Saturday, 16 August 2014

Food For Thought: It's Time We Stopped Comparing Ourselves

My sister's words of advice after finishing university was that she'd learnt that the best thing you can do is stop comparing yourself to others. This is something I've thought about so much recently and particularly today when I was talking to one of my friends.
We'd just had our results day (on the 14th) and she had got amazing grades - she's going to Oxford so you can tell she's incredibly smart. But rather than being happy and seeing all that she's achieved, she was sad instead because she knew that other people in our year had got better results - and that she by comparison just wasn't good enough.

I think part of the problem is the intense school environment we'd both been in. Our school was ultra-competitive, all girls and highly academic. Adding to that virtually everyone was skinny, beautiful and very clever (I'm the exception to that at least). So we were in an environment where we constantly compared ourselves - whether it was how skinny other people were or how well we did in exams, there was always this overwhelming feeling of not being good enough. Even when you know you're in one of the best schools in the country, you can't help thinking how the hell you got there in the first place. I'd seen so many intelligent girls cry, because they didn't get the highest result or because they didn't feel attractive enough. Adding to that I can't tell you the amount of times I saw girls skip lunch, or slyly pick just a salad hoping no one would notice. 

Sadly I think we have a culture of comparing ourselves, whether it's to celebrities or people we know, we seem to be experts at finding our own imperfections. And yet when we look at other people, we tend to see all the great things about them. Like with the friend I mentioned earlier, it was really heartbreaking to hear how she felt about herself. This is the friend who is great at sport, ridiculously pretty, funny with a personality that could light up a room and very intelligent and hardworking. The sad thing is she doesn't believe me when I say this, but believe me it's very much true. 

The thing is we often can't see what is so great about ourselves, because we compare each other constantly. We can get knocked down by the smallest things, a bad grade or someone saying something mean about us and forget what we've achieved and who we really are. It's hard to be robust and say I'll stop comparing myself to others because it is inevitable. But if I can give you any advice it would be to try and see yourself through your friend's eyes, not the harsh lens you use for yourself. 

Hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts - it's nice to do a personal interlude now and then from beauty and fashion posts. Have a great day 
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16 comments

  1. Great post, the best thing you can do is learn to accept yourself - the earlier the better! I only just realised how pointless it is to compare yourself to others towards the end of university, it's something that just comes with age I think. Life is too short and you are your own worst critic!

    Efflorescent Dream
    xx

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    1. Exactly, I'm trying to accept myself - it's hard to admit you can't be perfect, but it's the only way you can be happy. x

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  2. Sounds like your school was VERY similar to mine. And unfortunately for your friend, when she goes to Oxford, she'll find that she has gone from being one of the brightest in the pack, to being an 'average' Oxford student. It takes a lot of getting used to, believe me - I know from experience! I agree with your sister though. The path to happiness definitely lies in learning to accept and forgive ourselves and not compare ourselves to others. Easier said than done, but it's something to work towards anyway!

    <3

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

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    1. I imagine your school was very similar to mine. Yeah I worry about that with people I know who are going to Oxford, it's a massive shock not being the best anymore. Exactly :)

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  3. its crazy to think that someone who can get into Oxford isn't happy with herself. I totally agree with everything you said, and I wish the way girls think about each other and themselves would change. its terrible that so many people have to go through hating themselves or wishing to be someone different!

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    1. I know it is crazy. It's a shame that we can't just be content with how we are.

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  4. I totally agree. I am very bad with comparing myself, i always have done it. But it is important to stop doing so as all you do is hurt yourself. Nobody is perfect and it is cheesy to say but it is true. Good luck with your blog xx
    http://www.justsmiletolifexx.blogspot.com

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  5. While I enjoyed reading your this post, I am also sadden with the fact your friend feels like she's not good enough. Getting Oxford is a huge deal and like you, I wish she understand how great and wonderful she is. I guess self confidence comes with maturity, hopefully one day she will see all the beautiful things that you see in her. xx

    Reflection of Sanity

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    1. I hope that she'll see it one day too - I'm sure it will come with age xx

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  6. great post! i need to stop doing this, although i am much better than i use to be at it!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

    ps. win some RayBans and a beauty goodie bag worth £300 on my blog! click here!

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  7. right said, I end up comparing too, but am trying to change that !
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    1. It's a good thing to try to change :) Comparing yourself to someone else will get you nowhere :)

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  8. These things happens once in our lives, but i think its not right to put ourselves down or feel like were not good enough. Because the truth is, We are good enough, we just haven't realized it yet. I feel sorry about how your friend think about herself.

    Visit my blog: www.sarahrizaga.blogspot.com

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Thanks for your comments, I love reading them and will be sure to visit your blog soon :) have a lovely day!

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