Loving Yourself – Kicking the comparison habit once and for all!

“Suzy is so attractive.” My mother would remark.

She would then offer helpful suggestions as to how I could be more like poised and perfect Suzy, which we both knew was impossible.  I was a late bloomer who wore a superfluous training bra until the age of 19.

But that didn’t stop me from trying to be like Suzy.

I went on diets featuring grapefruit and popcorn. I tried to get a tan using sun reflectors – which is why I am on a first name basis with my dermatologist.  I even took a Dale Carnegie course to help me “win friends and influence people.”

I also became a comparison junkie.

My current Suzy’s include those who pray out loud more eloquently than I (even though I know God doesn’t care about such matters), those who have a better backhand, those who are more extroverted, better read, friendlier, funnier, braver, better at Suduko.  Etc etc.

Such wasted energy!  It’s time to get my mother’s voice out of my head.  I will never be Suzy and nor should I be.

Psychology Today offers some helpful suggestions to help us drop the comparison habit.

-Know what our triggers are and avoid them.  For instance, we may choose not to read  People magazine or watch Entertainment Tonight, or gaze at Facebook’s vacation  photos.

-Remind ourselves that what we see on the outside may not match what is really happening in people’s lives.  All of us like to project images suitable for social media.

-Use the comparison trap as motivation to improve on what is truly important.  Do we want to be as kind as Marguerite?  As generous as Donna?  As humble as Brett?  Look for those who are honest, fun, giving and emulate the qualities we admire.

The author,  Dr. Susan Biali Haas, ends the article with this —

“Imagine if you could elevate the comparison game to a useful art form. Stop falling prey to its dark underbelly, which does little more than increase feelings of misery and lack in your life. Use comparison, instead, to become a better person and maybe even make your little corner of the world a better place. ”

Great advice, I’d say.  For ALL we have is our little corner.  And the  responsibility to make it better — one constructive comparison at a time.  I may not be as attractive as that Suzy, but I can work on being more generous, kind, and loving.  To try to be better today than I was yesterday.  The only comparison that matters.

 

Today’s Takeaway –

-Limit your scrolling through social media, especially if it tends to  trigger that comparison junkie in you.

-Take a walk instead.  Make a gratitude list.  Tidy up your corner.

 

And enjoy the ride!

xox

Barclay and Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Feel Pretty”-run, don’t walk and take a daughter with you. Rent one if you don’t have one!

 

My daughter and I went to the new Amy Schumer movie this past weekend. It takes a lot for me to spend $18 for a movie, although I can now get in for a discounted $16 as a senior.  Being old has it’s plusses! I am so glad I paid up and saw it!  It was wonderful!  The message is spot on and coming from a woman who appears to be beautiful inside and out, it is believable and rings true for so many young girls.

It was funny, emotional, and hit home for me personally.  We live in an age where physical beauty is still super important, slim bodies, toned, white teeth, straight teeth, the right clothes, the right hair style, color, etc etc.  I was so hoping that our infatuation with looks and body types had dissipated; after all, models like Ashley Graham, Iskra Lawrence and Hunter McGrady are some of the hottest names on the runway and in fashion.  Sports Illustrated picks swim suit models like Kate Upton, who is no skinny Minnie, but rather a full figured gorgeous girl.

The fact is we are still fixated on beauty and as a society probably always will be.  Amy Schumer’s movie is simple in its premise, but delivers a punch that  made my daughter and I teary in the end.  It’s a message that resonates and celebrates positivity, confidence, and gumption. If you feel you are beautiful, then you are, no matter what the outside world thinks.  That mirror is your friend, not your enemy and you tell it how you feel about yourself, not the other way around!

The beautiful model in the movie (Emily Ratajkowski) doesn’t have the confidence that Renee (Amy Schumer’s character) has and is seen crying in the Soul Cycle locker room after having been dumped by a guy.  It’s such a wonderful message for an average girl to see. Even the beautiful ones get dumped for all sorts of reasons and it doesn’t hurt any less.  A gorgeous face and perfect body do not spare you from emotional let downs. Shit happens!

I truly hope that my daughter (I have two, but no names mentioned) will take away the message that was intended and see herself for the incredible person she is.  Kind, thoughtful, principled, loyal, devoted; these traits are what make one stand apart from the pack. Beauty is ephemeral, no matter what and what’s left is the inner being.

So, go see this movie, alone, with a friend or best with a daughter.  You will walk out with a smile on your face and a desire to see it again on Netflix a year from now!

 Today’s takeaway…

. Perhaps Maria, as in West Side Story Maria should have sung “I Feel Confident” rather than “I Feel Pretty” Even she was fixated on her looks! Maybe Tony would have lived if she had sung a different tune!

. Try not to dwell on looks yourself (this is directed at me!) The message we send to our kids sticks with them and can later cause them to focus on the wrong traits in a boyfriend, a girlfriend, themselves.

Thank you Amy Schumer for a wonderful movie!

Enjoy the ride

xox Barclay and Joy