It Started with Barbie…. Like most little girls, I loved Barbie Dolls. The innocence of playing dress up with my Barbie’s and making up stories of what my Barbie’s were doing for the day lasted many years throughout my childhood. But even at the early age of 2, I started to play the comparison game.
I’m sure it must have shocked my mom the day I said, “Mom I didn’t want my brown hair and brown eyes. It’s ugly.” My mom asked why I would say such a thing. I told her that I wanted blonde hair and blue eyes because then I could be pretty. All my Barbie dolls had blonde hair and blue eyes and I thought I had to look like that to be pretty. In my innocence, I compared myself to my Barbie’s and thought that I wasn’t enough. Though I was just 2, I fully grasped the words my Mom said to me. “Naomi, Barbie Dolls come in all shapes and sizes. Each little girl is beautiful in their own way”. I carry those words still but too many times I have forgotten that lesson. Honestly, at times, I have rebelled against that lesson.
Comparing my appearance to my Barbie dolls turned into comparing myself to the other girls in dance. I put myself down wishing if only I could only be more flexible and faster with my movement. I compared myself in school to my peer’s grades and I put myself down for not getting perfect grades. I compared myself after high school when all my peers went to nice colleges and I had to stay local because I had to pay for college. All of a sudden whatever blessings I had was not as good as someone else.
In reality, my constant comparison of my life to everyone else was pitiful. My pity party never closed down. I kept renewing the space for my pity party each year. At this point in my life, falling for the comparison game is more tempting than ever, with all my peers and those I grew up with married, having kids, and a nice white picket fence house. I tell myself that I am behind and old. As a blogger, I compare myself to other bloggers because I am not growing as fast. The comparison cycle is hard to break. It is a dangerous and dizzy ride.
I believe that negative comparison is a major struggle in the world today, especially with the saturation of social media. Now more than ever we get to see people’s lives and most often times, we just see the good highlights. But we compare ourselves still.
I see people compare every single ounce of who they are with someone or something they think might be better or have a better life. The struggle is real because everyone is trying to find their identity and individuality. But participating in the comparison game is a sure way to never achieve that. The comparison game is a game you never win; you’re never on top because you always put yourself down to the bottom. Think about it. Negative Comparison is an unnecessary blow that weakness the necessary part of you that should be the strongest. That is, your confidence, self-image and self-esteem. Nothing or no one is worth loosing that.
I don’t have any profound wisdom on how to overcome the comparison game. But I sure have found ways to get off the dangerous hamster wheel of comparison so to speak. One of my favorite things about life is having goals. I have goals that are my own goals. My goals might be exact to some else on the planet but that person isn’t me. There is only one of me. Thank God because I am stubborn lol.
Next, this seems so cliché but I remind myself who I am when I start comparing myself negatively. Have you seen Lion King? If not, I’m going to say a prayer for you lol. When Mufasa appeared in the clouds to Simba, He could have said a lot of things. But he said “remember who you are”. That’s powerful. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and have a purpose for being here on earth. All the times spent comparing your looks or your size or your credentials to someone else, is not your purpose.
Finally, surround yourself with those who life you up. Having friends and family in your life that encourage you and remind you how special you are makes all the difference. It isn’t always easy to find quality people these days but when you do hold onto that. The quote says “being loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone gives you courage.” That love can be family love or friendship love or romantic live. But when you have people in your life lifting you up, it gives you that strength because they already embrace who you are. It’s time we all embrace who we are.
The battle of the comparison game is quite a nasty blood bath that I hope we can all recognize its detrimental effects. I would rather spend my energy and time pushing myself to be the best I can be. I do believe in looking up to people who are successful and have great qualities. But I have my lane to run and they have theirs.
I hope I always apply the lesson my mom taught me at 2 and always remind me of growing up. That I am enough and comparing myself to others will get me nowhere. My mom bought me a Barbie doll for my 2nd birthday. That Barbie doll had thick and crazy wild brown hair and dark brown eyes like me. I felt better to have a Barbie I could relate to but it was my mom’s wise counsel that really sunk into my heart. Even though it was just a Barbie, it was a life lesson. The journey of life comes in all shapes and sizes too. I’m going to stick with the one I got because this is the only life I have to live.
Thank you so much for reading today’s inspirational post!
Love, Naomi Noel
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