Another post inspired by your comments…
In A State of Ignorant Bliss I told you that for an entire week I turned off everything that had an on/off switch. The Writing Goddesscaught me in a big fat lie. My camera did require power…and I used it…a lot. It was too hard to resist photographing someplace as beautiful as the Caribbean in late January when there was a blizzard back home.
I’ll honestly admit that after looking at the collection of pictures, I’m critical of every image of myself.
- Where did all those freckles come from? Oh gosh; I hope they’re just freckles and not age spots.
- Why did I wear such an ugly shirt?
- Are those veins I see popping out of my hands?!?
Look for yourself. You might see a happy woman standing in front of an interesting rock. I see hand veins.
Being on the beach in a bathing suit, for an entire week, gives ample opportunity for a person to compare herself with thousands of other bodies. And I compared, and compared, and compared some more. You’d think that by mid-life a woman would stop with the superficial self-critical comparisons. I didn’t used to do it that often, but recently I’ve been doing it more and more. Ya see, about a year ago people started to say this to me…
You look so good!…for your age.
When did that last part start to get tagged on to an otherwise uplifting compliment?
The shock of all shocks was the back-handed compliment that I got from someone who I hadn’t seen since high-school. He said:
Hi! Nice to see you again…you’ve held up well.
What the hell is that supposed to mean? Have I reached the age where I should be breaking down? Geese man, I’m only 40. Wait another few decades and then let me know what you really think. I’m not a plastic coated
Barbie Pirate Girl.
Comparisons are not always bad. In fact, I like to compare myself to others as a way of self-motivation. If they can do it, so can I! By keeping company with people who I consider better than me in some way, I often get inspired to keep moving ahead…to continue improving…to be my personal best. I see them out in front of me and I pick up my pace. I move forward with a little more gusto.
When comparisons turn bad is when that little voice inside your head converts them into a negative thought about yourself. She’s/he’s more _______ than me. I’ll never be as _______ as her or him.
My own negative inner voice usually attacks when I’m making a physical comparison…and that’s just plain superficial. If you tend to do this too, remind yourself that you are much more than your body. Your body simply carries your BACKBONE around.
Your physical self needs to be healthy and strong and it is your responsibility to make it so, but you will never look like or be someone other than yourself. When you are only trying to be the same or better than someone else, you are totally missing the mark on your own true potential.
Cut out the negative inner voice that comes with comparing and contrasting. Use comparisons as a way to motivate yourself to move forward…to grow…to evolve…and make self-improvements. It’s a much better use of that little voice inside your head.
What one thing about yourself do you want to work on improving? Do you think drawing a comparison to someone else would be motivating or defeating?