, five minutes later, they moved on with their sad little lives.
So stop comparing yourself to others because, at the end of the day, having it all just means you have everything to lose.
Now whip that magnificent mane of yours and repeat after me:
And remember, all this month we’re talking about self-love on the site, so check out the related posts below for some more virtual hugs. Or SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter to have the love sent straight to your inbox.