Why trying to compare yourself to others is killing your authenticity

02/06/2020

This is me. I'm 42 and I am a WORRIER turned WARRIOR

I am not perfect and that took long years of inner work to admit. (Woah, I did it, I said it out 'loud' ... I'm not perfect!)

For what it's worth, I'm a Virgo; out of all the Zodiac signs Virgos are known to be the perfectionists. Well, I used to be, I used to have everything filed, listed, scheduled and compartmentalised. I knew everyone's number by heart and had everyone's birthday memorised.

The moment I moved country though, I left my OCD Virgo behind and turned into a somewhat messy Scorpio (my ascendant) version. When I became a mum, this messiness increased and our house became the exact opposite of "Good Housekeeping" and I styled myself way too casual (no make up, no style To be fair, I was never into fashion or looking good or make up, but that got worse over time claiming I did not have time or what's worse "What's the use... I'm too (insert favourite negative belief here)" I admired girls (or maybe was jealous) of girls who looked good, were fit, had thriving businesses and could attract positive attention. I felt dull and heavy in comparison and couldn't quite figure out why I was feeling this way. I constantly compared myself to these people and blame the crazy monster from the past for destroying my self confidence.

I'm only a few years short of being a millennial / GenY but boy, do I struggle with instant gratification.

If I start a diet today, I want to lose the weight yesterday. If I start a new course, I want to get the certificate by tomorrow. All this because I am hungry for recognition, for someone to tell me I'm good, I'm the best and I'm better than XYZ.

The more I compared myself to others, the more I started to hide and become more judgmental. I wasn't ready to give up the keys to my kingdom of self-loathing. My strength was my self-deprecation humour until NLP and Reiki (and my husband) challenged this 'funny' side of me. The more I compared myself to others, the more I blamed other people for my sadness and started to procrastinate more.

The cruel reality is when I heard my then 3 year old kid telling me "What's the use... I'm stupid anyway" and shock ... horror ... my world collapsed and I felt stripped naked standing on top of an icy cold mountain. I knew immediately that he didn't hear that phrase from someone else. I knew he learnt that from me. How Dare I do this to my son? He's the most perfect, most intelligent kid I know and he was only 3. What have I done?

Vimala McClure in "The Tao of Motherhood" writes "Children are mirrors; they will always show you exactly what is going on inside of you. Each phase of their growth is an opportunity to heal your own pain, to go deeper inside yourself and become more truly human"

It was a long process of self-forgiveness and, oh boy, was that heavy. There is always a silver lining and the second kid has a self-confidence that reminds me of the last scenes of Hercules. I turned to my spirituality books, my "woo woo" friends, I took my gratitude practice seriously, I started clearing and balancing my energetic body especially when I have a particularly low vibe week. What I learnt is that focusing on my breathing melts my insecurities, my anxieties and my imperfections.

When I honour myself for who I am, for my past, my future and above all the present which is more important, I feel lighter. I remember as a child we always aimed (made to) for an A+ and if you don't get that mark you'll be constantly reminded of who got it and that you have to work more to get a better grade than THEM. As children we learn US vs THEM instead of YOU + ME = WE

My routines help me stay focused and help me track my habits. I eat healthy, unprocessed and home made food, drink 3litres of water, do a 30 minute HIIT workout first thing in the morning, meditate for 20-30 minutes before I go to sleep, have a daily gratitude and self-love practice.

There are also days when I struggle. There are days when:

I wake up later than planned and skip my morning workout, then my day is doomed.

I wake up and immediately start scrolling for any news update on social media and start comparing myself to someone I don't really know but who seems successful (*1)

I wake up and a puffer fish face stares back at me from the mirror and all I feel like doing is crawl back to bed

Nowadays

I regard that pufferfish face as my authentic self telling me to get more rest and no need for feeling guilty or apologetic

when I feel the need to compare myself to others I put up a sticky note on the bathroom mirror saying I AM ENOUGH (amongst other affirmations)

when I skip my morning workout, I make time to dance and fool around with my children. It's not the same but at least I get the happy hormones going.

I work on forgiving myself for daring to compare myself to others and refusing to honour my purpose, my journey, my energy.

I focus on taking responsibility for my own actions and in return feel lighter, more in control and FREE.

I feel like a warrior rather than a worrier

It's not a bed of sunflowers (don't like roses much...) but the journey is the destination and lightness of being is the purpose.

For me, this feeling of being in control, accepting my shortcomings and learning from them and this feeling of lightness in my soul is what makes me authentic

Does this ring a bell? What's your story?

Let's get this conversation going

(*1) NOTE: never sleep with your mobile phone next to your bed, it's not just because of the harmful 'waves' but it corrupts precious morning minutes)