“I’m not as pretty as my sister. I’m not athletic like my friends. I can’t work out as hard as that woman on the treadmill. She runs so much faster than me. I wish my hair was shiny like hers, and she probably doesn’t even color it. I’m not as thin as that woman, and she’s had 5 kids! I’m probably not as smart as the other people in my department, they all went to college.”
“I’m not sexy like Angelina Jolie. I wish I could be funny and laid back like Ellen. Why can’t I be successful and confident like Oprah? If I could just be as talented as Taylor Swift. I wish I had a butt like JLo.”
We do ourselves an incredible disservice when we compare ourselves to others. There’s a reason we don’t look exactly like anyone else, talk like anyone else, weigh the same as anyone else, think the same as anyone else, or dream the same as anyone else. It’s because we were designed as a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. And by design, we CANNOT be exactly like someone else. It is an impossibility. And the more we try so desperately to look like a model in Elle magazine or be more outgoing and popular like our sister or be more successful like our old college roommate who is now a Vice President at some big corporation, the more we suffocate the unique, incredible person we were meant to be.
Can you compare a painting by Vincent Van Gogh to a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci? Or better yet, do you think Jackson Pollack would gaze at paintings by Monet and berate himself for not being able to paint gardens like that? Each painting is a masterpiece unto itself. Each painter develops his/her own talent and brings forth into the world that which is beautiful, if not sacred, and solely unique. And that is how we develop and become our own masterpiece.
Your beauty is not just in your hair, your waistline, or your complexion. Your beauty is the totality of who you are. Your entire essence. It is the combined portrait of your body, mind and spirit. The only way you could be any more beautiful is if you are missing out on opportunities to express, develop, and embrace all that makes you who you were meant to be.
Comparing ourselves to others produces nothing positive in our lives; in fact, it only negates and ultimately destroys our unique creation. And to those few who might argue that, by berating themselves, they are actually motivating themselves to try harder, do better, and be tougher, I say to you: There is no one who has been truly successful in life who I have ever known or studied about who has attributed his or her success to waking up every morning, looking themselves in the mirror, and berating themselves for every flaw, mistake, and disappointment. In fact, it is just the opposite. Every successful person attributes their success, in some part, to believing in themselves and embracing the unique beauty that makes them who they are.
Isn’t life hard enough? Don’t we have enough people putting us down, belittling us, or trying to make us feel small in one way or another? Every ad on television tells us that we should be embarrassed of our yellow teeth, our frizzy hair, our bulging bellies, or our lackluster love life.
You are beautiful beyond compare. You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone. And you don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re beautiful. Just know it. Know it in your heart. Know it in your spirit. And then become it!