How many of you remember that one really popular girl in middle school that everyone imitated because they just wanted to be her?
The one every other male in your grade had a huge crush on.
The one with the most chic wardrobe that every other girl wanted to raid.
Let’s just say, for example, that both of you (coincidentally) wore the same shirt to school one day.
a) Think “Oh my god, I’m wearing the same shirt as she is! That automatically makes today awesome.”
b) Think that you look awful because you’re standing next to your middle school’s version of a Victoria’s Secret model and proceed to look for a hole to materialize so it could swallow you?
Knowing how awful middle school was for some of us, I’m going to assume that you went with the latter option.
I’m not trying to assume that everyone’s middle school experience was traumatic. I mean sure, it’s possible that you could have had a great experience and picked option A.
But middle school is generally hard. That’s when puberty starts doing weird things to us, and we start dealing with a lot. Friends, boys (or girls), grades…you get my drift.
We start to solidify our beliefs about how the world works. We start trying to navigate the world.
And with the media throwing airbrushed images in our faces all the time, it’s not hard for us to look into the mirror and think: “God, I don’t look like (insert celebrity’s name here). I fail at life.”
It took me going through high school and college, but I finally figured out how to put a dent in the “I must constantly compare myself to other people” cyclone, and I want to share it with you.
See Miss Popular who wore the same shirt as you today?
She wasn’t the one who decided that she looked better in that shirt.
You were the one who decided that it was an iron-clad fact that she looked better in the shirt than you did.
Miss Mini-Victoria’s-Secret-Model over there can’t control the fact that you think she’s better looking in the shirt than you are.
I mean, for all you know, she could think you’re the best thing since sliced bread.
Long story short, you are the one who controls your perceptions. The people you compare yourself to? Chances are they don’t particularly care what you think (assuming you’re comparing yourself to someone who doesn’t know you exist). And the people who do know you exist who you compare yourself to? They can’t control what you think about yourself.
Feel powerful now?
Yeah, I do too.
This isn’t to say that it’s easy; personally, I’m still working on my inner lizard (as one book I read so aptly put it), but knowing that I’m in the driver’s seat when it comes to how I think makes me pretty willing to make myself better than I was yesterday. It’s the little things that you like about yourself that build your confidence.
And knowing that I’m better than I was makes me feel a lot better about myself than I would if I were staring at photoshopped pictures of Miranda Kerr all day.
That person staring back at you from the mirror?
Let HER be your competition.
What sorts of things do YOU do that help you stop comparing yourself to others?
Image Credit: Pinterest.