Confidence Versus Comparison

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had many guy friends. Somehow, maintaining relationships with other girls seemed like such a chore in comparison. I’ve always wondered why it seemed like girls never stuck around as long as guys do. It has taken me a long time to find girls that I can count on, have fun with, and be honest with. They are such a blessing in my life.

Is anyone familiar with the ‘awkward stage’ that sometimes comes along in girl friendships? This stage requires a lot of work and trust to be able to let your guard down. Why do we have a guard up anyway? In my own experience, I have found that vulnerability leads to comparison which makes us susceptible to being competitive. Although my walls are there to protect me, I don't want to compete anymore. I don't want to walk around and pretend I'm perfect because I fear being judged. Every girl has flaws and imperfections (whether she admits to them or not). The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can start being real with each other.

The outside pressure girls receive to be perfect definitely fosters our competitive nature. We are taught so many conflicting ideologies that pit us against one another. We learn that what is pretty is valued - as if intellect, personality and ambition do not matter. No wonder we are all so fearful of being perceived this way or that. Therefore, it is important that we treat each other in a way that builds up our self-esteem. Stares and glares only make us more self-conscious, so throw your compliments around like confetti.

Photo by Kevin Laminto

Remember that comparing yourself to others is a complete and utter waste of time. It will not change the one thing you don't like about yourself. Our need to compare is often rooted in our own insecurities. Therefore, we do it to self-medicate and to make ourselves feel better, or as a means of self-pity. Next time you compare yourself to others, remember that the presence of beauty in someone else does not threaten or take away your own. Comparison is an ugly thing; it is never productive and it will never make us better. No matter how perfect you think someone may be, they don’t have it all together. We are all struggling with something and the sooner you realize that the happier you will be.

Furthermore, insecurity leads to jealousy. A simple (and sometimes mindless) process can quickly turn to thoughts of resentment. Unconsciously looking at someone as a means to analyze how you match up is never healthy. We have to train our minds to operate otherwise. The confidence we get from comparison is solely artificial as it doesn’t come from within us. The second someone else walks in or the conditions change, so will our self-worth. These kinds of fluctuations are not healthy.

The good news is that authentic confidence is something we already have inside us. The goal is to become so confident in yourself that you can reach out and help others do the same. Accept your flaws. Love yourself and appreciate yourself for how you were made. You are unique and there is no one quite like you. Acknowledge your flaws and all the things you aren't in love with about yourself. Overlook them because you are so much more than that. Allow yourself to attain happiness. When you appreciate yourself for who you are, you’ll realize that you’re not interested in how you measure up. Pretending to be perfect creates an unrealistic standard. Don't pretend to be someone you’re not. Be you and watch yourself blossom.