Comparing seems to be a good way to determine how good something is. When you go shopping you compare who has the best prices, the nicest shop, the best selections. Comparing works great for finding car insurance, but when it comes to personal matters such as self esteem, comparing doesn't offer the most help. In fashion blogging people make comparisons all the time and as fashion blogs become more popular, the comparing only increases… ‘So-and-so is younger, prettier, skinnier, has nicer shoes, gets more comments, has a great photographer for a boyfriend… rich..'. you name it. I've heard it, and to tell you the honest truth, I'm not immune to the whole comparison game, I do it without really even thinking about how destructive it can really be.
Once a very wise person told me this:
The truth is, everyone has their battles, everyone has their own victories, and the beauty of life is that we all get different challenges to overcome. What may seem to us someone is living a perfect life, the reality may actually have it's own hardships we can't immediately see. In all my heart I wish I could practice this non-comparison line of thinking with ease, but it's not always the case.
Here are some tips on how to manage self esteem and the comparing game.
Listen to yourself. Don't deny what you are feeling because you think it makes you a bad person, if something keeps coming up over and over again, it may be an indicator that it's time to listen to yourself, because more often than not what's bothering you isn't them it's something inside of you. I get this all the time, and if it's a matter of looking at myself and seeing what I can do to change my perspective I usually end up growing a little bit.
Do it for yourself. When I first started blogging I went for months without getting any response to my blog, what kept me going was my motto… ‘I'm doing this for myself.' My blog wasn't for anybody and that really took the pressure off me, and reinforced the reason why I was blogging in the first place. Then it doesn't matter what anyone says or thinks because it's not for them. Use your blog to develop your own voice, do it for yourself.
Envy/jealousy/cattiness whatever you want to call it, often comes from this idea that somehow love is somehow limited, when in fact it’s unlimited, it’s everywhere and in everything.
Get perspective: Envy/jealousy/cattiness whatever you want to call it, often comes from this idea that somehow love is somehow limited, when in fact it’s unlimited, it’s everywhere and in everything. It’s really easy to have a distorted vision of reality when everyone is young and pretty and impeccably dressed, when all you see is the happy side of things… the reality is that it doesn’t really exist. People are photoshopped, they get hangovers, they have credit card bills. Everyone has their own obstacles.
Have a little gratitude… and share it. It's funny how when you look for examples they seem to be everywhere. When I have periods of feeling less than other people, I sit down and make a gratitude list. What is going right in my life? What am I taking for granted around here, because I need to stop that? You don't have to share your gratitude on your blog, but share it with the people in your life. Share it with the people on the bus. Share it with your co-workers. Sharing gratitude in little ways really helps reinforce the feeling and grows more gratitude.
Say it to the lady in the mirror. Personally I have a hard time not playing ‘Bloody Mary‘ in this one… but telling yourself affirmations out loud in the mirror helps reinforce positive thinking. Louise Hay published a beautiful set of Power Thought Cards which I had all over my apartment for a long time. They are really great in helping form what a positive thought looks like. If you're into the whole positive thinking thing, I would also suggest her book You Can Heal Your Life. I've not only read it a few times, but I've given it to friends… it's one of those books.
Subscribe to blogs that make you feel good. While I want to say that all blogs are beautiful, some blogs bring up feelings that don't improve my day. For a long time I kept my subscriptions to them because I wanted to keep on top of things but it just irritated me, so one day I just unsubscribed, and I don't miss them. There are so many blogs out there that really bring a smile to my face, that inspire, that make me feel good, that show me new things and new ways of thinking. I owe it to myself and to the writers of those blogs to read them.
Go easy on yourself…
All in all, when it comes to measuring success, it’s also important to realize, that though there are people who experience success quite quickly, early successes doesn’t always equate with real success. And in this day of instant everything, the truth is that the worlds greatest successes didn’t happen over night… and they didn’t occur without setbacks and temporary failures. Real success occurs over a lifetime, it’s a journey, and if you really look at it, there are multiple ways of measuring it.
What are some of the nice things you do for yourself when you're caught in the comparison trap?