By Michele Salinas
When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to one day be like the women I looked up to—women who were successful in careers they loved and also had a great social life. Now being a woman that other girls could potentially look up to, I’ve found myself wondering if I’m succeeding or if I’m falling behind. I catch myself comparing parts of my life to other women. Often it’s because I feel I am lacking something: a love life, life goals, or even adventure. Seeing others live my dreams shines a light on my insecurities. Other times I compare myself because I don’t feel like anything is going right in my life. Learning to understand that not everyone reaches their success at the same time has been important to my journey. Our generation tends not to accept the goals we have accomplished, but rather we look to other people’s lives and say, “I wish I had what she has” or “I wish I could do that.” Instead of looking to other people’s accomplishments, we should learn to celebrate our own—otherwise we run the risk of frankly being haters.
Instead of comparing ourselves to women who have the things we wish for, we should be working towards attaining those things and feeling whole and proud of our own achievements. By comparing yourself to other women you’re taking away from the adventure of reaching your own heights. Comparing yourself to other women deters you from focusing on your needs and how you can elevate yourself. Just because we haven’t reached our pinnacle does not mean we don’t deserve to acknowledge what we have accomplished so far. Use others’ success as your own motivation, not a how-to guide. Build yourself and become the woman you’ve always dreamed of becoming and do it in your own time.
I’ve been both the woman comparing herself to her friends, and also the woman people have looked to for motivation in their low points. Seeing my close friends succeed while I felt I was falling behind took a toll on me emotionally. I would stress not only over how seemingly wonderful their lives were, but I also questioned why my life wasn’t progressing. Comparing yourself to other people can be draining and discouraging.
Then, as a woman with friends who felt they were being “left behind” encouraged me to be a support system. Being their cheerleader helped me to realize how uniting with and uplifting other women is the way to go—comparisons and jealousy only creates self-destruction. I've been on both sides, so I want to share some ways I’ve learned to stop comparing and contrasting myself to others:
Mind your business
Understanding my potential and what I am capable of accomplishing is what forced me to stop comparing myself to the women around me. I knew I wanted to be “a woman to watch” and focusing on other people’s achievements wasn’t going to help me grow. How could I expect other people to watch me when I had my sights focused on what the next woman was doing? My success really came my way when I started minding my business and applying myself to all my goals.
Wanting better for yourself is the first step to elevating yourself—and that should come from a place of love. Instead of comparing ourselves to other women and what they have going for themselves, it’s important to understand your own success and everything you’re capable of. Loving the woman that you are and will one day become is necessary for your growth.
Don't Hate, Collaborate
Instead of competing with other women, be a woman that can collaborate with others. Women have always been stronger when working together, so, rather than competing and trying to be better than each other, we should uplift one another and try to bring out the best in the women around us.
Trust the process
Simply because your journey is taking longer than the people around you does not mean you won’t be a success. It does not mean you have to look down on yourself or think less of yourself. It just means when all the success does come to you it’ll be just a bit sweeter because you can look back to all the obstacles you overcame to become who you always dreamed of being. As long as you’re working towards your dreams and goals, you’re one step closer to being the woman you always hoped you would be. The best way to see success in yourself is to celebrate every goal you accomplish no matter how big or small. I’ve always been told that I get excited for little things and instead I should reach for the stars. I think only celebrating the big things is miserable. My goal is to take pride in every single thing I accomplish and enjoy my journey to becoming the woman of my dreams.
Are you guilty of comparing yourself to others? What do you do to get back on track? Share in the comments below!