You know, all those old sayings have so much truth to them, don't they? I've been learning lately that comparing myself to others is a fast track to making myself miserable.
I'm a competitive person. It isn't my finest habit, it's certainly not as endearing as I'd hope (mostly because I throw strops when I lose or am picked last for teams), and it leads to people talking about my bad behaviour over board games four years on. Yes, really. And at a conference on Saturday, I uttered the words to a delegate "Competition with yourself- it's the best kind!".
I find myself constantly, subconsciously, competing against others. When I'm running (I tend to lose), when I'm walking to work (I tend to win), when I'm trying to be the last person to eat lunch at work (I tend to win that one too), when I'm going on a work trip to North Wales and my friend is going on a work trip to Canada- I put myself into direct competition with people to see how I measure up.
And I never seem to see myself as enough.
I look at other women in the street, and compare myself- I'm not as pretty as her, or as tall as that woman, and I certainly don't have that girl's gorgeous figure. It's damaging when I do it with complete strangers, but when I start to compare myself to people I know- that's when I run into real problems.
As I think I've mentioned before, I'm surrounded by "the exception"- my younger brother and two of my closest friends are all homeowners. All are younger than me. And last night, this led to me having a full on meltdown in my bedroom, chest heaving with sobs as I thought to myself "The home I live in is so beautiful- and I will never, ever be able to own something like this!"
It's so difficult being surrounded by wonderfully successful people. On the one hand, I am unbearably thrilled for them. On the other, I am unbearably jealous of them- these people who seem to have sorted their shit out far more quickly than I have, and leave me feeling like I'm being left behind.
I need to stop doing it. I need to stop thinking I'm worthless if I'm not at the exact same stage in my life as other people I know. I need to be nicer to myself- I'm horrible to myself an awful lot of the time, actually. I need to remember my own blessings- I have a good job, a phenomenal group of friends, a wonderful boyfriend- rather than letting myself be battered and bruised by my own thoughts.
It's hard though, isn't it? Or is it just me? Am I the only person who compares themselves to others to this extent?