Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up to the ideal? What can you do about that?
The axiom “comparison is the thief of joy” is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. Regardless of its origin, it rings true for me and many other parents struggling to cultivate harmony in the home. When I was just beginning my parent journey, I compared my circumstances and my children to those of other parents far too often. I often used others’ successes in home and family life as a measuring stick. When I didn’t measure up, I whipped myself with that stick. (In this episode, I’ll talk about why this is always the WRONG reaction.)
Iyanla Vanzant says: “Comparison is an act of violence against the self. It also leads to judgments and jealousy of those we deem “better off” than we are.” Iyanla is spot-on here. Not only can our habit of comparing ourselves make us feel inferior, it can cause cankers of resentment to fester in our soul as our self-flagellation for not being “good enough” leads us down the familiar road to a martyrdom complex.
The long and the short of it: stop whipping yourself with your measuring stick! Instead, focus on giving yourself grace and compassion to do your personal best. This includes making mistakes along the way! As you do this, you will regain the joy you have lost to endless comparisons.
My favorite coaches and teachers who pushed me the furthest toward excellence were kind and compassionate to me. As you take care of yourself and speak kindly to yourself the way a good teacher or coach would do, you will feel refreshed and liberated, and you’ll discover that you have always measured up.
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