Do you know what 'comparisonitis' is? It's a commonly-found dis-ease that has taken hold of so many people over the last years and has destroyed their self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth.
You tend to contract comparisonitis from over-use of social media but it was around long before the birth of social media. Social media has just made it more widespread.
Comparisonitis is when you compare yourself with others. This tends to be followed up by a bout of self-beating, a knocking down of self-confidence, and a general all-over feeling of low self-worth.
And what's scary is comparisonitis can impact any area of your life and when it does, you tend to find it impacts more than one area of your life (because when you're feeling low you tend to be more open to the not-so-nice things). Think of an area where you feel less secure - it could be your appearance, your weight, your business success, your home, your lifestyle... Are you experiencing comparisonitis in any of these?
As a business-owner I have had my fair share of comparisonitis in the past, comparing my success with the success of others around me and then convincing myself I was a failure. I compared my prices with those around me and then talked myself out of raising my prices further because that would just be greedy. I compared my products with the products of others around me and their fabulous skincare claims and questioned if I should jump ship and squeeeeeze onto the latest passing, trendy bandwagon.
But here's the sneaky thing about comparisonitis. You don't get the full picture. You may only be scraping the surface and, on that, you're basing your personal opinion.
So when I compared the success of others around me, I didn't look deep to understand how many times they had failed at product launches, how many more years longer they had been in business than me.
When I compared my prices with others, I didn't look deep into whether they used organic ingredients, I didn't look to see if they were certified cruelty-free, I didn't take into consider if their products were made in a factory, I didn't dig deeper to see if they donated a share of their price to a foundation that was making a positive difference in the world.
When I compared my products and skincare claims with those around me, I didn't consider how many of those claims were falsified or a little exaggerated, I didn't consider the ethics or principles behind the business, I didn't consider the quality of the ingredients.
That's the thing with comparisonitis... you see the top of the iceberg and get overwhelmed. But you don't consider the mountain that's lying beneath the surface, the foundation that keeps the peak in place.
So why do we do it?
Pure and simple, it boils down to a lack of self-love. It we loved ourselves truly and deeply and honestly we would never consider comparing ourselves, our life, our business with any one else around us. Because the act of self-love is to love yourself and your perfect imperfections. To be happy in your skin. To be happy in your life. To be grateful every single day for the beauty within and outside you.
I stopped comparing my business to those around me some time ago because I could see what it was doing to me. It was stumping my growth. It was destroying any positivity and self-esteem I had within me. It was feeding on my insecurities. It was only attracting negativity into my life.
So I stopped.
And I'm a lot happier as a result. I found my drive and true passion. I cut my own path. I am growing a tribe of women who want to hear what I have to share, who want to fall back in love with themselves, who want to make a positive change in the world like I do, who want to support my business ethos and who want to enjoy my products.
What about you?
Social media, the media in general, fad diets, catwalks, fashion houses... they are all the 'perfect' environment for comparisonitis to grow and spread. Everywhere we look we see photoshopped photos, we see models with the 'perfect figure', we see Hollywood where there's never a hair out of place, we see perfect skin, perfect figures, perfect-fitting clothes.
And we compare ourselves to it.
And what happens?
We hone in on the stretch marks on our tummy once a sign of the beauty of giving life, now something to cover up and hide. We see the lines beside of eyes, lines which should be a sign of a life lived and loved but now a sign of the forgotten lost youth of perfection and the onset on imperfect maturity. We see and feel thighs that now meet and greet each like the best of friends with every step we take when, once, we admired them only because they were aloof and kept their distance.
Thanks to comparisonitis we've lost all sensibility. We've lost all reason and common sense. Because we are blinded.
Because of comparisonitis we have fallen out of love with ourselves and in love with someone we can never be, and should never strive to be. Because we should love the amazing person we have already become.
When you turn your back on comparisonitis and start the beautiful, fulfilling journey of self-love you'll find yourself admiring those around you for who they are, without feeling the desire or need to strive to be the same. Because you practice self-love you can see the beauty in others as you see the beauty in yourself, without judgment.
Today's #beautyfullquote, "Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not" (source unknown), is the first step in kicking comparisonitis in the proverbials. And the first step on the journey of self-love and self-discovery. And I invite you to take that first step into a happier and more fulfilled life.
The next time you see someone and you feel comparisonitis taking hold, repeat this quote to yourself and alter it to fit the situation. And then add the icing: "... because I am."
"Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean I'm not... because I am."
"Just because she’s smart doesn’t mean I'm not... because I am."
"Just because she’s successful doesn’t mean I'm not... because I am."
And see how that makes you feel...