Monday, July 16, 2012

All My Ladies - The Poison of Comparison

As women, one of the biggest traps we fall into is comparing ourselves to other women. Our wardrobe is never good enough if we look at the girl next door, that girl has more friends than us, she’s in better shape than me — whew! It takes so much energy to keep up with it all!

Comparing poisons our internal self-image and seeps out to our external life. It makes us discontented with ourselves and destroys our relationships. If we aren’t satisfied with who we are or what we already have, everything else looks better.

This is especially detrimental to friendships. We become bitter towards friends and blame them for our insecurities. Needless to say, that friendship becomes unhealthy, it eventually falls apart, and the cycle never ends!

Or does it? How can we stop the poison of comparison? You’ve probably heard the mantra “be the change you wish to see” several times, or at least something like it — but it’s true. To have better relationships with others, you have to start with a healthy relationship with yourself.

Change the way you look at yourself. Focus on the positive qualities you have, gifts and talents you have no one else does. If you can’t see them, spend more time thinking about them, because they’re there. Sure, you’re not perfect, and no one is, but there are beautiful qualities you have that are unique to you.

Next look at the beautiful things going on in your life. Come up with a list of at least 10 things. Recognize that there are more positives than negatives, and if negatives seem to outweigh the positives, remember that your happiness depends on your attitude and how you look at things. Decide today to focus on the good.

Once you realize the beauty within yourself and within your own life, you can look at others and recognize the beauty in theirs — without trying to possess it. You can be genuinely happy for the good in others, while knowing of your own inherent goodness.

If more women see the beauty in themselves before they look at everyone else, friendships would be a safe, drama-free zone to support one another and encourage each other in becoming who we are meant to be as women — beautiful, inside and out.  It all starts with how we look at ourselves.

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