You Are Your Own Yardstick

We all find ways to compare ourselves or our lives to that of someone else. And all it really does is make us feel terrible.

I want to tell you to stop making comparisons. But I know you’re not going to.

I was blessed to live a relatively comparison-free childhood. I was fortunate to have parents who always encouraged me to be me. Of course, being Asian, I was also raised to think about how other people saw me and how it reflected on my family. But comparisons were rare.

Unfortunately, I know not everyone was raised this way. Which makes it easy to continue the comparison game as an adult.

This is rampant with parents: moms comparing post baby bodies, parents wondering if their child is normal because they’re not speaking 10 words by age 1, moms looking at social media and seeing a mom posting a perfect family portrait in a spotless living room. The list never ends.

But it’s also just people. One girl’s partner showered her in gifts for her birthday and you were lucky to get a card. You worked your tail off, but those last few pounds won’t come off while your best friend swears it’s what got her thin. Your brother has a straight A report card while yours is littered with Bs. Your cousin is engaged and you and your partner are nowhere near discussing settling down even though you both have been in your respective relationships for the same amount of time.

Again, I want to tell you to stop. But you’re not really going to, are you? After all, you have a bad habit that, strangely, can bring some weird sense of pleasure. I don’t get it, which is why it seems crazy to me. But it’s real to you and it matters. So, instead of telling you what to do or not do, I’m going to share some words of encouragement that can, maybe, help you break free of the chains of comparison.

Be your own yardstick. Measure your accomplishments up against yourself. Look at social media and the people around you and say “good for them” while you march to your own beat. Be the individual that you are.

I know it’s hard. It’s so much easier to sit and feel sorry for yourself. It’s easier to think “why can’t my life be like theirs?”

Realize the life you live is special. Only you get to live it. Don’t live in comparisons. Don’t strive for what someone else has.

It takes all kinds to make this world interesting. Every person is unique so, chances are, you’re never going to have what someone else has. And, be honest, do you really want it? Or do you want it because some amazing person in your life has it so you know it must be possible? But is that what you really want?

For the third time, I want to tell you to stop the comparison game. I know you won’t, but please think about it. Comparisons only hurt.

Please be your own yardstick. Be unique. Be you.

    • kat

      It really is! I think we can enjoy our lives more fully if we just stop comparing everything and enjoy the uniqueness of our own existence.

    • kat

      Thank you! I’m sorry it took so long to respond. I found your lovely comment in the spam folder (not sure why it was there) and then couldn’t remember which post it was on. But thank you so much for your comment!

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