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Friday, July 22, 2011

Competing, Comparing, Confessing



A fellow blogger recently tweeted, "I really ought to stop comparing myself to others." I'm sure all of us -- as bloggers, as women, as humans -- have this issue. And how can we not in a world like this? I'm sure we can all recall when Sarah Jessica Parker was named the unsexiest woman in the world by Maxim, alongside Madonna and Britney Spears, previously idolized as sex icons. If these successful, fit-bodied females are among the least sexy alive, how are we supposed to feel about ourselves? And if comparing one woman to another is the norm, how can we not look in the mirror and compare ourselves as well? We're being taught this behavior from society -- and it's disgusting.

If you're anything like me, you don't just compare prettiness; another factor is money. It's what the world runs on, right? People are obsessed with it. It causes fights, foes, wars... I'd like to think I'm a pretty low-maintenance person, and I don't need much to survive, but when I hear of someone my age making five times what I do -- boom! -- instant feeling of worthlessness. Why can't I have that? What's wrong with me? Oh, and if I wanna feel really bad about myself, I can dwell on Mark Zuckerberg (27 years old, worth 13.5 billion) or Miley Cyrus (18 years old, worth 120 million).

But my life isn't about money. If that were the case, I'd lose fifty pounds, move to Vegas and become a stripper. Or, at the very least, I would've stayed at the full-time job I left five months ago. We all know that life is truly about one thing... love. Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it grand? Isn't it wonderful that the average age for marriage is 26 but you're still single? Isn't it lovely that your friends all have perfect relationships... and you don't? Yeah. Fantastic.

The truth is this: No matter who we are, what we do or where we go, we're going to feel like we're not up to par with somebody. But the only person putting pressure on us to be as pretty or rich or in love as so-and-so... is us! It's hard to live every single day focusing on the positive... It's easier to just give up and say, "I suck." Let yourself have that moment (it's normal) and then move on. If you're reading this, you have access to the internet... and that, my friend, is something to be grateful for. ♥

"If I compare myself to make me feel better, I lose. If I compare myself to someone better than me and feel less important, I lose. If there is one lesson to be learned, it's that there is no way of comparing yourself and winning. You will always lose, even if you win the comparison, because you let someone else tell you who to be. Life's not a competition until you make it one." - You, Me, and Everyone We Know by Kendi

"I do believe there is such a thing as healthy competition. You know it’s unhealthy when you’re left feeling resentful, bitter, envious or like a failure." - How to Sabotage Your Blog (and Your Life) by Amy

"As much as people will tell you that blogging is not a competition, it's natural to be competitive. It's normal to have goals and to be fixated on your 'next step' but it's not a race and there is no finish line." - Blog Love by Elsie

"Just as there is only one you, there is just one me...and because we are all so different, each of us our own person, our own voice and perspective, there is no need to compete when you are being your 100% true, authentic self." - "Blog-petition" (and 3 ways to avoid it) by Danielle


{photo sources: one, two, three}

25 comments:

  1. Awesome post Steph!!! Seriously wonderful....

    I think it is okay to compare--- it helps us set goal markers. But it can quickly become negative, and self destructive.

    I think it is okay to compete--- but I use that word loosely. It should be a competition with yourself-- not others.

    I think it is great to confess--- we have to be honest with ourselves and with others. It helps to keep things in perspective.

    Just one thing, Zuckerberg is worth 13.5 Billion- not 135 Billion (although at that point, is there really a difference!) :)

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  2. such a wonderful post Stephanie. and you're right--we're the ones comparing ourselves to others. i don't think we (especially as women) will stop comparing and competing...but hopefully, we can take a moment and just stop and relax and move forward. <3

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  3. Great post. I don't very often compare myself to others body-type wise but I have found myself comparing myself with others money-wise. "wait a second they're how old and retired already?" I'd love to be so filthy rich that I could provide for my whole extended family on all sides and feed a whole country and still have a home to reside in. It'd be nice but you're right basing our worth on money isn't the right place to base our worth. When we focus on being the competition instead of accepting ourselves we lose ourselves and our number one priorities take a backseat as a result of our obsessions. Everybody does it at one point or another. In high school a boy used to make fun of me every day for having a flat butt and I spent so much time hating my body and wanting Jennifer Lopez's that I made myself completely miserable all for what a losers opinion who's probably in prison somewhere now? Thanks for posting =)

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  4. Amazing post Steph! I totally agree with everything you said. No matter how much you do, how much you think you have, someone is always going to be doing it better, or having more. So what's the point in racing to keep up with the joneses, or trying to loose weight to look like a celeb. If you make any changes in your life, they should be for yourself, and not because society says that what you should be doing. And the other thing is grass always looks greener on the other side. So just because someone looks like they have all the money in the world, or appear to be in a perfect relationship, we have no idea what they are really going through, and they have no idea for us too. Great post. love this. Thanks for sharing!

