I’ve seen a few shares on social media lately on comparing yourself to other people and it’s allowed me to dig deep into self-work, and figure out where my need to compare myself to others comes from.Comparison is a thief. As an adult, and especially as a mom, I know that I can’t compare my children. They are SO different in so many ways. Comparing my children to one another robs me of the joy of enjoying each child’s milestones and achievements. Therefore I don’t compare them (or at least I try not to), especially in the negative.
So, if I don’t do this with my children, then why would it do it to myself? Why is it that with achievement, it isn’t an achievement in my eyes? Instead, it’s a comparison to something or someone and all about the things I haven’t achieved yet.
For example, I’ve just finished my master’s program classes. Instead of being super proud of myself for doing that, while raising two children, my mind warped it into, “I’m not done yet, I still have my hours.”
In high school, my two best friends were drop dead gorgeous and in comparison to them, I was the fat, ugly friend. I came third in the line up of choices. At least in my head. Doing drugs and drinking alcohol made me not have to feel third.
My negative thoughts robbed me of opportunities to embrace myself for all I was and all I could be.
Sometimes, I still get caught up in that thinking. With stupid crap like: I want my Instagram account to look pretty like that! Or, “she JUST had a baby and had lost all that weight, and here I am 12 months post-partum, trying to fake this embrace I have for my new body.”
Comparison is dangerous, and I’m careful in my wording with my kiddos. It’s not easy to navigate. I started doing affirmations with my son, on his belly (his choice) and oils. We have been saying, “I am loved. I am unique. I am perfectly imperfect”. Now, his English sounds nothing like that, haha, but he thinks he’s saying what I am when he repeats it. I also started doing these to myself and it’s actually helping! I don’t do it on my belly, but I do it behind my ears with white Angelica that helps me shield negativity. Negativity from my own self-degrading thoughts.
I don’t know the science behind affirmations. I know we are taught to tell patients that this works. Being in recovery myself, I was always too cool to try. Now that I’m a counselor, I kind of like to practice the stuff I preach so I thought—why not? On this journey to becoming my authentic self, affirmative thinking has really helped.
If you’re struggling with self-worth, google an affirmation, or throw together your own. Try it for thirty days! I’d be curious to know what changes for you!
And in the meantime, try and shut those comparative thoughts OFF and start embracing YOU!!
This piece from Bethany Jury originally appeared on Rugrats on Oils. It has been reprinted with permission.