It’s so true.
How do you compare yourself to others? I consider myself a fairly self-confident woman, yet my list is practically endless:
She’s fitter than me. Look at those muscles!
She sews better than me. And faster. And must have a million dollars to buy all that cute fabric.
She is much prettier than me.
She has more faith than I do.
Her legs are so long. My legs are stumpy.
She’s married and has kids and is nearly a decade younger than me.
She can run farther than me.
She is smarter than me. Like, way smarter.
She is more patient than me. How will I ever have children with my lack of patience?
Her house is cleaner than mine.
Her karate knife skills are amazing. I end up stabbing myself in the head half the time.
She has beautiful skin — mine is like 14 years old and 40 years old at the same time. Also, spider veins?
She is better at loving people than I am.
She can cook well. She likes cooking.
Her clothes are way cuter than mine.
Am I the only one with cankles?
I’m sure you have your own list — we all do. Most of these things are circumstantial, so they shouldn’t affect our joy. But how miserable do we make ourselves when we constantly compare ourselves to others? There’s no room for being content and happy with who we are — and definitely no room for that all-consuming joy that I’m seeking this month! It’s so sad — we waste so much time wishing we were someone else, when all we can be is who we are.
I also discovered I feel it the other way around. When I find a friend who is struggling with something that I have a relatively easy time with, I feel discontented for them. I feel sad. I feel helpless. I have a hard time enjoying my own blessings and gifts.
To be honest, I used to be much worse at this than I am now. It’s taken years of trying to get out of that mindset and love myself for who I am. I used to be so scared of actually doing things in life because other people could do them better than I could. It’s gotten much better. Still, when I thought about this action item for joy, I started paying attention to my thoughts during the day — and I was surprised to see how often I still find myself comparing my life to someone else’s.
So, when I find myself thinking about other people and how awesome they are (and, consequently, how not awesome I am at doing whatever that particular thing is), I actually say out loud: “Cori. Stop it. You are you.”
And it actually worked. Not every time, but when I would redirect my thoughts to something else, I found that it was much easier to feel less jealous and more joyful. As I’ve been learning more and more, I’m actually okay with who I am. I am different than other women, and that’s okay.
You are you. I am me. We are all significant!