    Shasie of Live Life in Style

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  5. I totally agree with Maxim. Sarah Jessica Parker has a total horse face.

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  6. This is such a great post, Steph! I feel like society and the media perpetuate this sort of competition among women - our bodies, our financial situations, our relationships. Our success becomes gauged by the successes of others rather than the achievements of goals we set out to accomplish on our own. It's silly, it's sad, and unfortunately it's easy to fall into. This post was a great reminder of how immune we are to it and how we as women do have the power to make a change about it. Thank you!

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  7. Amazing post Steph! Loved reading it :)

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  8. Sometimes comparing can inspire you...

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  9. This is fantastic - I'm the first to admit that the only times that I am ever truly miserable are the times when I'm comparing myself to others instead of celebrating what makes me different from everyone else and appreciating what makes other people unique. It's just insane how ingrained it is in me to constantly compare myself to others. I think it's a product of the manner in which most women are socialized in our society but even being fully aware of that doesn't stop me from still doing it...I am always grateful for a reminder to just stop!

    xoxo ~ Courtney
    http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

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  10. This is by far the best post I have read in a very long while.
    I am 47, have been blogging for 2 years and each day, there is some kind of "comparison" widget floating over my head!
    Too old, too heavy, too broke, etc......

    Then this week I am participating in an accessory exchange, where the things we trade will be posted. I was coupled up with a beautiful,thin,young beauty and there has been anxiety all week long on what I should choose to send and would it be good enough???

    I know, I would like what I chose, but what if?........
    So silly, yet so real!

    Then the topper came today as someone actually asked me in a comment, if I am really a woman!
    Ouch!!! - I'd like to give that person a dose of my night sweats and carry around my size DD boobs for a day, LOL!

    Thanks so much for your honesty AND your postitive outlook and the reminder that I am the one who judges myself and controls how my insides are ticking ;)

    xXx
    Reva

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  11. This is a great post, we are always comparing ourselves with others and sometimes it makes us lose sense of what really matters and who we really are. Money and looks really aren't that important in the end.

    Sarah
    x

    www.almostdelightful.com

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  12. Great post! It's hard not to compare, wish, and want. But the best way to never be happy is to always lament what's missing.

    I try to take stock and be grateful for what I do have when possible.

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  13. This was such a great post Stephanie! The world is always shoving lies down our throats about how we should look and live our lives. The sad thing is so many people fall for it and become obsessed with living that way. I'm glad there are people like you to stand against it!

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  14. Excellent post! I agree, it's difficult to always stay positive. Sometimes we hinder ourselves by the pressure of competition.

    I try to just stay positive and surround myself with positive affirmations daily, of course life happens and there are times when it's difficult to not compare yourself to others, but remembering that just because it looks better doesn't necessarily mean that the grass is always greener on the other side.

    Breath in our body, a roof over our head , a job to support ourselves. There's really something to be grateful for everyday.

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  15. Fantastic post! I always try to do my personal best and forget about everyone else. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way and has something different to bring the world. I couldn't agree more with your message!

    http://justsomethingspecial.com

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  16. This posts makes me want to shout my love for you from a rooftop. Or a mountain.

    Seriously - this was AMAZING, Steph. You are right. We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others, and while i do think at times it can be a good thing (motivating and inspirational even), if we get TOO caught up in it, and if we allow it to de-motivate us, it can be horrible for our self-esteem.

    We have to recognize our own strengths and what makes us who WE are as individuals. If we don't lose sight of that, a little healthy competition can be a good thing.

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  17. It is good to be reminded of the priorities of a good and happy life. And inner satisfaction, not ourward measurement is vital to this.

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  18. "We all know that life is truly about one thing... love." That's it right there! Love is all you need. To give and receive love is the purpose of our lives and that's why it feels so good! You're so right about the silly competition based on material and worldly measures. Love each other is all that matters.

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  19. I agree... Whenever you compare yourself to anyone, it really does nothing to change your situation. It's easy to say, but hard to do- but, I'm always trying not to care and compare!

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  20. Great post! Definitely something we should be reminded of often.

    http://www.stylish3.com/marylane

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  21. It is good to know that we are all different and all have amazingly unique things to offer the world. It's so easy to get caught up in the Joneses and try to win the "race of life" instead of focusing on ourselves and what makes us great.

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  22. Thanks for the reminder :) The status symbols in real life: sexy partner, family, cars, own house, swimming pool, expensive cloths, jewelry etc. The status symbols online: followers, likes, subscribers, links, etc.

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  23. Loved this post. It was refreshing and much needed. I recently wrote about my current reflections on blogging. Let's continue to inspire each other. That's why I blog!

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  24. I looove the quotes from you've chosen and I love the message of this post.

    Really I think we need to be kind to each other but mostly be kind to ourselves. That is kind of my new mantra in life.

    Hugs to you, Steph.

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