Every so often I tell all you #BagelBabes to buckle up because I’m about to get real (like when I dished on how its not about you). Today is one of those days! I’ve been noticing lately just how often I compare myself to others. Whether it’s comparing (and criticizing) my body compared to other women or comparing my blog to blogs of those I admire, it’s become really apparent to me that I spend a great deal of my time measuring myself up against those around me. And it is not helping me to be successful.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
There’s always going to be stuff you aren’t that good at – it’s a fact of life. On the flip side, there’s a ton of stuff you’re downright amazing at. I’m sure of it. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to someone who excels at something you wish you were better at, but stop and take a moment to remember your strengths. Maybe you’re a rockstar at public speaking or awesome at problem solving under pressure! Don’t compare your weaknesses to somebody else’s strengths, and don’t beat yourself up about the areas you’d like to improve – because trust me we all have them.
This is probably the biggest personal challenge for me – I constantly am comparing my journey to the journey of those around me even though we may be at different stages in the process. This blog for example has taken off in ways I couldn’t have imagined, but I frequently fall into the trap of comparing myself to other blogs, most of which that have been around a lot longer than Blondes & Bagels has! I’ve beaten myself up on many occasions and know for sure plenty of other bloggers truly destroy themselves by comparing their blogging “success” to the successes of other bloggers around them. I’ve climbed my way out of this thought process by remembering why I started – and it wasn’t for page views. I actually sort of freaked out when I realized anyone other than KB and my mom were reading this blog!
Point being that even if the page views mattered – and for all you other bloggers out there, they don’t – it’s not fair to compare my journey to the journey of someone else. My work is not the work of others and my story is not comparable to the story of the person next to me. This is the same for any journey you’re on in life. Try not to compare your timeline to the timeline of anyone else because success and accomplishments come at all different speeds.
To further build on just how unfair it is to compare the beginning of your journey to the middle of someone else’s – there are also so many different paths people can take to end up at the same end goal. My uncle is my biggest role model in this arena. My uncle knew he wanted to be a doctor and after he struggled to get into med school, he didn’t give up because the path wasn’t direct – he instead became a paramedic. After busting his butt racing an ambulance around the streets of San Francisco he packed my aunt and cousin up and they moved out of the country as he earned his medical degree abroad. By the time he returned to the U.S. he knew he was meant to work in the emergency room, but again hit roadblocks in how competitive ER programs can be. Rather than giving up he worked another rotation, spent tons of time in the ER putting in face time and hard work, and earned a spot in the ER program the very next year.
Um, HELLO. I told you he’s the best example of how an indirect path can still get you where you want to go. No two paths are the same and it’s super unfair to compare your journey to anyone else’s. Take it from my uncle: hard work and perseverance will get you where you want to go and it doesn’t matter what road the person next to you is on.
I struggle with this tip – but it’s the most important one. We all have things about ourselves we wish we could change. I’ve always hated my legs and oh em gee guys I’m not even five feet tall. Why did no one warn me that your physical activity level plummets off a cliff after college and you only shrink as you get older?! I can curse my desk job all I want (and blame the bagels…), but the fact of life is that I’m full of flaws physical and otherwise that I often wish I could change.
The fastest way to stop comparing yourself to others (why can’t I be as calm and collected as she is?!) is to learn to love all of your flaws – because your flaws are what make you you! I often envy some of my more level headed and quiet coworkers and chastise myself for getting fired up and speaking out. Then I stop to think – my passion and drive, though sometimes abrasive, is a huge part of me. Would I really want to give that up? Not for all the bagels in the world.
You, my #BagelBabes, are smart, beautiful, and passionate. Whatever journey you are on know that it’s your path and only yours – keep up the hard work and who cares what the person next to you is doing anyway?
Do you often compare yourself to others? Or is it just me? Tell me in the comments below!
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