Natasha Burke, Women Empower Each Other
June 21, 2018
“COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY”, Theodore Roosevelt
I am going to be authentic and share with you where my struggles with comparison have been. I invite you to ponder the questions of when did comparison start for you? In what areas do you compare yourself with other women, and how does it make you feel? My thought is by being mindful when comparison shows up in your life, you can name it, claim it, and most important, release it. It comes down to being ENOUGH! I AM ENOUGH! YOU ARE ENOUGH!
For me body image has been huge for most of my life. I have felt jealous. I have felt fat. I wanted my body to look like someone else’s body. If only….. It started with being a young girl. I have a sister; her body type is very thin. My body type is stocky. I wanted to be thinner.
It’s been exhausting feeling inadequate, NOT ENOUGH. It’s exhausting to go on diets; and I realize I don’t do well with diets. I don’t know about you but I have probably been on most diet fads throughout my years. It never worked for me. The psychological component of feeling like I couldn’t eat something was more powerful then the actual act of dieting. It’s such a yo-yo effect. Up and down, up and down.
Recently, something clicked about how I compare my body with other women’s bodies.In April, I started thinking about how I need to loose 20 pounds before I go on a trip to Hawaii in July. The thought of me being in a bathing suit prompted me to loose weight. I joined Weight Watchers. Oh my gosh, once again the dieting regime. I had a realization that realistically I wouldn’t loose that much weight in two months. The second realization was all the negative talk I do with myself isn’t working anymore. I don’t like how thinking this way makes me feel.
I pondered why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I accept my body for what it looks like? I explored this deeper. What I discovered is that comparing will never make me feel good about me. I discovered that my body is perfect the way it is, 20 pounds more than what I would like, but it’s perfect. It’s my unique body. It houses my soul. All parts of my body are a miracle. Each part of my body needs the other part to LIVE. The bigger question was, what if I stopped comparing my body to other women’s bodies? What would that look like? I realized that I have never owned my body, I mean truly own it. This work is a process, but instead of seeing myself as a fat woman, I see myself as an amazon woman! Strong, curvy, voluptuous. No one has the body that I have! Owning my body is empowering! Wow, what a huge discovery!
What I do now, is every time I see a woman through the lens of her heart and spirit. I say to myself, “she is beautiful”. With this mindset, I compare less. I appreciate other women and their bodies more. I can smile and say, thank goodness we all have different shapes, sizes, color, flaws, and each body is unique! What would the world look like if we all looked the same? Boring!
Another comparison is, “she is more together than me.” She has a degree, her business is successful, she has a bigger house, nicer car etc. Does this sound familiar??
I was a stay-at-home mom, working from home while I was raising my three children. I earned several certificates in my chosen areas of work. However, once my last child left, I had to figure out what to do next. I didn’t value the path I chose. I started comparing once again and had the feeling that I was not enough. Today it’s less but every now and then I go into that “I am not enough” mode. When I go there, I pull myself out of it and remind myself, what I do is not what gives me value, I am enough!
Many years ago I was living next to a woman who was very materialistic. I always wanted more and more and never felt satisfied.Then came the day when I realized that this wasn’t making me feel good about myself. I could not keep up, and all the material stuff, well it didn’t make me feel whole. It was like an addiction, I wanted more.
Today I appreciate all women for who they are and what they do. We are all doing amazing things in the world. WE don’t have to be like others. We need to be okay with WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO!
Comparison destroys confidence and self-belief. It steals joy and much more. It takes up a lot of negative energy. It takes away from what we have achieved and continue to achieve.
Comparison does not give happiness or pleasure. What positive emotions can come from comparing? If you feel other women are ahead, you feel down. If you feel they are behind you, you’ll feel pity and sorry for them. Comparison is a losing game. Comparison is based on FEELING AND NOT TRUTH.
What is a better feeling than comparing? Knowing who you are and appreciate all that you do! We all need different things in life. If you know who you are and what you want, that will keep the focus on YOU!
Create your own path and follow it. We all are on a different path, one that we must take the journey down our own road. I have created the road that I want to follow in my life. This road is mine. I have milestones and challenges but it’s my path. I would like to say that I have travelled the road less traveled! Is it easy? Absolutely not.
Life is a process of CREATION not a destination. Life is not about getting to the end but it’s about learning and experiences, and most of all GROWTH! You don’t need to compare to create.
Compare only with you! You can strive to be better a little bit each day. Commit to growing a little each day and celebrate the small steps forwards into what you want. What a great reminder for me.
If a woman inspires you, let her know. We need to celebrate each other and our accomplishments! Sisterhood is important! Together we rise!