Don't Compare

Debbie Gisonni
 


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I don’t know of any woman (heterosexual or gay) who doesn’t check out other women—sometimes to admire, but mostly to compare. Why can’t my thighs be that slim! Thank God my hair is not that frizzy! It’s natural to compare. Kids compare toys. Parents compare children. Teachers compare students. Men compare. . . let’s not go there! Even women considered beauty icons compare themselves to other women, and find faults in their own appearance. In a magazine interview, Raquel Welch, who wanted to be a dancer, said she thought she should be shorter and more muscular like the girls in her ballet class. Farrah Fawcett, on the other hand, thought her legs were too muscular as compared with other beauties of her time.

Every woman compares what they have in life (from looks to wealth and everything in between) to what other people have. These comparisons tend to create a breeding ground for negative emotions like jealousy, resentment, inadequacy and even anger. Not the kind of characteristics you want in your basket of personality traits.

There was a time (when I was writing my first book) I was jealous of writers with agents. I learned everything I could on how to find agents, how to approach them, how to do a book proposal, etc. I was sure I would get a great agent. Months went by, and the rejection letters continued to pour in. Each time I met an author who had an agent, I hated myself for being jealous. When that book was finished, I decided to self-publish. I don’t know why I didn’t get an agent, but I finally accepted it wasn’t meant to happen for me at that particular time. Maybe with an agent my book wouldn’t have been published. Maybe it would have been out of print by now. Maybe I would’ve signed with the wrong person. What initially seemed like the one thing I wanted (because other authors had it) may not have been the best thing for my future publishing career.

Comparisons create an insatiable hunger in your life. Whether it’s a new car, a smaller nose or a more loving partner, there will always be someone you perceive to be in a better position than you. There will also always be someone in a worse position than you. Whenever you’re feeling cheated in life, think of all those people who would love to have your life. It’s like getting on the end of a really long line in a department store, wishing you could exchange places with the woman up front. A few minutes later, you look around and see ten more people standing behind you. All of a sudden, you’re happy with your place in line.

Unlike checkout lines, life doesn’t have a first and last. Each of us has a unique place in life and a role to play, which we’ve chosen well before arriving on this earth. How you look or what you have is not about being better or worse. Those are external characteristics that can change in an instant. You can better your life or strive to be a better human being, but that comes from within—from a love of your own life and that of others. It is not attached to your zip code, clothing, car or body.

5 Ways To Not Compare:

  • Be grateful for the gift of waking up each morning and being alive.

  • Remember we each have a different path in life that we’ve chosen.

  • If you must compare to feel good, compare down instead of up.

  • Live within your means and be proud of having limited debt.

  • Focus on your own life and goals without comparing them to someone else’s.

    Excerpted from the book: The Goddess of Happiness, A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss

    Debbie Gisonni, aka The Goddess of Happiness™, is an author (The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss and Vita’s Will: Real Life Lessons about Life Death & Moving On), speaker, happiness expert and columnist for iVillage.com. Contact: http://www.goddessofhappiness.com

    Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Debbie Gisonni

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