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Comparison Poisoning

You are walking along through life, feeling pretty confident with yourself. You feel good enough, strong enough, successful enough, and happy with the size of your body, as if you are in the right stage and place in life. When something happens, and... Wham!

Comparison poisoning.

As if you just got hit by a truck, you see someone who has something you want but don't have or someone who is all the things you feel like you can never have or be. Sometimes it's a physical thing. You are feeling okay in your skin, and then you see someone who knocks your beauty right out of the water, leaving you feeling small, hideous, and stupid for ever thinking you were good enough. When comparison poisoning happens, it's intense and debilitating.

When comparison poisoning struck me, it hit hard! To be very honest, I had a hard time shaking it. I was hit with physical poison, comparing myself to someone younger, a lot smaller, and all around (in my eyes at the time) a better person than I could ever be.

Now I know the truth here. I just finished a children's book about this. Self-acceptance and self-love. So, I know in my head that comparison only leads to one of two things:

  1. Pride in believing that you are better than others. (not in my case)

  2. Low self-esteem falsely believing that others are better than you. (totally my issue at the time)

Neither belief is beneficial or accurate. I know no one in this world can do a better job at being me than me. But for some reason, in that moment, on that day, none of that mattered. 

I know the truth in my heart. Yet I couldn't stop comparison poisoning from coming in and almost knocking me out. Suddenly, I couldn't think of anything except for how not good enough I was. I couldn't think of anything except that the place I felt I occupied in the world was occupied by someone else, that someone was doing it better, and that I would never catch up or measure up.

It's a bit embarrassing to admit this. It's humbling to open the door and let people peek into the broken thoughts that sometimes fill my head. But this happens sometimes. Doesn't it? It happens to me, and I'm sure it happens to you too. It occurs in all areas of our lives: our love lives, our weight, our appearance, and our careers. Comparison is a nasty poison that plagues us as women, and the first step to curing something is to admit it's there in the first place.

Now is the time to tell you some simple tricks to beat comparison poisoning. Unfortunately, I don't have those for you today; I don't have them for myself. I am still wrestling with the impulse to strive to look better, younger, and smaller and try to compete. I know you were all hoping for a cure for this destructive poisoning, but here is what I will say:

If you struggle with comparison poisoning sometimes, you are not alone. I do, too! Sometimes, I have a handle on it, and sometimes—like now—I totally don't.

We get nowhere when we compare ourselves to each other; we lose the ability to proudly and confidently be ourselves, contributing to the world in a way that is totally our own, in a way nobody can steal or diminish. So don't succumb to comparison. It happens, yes, absolutely, but we have to fight it by admitting to the people we love, opening up the windows to the broken parts of our hearts, and letting people in to help us figure it out. Fight it by repeating the truth to ourselves. 

A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it... It just blooms. Be yourself, Love yourself.

Even with comparison poisoning raging in my blood. I want to tell you, my sweet friends, here's to fighting comparison with everything we have and to singing our song as we practice believing in ourselves.

One day, we will realize how much beauty and strength is inside of us. One day, we will learn that there will always be someone younger, prettier, thinner, and more successful, but no one in this world can be you. Fight comparing your life to someone else's, and embrace yourself. As I wrote in my new children's book:

 Fluffy the Crooked Cat, Love yourself with all your might and always let your light shine bright.

Keep fighting, and a Reminder to me and everyone else to be Fearless and keep smiling!

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