Is Comparison The Thief of Your Joy Too?

“Comparison Is the Thief of Joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt said that.

“Just Put Your Blinders On, Mama.” – I said that.

I’ll be completely honest. I have a tendency to look at those around me and compare myself. More often than not it leads to an insane amount of self-doubt. I have struggled with this all my adult life. Oh my God, she’s perfect! Is her house nicer than mine? Is our marriage as strong as theirs? She’s totally skinnier than me. Her family is amazing. How is she so perfect? Why do I do this? I guess because I’m human. And because I’m a woman. It’s probably a huge sign of insecurity, but the first step is admitting you have a problem. Does everybody do this? Please tell me I’m not the only one.But here’s where it gets really sucky. Becoming a mom has totally magnified this problem for me. It starts when they’re just babies. Her baby rolled over…should my baby be rolling over by now? Jeez, that little girl knows how to read already. Her son is a gifted athlete. They do 14 private lessons a week…we do zero. Should I have my son in quarterback camp too? It’s terrible to let my mind go there. Self-doubt is such a dangerous emotion.

The older my kids get, and the more involved in activities they get the more anxiety provoking it all is. What I failed to realize until this stage in my mom life, is that there really are bat shit crazy over the top parents out there. It’s not just on reality TV, you guys…it happens in real life too. It can be maddening! It can be a total mind game being around them. And I’m constantly reminding myself that I can’t take it personally. The psycho sports parents aren’t doing what they’re doing because of me…their doing it to make themselves feel better. (Although I sometimes have to wonder how it’s all going to work out for them.)

One of my good friends hit the nail on the head when she said that Facebook is the worst offender when it comes to providing an atmosphere of comparison. Don’t those people who only post the most amazing aspects of their perfect lives drive you effing crazy?!? Just be real…if for no other reason, than to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves for 3 seconds.

So what’s the fix? Just put your blinders on, Mama. I’ve been telling myself that almost daily lately. Don’t look at anyone else’s life. Just keep your focus forward and keep doing what’s best for you and your family. Keep plugging away and it will all turn out fine in the end. It’s easier said than done. There are times when I have to stop and recognize that insecure voice in my head that’s rambling on again and tell it to shut the hell up. It doesn’t help me at all to listen to it…not one little bit.

I’ve decided that the only way I’m going to survive this life intact is to take a deep breath, be myself, and let others be themselves too. I read a quote that said, “Confidence is silent…insecurity is loud.” I really need to work on being silent.

Originally posted at Marie’s blog.

Photo courtesy of carolaucorant.com.