This week, through my business, I’ve been teaching 7-11 year olds about the dangers of comparison. We’re working through a unit based on building self-esteem and self-acceptance. I bloody love my job.
I’m also currently listening to Brené Browns’ ‘The Power of Vulnerability,’ which just fits beautifully with what I’m teaching. I’m barely half an hour in, but already comparison has come up a few times. In fact, Brown shares a quote from one of her friends, saying:
“Comparison is the thief of happiness.”
And it really is.
You could be the absolute best version of yourself at this moment in time – the prettiest, slimmest, fittest, healthiest, most creative, kindest, most selfless, most influential, most successful; you could be just nailing this life thing, all over the place and feeling just fabulous….
And then you see someone whose younger, slimmer, taller, richer, more confident, more creative, just more.
And we go from supreme being to inadequate in a moment.
But the thing is – nothing has actually changed, except your mindset.
For some reason, you’ve decided to compare yourself to another person, often without knowing their back-story, their struggles, the problems that lurk for them under the surface. In fact, much of the time we’re comparing ourselves to a perceived image of how or who someone is, rather than the actual reality. Essentially, we beat ourselves up because we’re not as whatever as a fictional character.
Something that also struck me as I was teaching this, is that comparison as an approach, is also pretty dumb. Because we all have different brains, bodies, talents, skills, thought-processes, not to mention our completely unique life experiences. So it really is like comparing apples and pears. Or even apples and giraffes.