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A blogosphere social service announcement: comparison is bad for a woman’s soul.

by Caz on May 7, 2012 · 22 comments

The older I get the more I believe that.  There is something just a little sinister about comparing yourself with others – especially for women.  It reaches down into the core of our beings and start pulling at our self-esteem.    Be it our  homes, children, bodies,  how many friends we have,  the car we drive or whatever really, once we start to compare ourselves to other our contentment level falls.    I remember being taught as a child that there will always be someone better or and someone worse of than you – in  everything.    If you look around you it won’t take long to find someone who is better than you.   We all have strengths and weaknesses, we’re designed that way.  I’m good at some things but frankly terrible at others.   That’s why we need community – to come together and share our strengths and allow our weaknesses to be strengthened.   If I choose to look at other women in the light of comparison to myself I’m going to come up short in some regard.   There is no doubt about that at all.   And how  I deal with that is  going to affect my life  - a lot!

Speaking personally I know I can string words together.  Its something that comes easily to me.  Words just seem to flow out of my finger tips without much effort – despite being a tad dyslexic.  But here in the blog pool there are a few thousand other people who have similar skills.  Some not as good as mine but many much much better.  If I choose to allow myself to dwell on how much better they are I can start to feel failure creeping into my soul.  And if I don’t squash it like the nasty bug it is pretty soon  it builds itself a snugly little  home where it can fester and really start to rot away my sense of value.   Do you ever hear yourself having a conversation in your head that goes a bit like this.  ‘Oh, that blog is so much better than mine. She’s got so many followers and people really seem to like her.  And I read a post she wrote about how she get 50,000 hits a month.  God I only get 5000.  Hang on why don’t those people visit my blog?  Is it really that bad? Oh crap – some days I wonder why I bother!’

The same process works  in our lives in a million different areas.   Women seem to naturally want to look for our value in the things we do or have around us.  It takes an effort to remind ourselves we’re so much more than how clean our house is,  big our bum is or  how well we match up to the media’s cookie cutter standards for us as both mothers and women.  Even success and failure  don’t determine our value, there just trappings on top.    We are valuable just because we are.    If we never write another great post, fit into our size 10 jeans, succeed at running a business, have a perfect home, take the perfect photos or have the prefect children (*insert any other words that fit for you* ) we are still 100 percent valuable, worthy and full of  awesomeness.  Aim high and seek to do great things – but don’t let your value be defied by them.   It’s like a house with no foundation –  you risk it all tumbling down.  And when you see another women succeed - celebrate with her.   She has strengths and weaknesses too you know.  But remember   one things when you’re tempted to compare your life to hers.  You’re judging your behind the scenes life and reality against her polished highlight reel.

Okay, excuse me now, I have to take a few moments to step down off my soap box and get back to my imperfect but wonderful family and life.  Today our home is a mess and I have washing piled high.   I remind myself regularly that I am living the life I dreamed of ten years ago.  It’s not always easy and very rarely perfect – but it was my dream and here I am.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linda May 12, 2012 at 2:26 am

I can relate to the post a lot especially that I have the tendency to rely on someone. It is not that I have no confidence, I just believe that in order to produce the right results I must let someone who is skillful at a certain field to contribute.

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2 Deb May 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

Great post Caz. I find I am free from comparisons most days but it does creep in – especially with blogging! So much other stuff is behind closed doors, but blogging is public and therefore I have it in my sights and thoughts more often.
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3 Lisa Wood May 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Perfect timing – I have days where I think “why do I bother” !! Then other days when I think “YEP, I have it all” :)

I think we are all different and special in our own way. And at the end of the day, if I am happy, my family is happy. If my family is happy then I am super happy…its all about what works for each family.

Some days I am so on top of everything – and the day is a breeze. Other days I forget about the house work, switch off the computer/phone and sit outside – doing nothing! Those are the days I need to “Be” in the moment.

I guess what it comes down to, is what do you want from life – looking at others will always lead to more comparison – being grateful will bring more into our life :)
Lisa Wood recently posted..Monday Featured Travel Blogger On New Life on the RoadMy Profile

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4 Julie May 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Oh fantastic post Caz, bravo! I could relate to everything you said here completely. I find myself comparing myself in many different facets of life. Blogging is one of them, but I am always quick to stop myself when it creeps in with blogging… for the simple reason that I didn’t start the blog to compete at all. I started it as record of our journey as a family… if people read and/or comment on that, it’s just a bonus.
I think it’s important for us not to let the lines become blurry when it comes to anything in life that we do.
The minute we lose sight of why we’re doing something, is when it all goes wrong. It’s easier said than done of course, but your words here are fabulous reassurance and they’re good ones to keep coming back to, when that self-doubt strikes. Thanks Caz xo

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5 Kym - Mumma's Mini Mes May 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Wise words and you are a wise woman Caz. x
Kym – Mumma’s Mini Mes recently posted..Kellogg’s celebrate working with Aussie Corn Farmers for 50 years and you can celebrate and win too!My Profile

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6 Brooke {Slow Your Home} May 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Great post, Caz. I’ve long thought the exact same. We do ourselves a massive disservice by comparing all that we know of ourselves (which is the worst) with what we know of others, which is essentially the best. Not a fair fight, or a fight we should be even entering.

It’s hard though, to keep that voice at bay. But I think the more things we do that speak to our souls, the stronger our self-belief will be. And the stronger that is, the less we feel the need to compare because we’re rocking our own life.
Brooke {Slow Your Home} recently posted..Dear Internet, Stop Making Me Feel Like Shit.My Profile

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7 This Charming Mum May 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I love the idea of the ‘polished highlight reel’ – especially with social media stuff when people have quite a lot of control over how much of their ‘real selves’ they allow people to see. Great post.
This Charming Mum recently posted..On all the single ladies, who like it that wayMy Profile

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8 Debyl1 May 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I dont blog but I do Twitter and from there I am led to blogs.I love the ones that are real and dont pretend to be perfect,because thats how life reallt is.The numbers dont matter.What matters to me is that you open yourself up and invite us in to visit and to share and to me that is a priviledge.It is also a place where we can all come together and learn,share and support one another.I believe for that reason we should never abuse or be negative to the blogger as it is their space and if we cant say something kind or worthwhile then we should not comment at all.
So thankyou for this great post and hopefully it will help many stop comparing their blog and themselves to others and realise they are special for who they are in their own way xx

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9 bigwords May 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I am crap at stopping myself from comparing myself.I know it will only make me feel worse and yet those silly thoughts pop into my head. Every day I try and get better at not doing it. I am so very lucky in my life, no need to search for something different. Lovely, lovely post. xx
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10 Lifeasmummymax May 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Oh so true! I know that by not comparing myself to others I’m a much happier person still is wuite hard to do. Great post x
Lifeasmummymax recently posted..A day at the beachMy Profile

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11 Mum's the Word May 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

comparing is just so fruitless~ stay true to yourself and listen to your own voice.. its the only recipe for success!
Mum’s the Word recently posted..Take the Time to See!My Profile

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12 Caz May 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

So true – but some days so hard to enact!! I still have to staple the message to your heart and remind myself :)

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13 The HUngry Mum May 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

Such wise words. I should print this out and place on my fridge/shower/car door and re-read everyday.
A great community announcement x
The HUngry Mum recently posted..Easy raspberry butter cakeMy Profile

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14 Caz May 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

hehehe :) Great Idea. I have already printed it out to put in my book of posts I like to re-read and would like the girl to have in the future. I still need to remind myself too :)

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15 Jen R May 7, 2012 at 10:50 am
16 Caz May 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

Thanks Jen XX

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17 Beinda May 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

Yes! So well said … I find I am at my happiest when I can successfully switch off from the comparison game and be happy being me. If I only I could master it as a permanent state of being.
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18 Caz May 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

Yes, I agree Belinda – if only!! I can go for ages happy in myself and then get sideblinded by an attack of the comparisons. You’d think I’d have learnt by now!!!

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19 Debbie May 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

Great reminder Caz. It’s so true that we compare our weaknesses to another’s strengths – and that’s where it kills us. I think it’s important to remember that we’re all unique and we all have our own unique talents and gifts to offer the world.
Debbie recently posted..Safe Mother & BabyMy Profile

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20 Caz May 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

Amen to that Deb. Totally agree :)

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21 Laney May 7, 2012 at 7:33 am

Grrr, just managed to delete my comment. Not a good start to the day! I try and keep it real on my blog. I think a blog full of perfect photos, successes etc is more demotivating than inspirational sometimes. Back story and behind the scenes stuff helps put the lovely home projects and successes in context.
Fab post Caz x
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22 Caz May 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

That is one of the things I love most about your blog CTM – the real factor. Love seeing things in context and not just the pretty outcomes :)

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