Recently I was looking through a fashion magazine. Something I rarely do. I flipped through the pages looking at the thin models with seemingly perfect skin. For a brief moment I thought how wonderful it would be to be young again with a perfect body, skin, hair, nails, teeth and gorgeous looks. Then I woke up and realized what I was doing. What in the world are you thinking, I sort of half-screamed to myself, in side my head of course. Old patterns die hard don’t they?
Do you compare yourself to or compete with others? What a joke it is to even entertain the notion we should be like another person. We were born to be unique. Like a finger print and snowflake you and I were designed to be an individual unlike any other human being on earth. At no time in the past or future will there be another Regina. At no time in the past or future will there be another you. So what in the world are you and I doing when we buy into the lie we should be like other people, should look a certain way, wear a certain size, marry a certain person, make a certain amount of money, and the list goes on.
Looking at those rail thin models in that fashion magazine, comparing myself to them, felt bad. I felt less than some ideal height, weight, and look. I felt unattractive and that lead me to feel unworthy. Comparing myself to anyone always left me feeling negative. Even when I compared by thinking I was better, more attractive, smarter competition left me feeling bad. Maybe I was smarter than another person but that did not make me better. I just had different abilities.
One of the most empowering actions I can take is to refusing to compare myself to or compete with others in the unhealthy ways that result in disappointment and feelings of being less than. Today I work hard to only compare and compete with myself in a healthy way; to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I am focused on supporting others in being their unique selves and to achieve their individual goals, just like I want to be supported in achieving my goals and to be accepted for who I am.
I encourage you to refuse to compete with anyone on looks. You and I are beautiful as we were born to be. We can take care of our looks through rest, diet and exercise. We can take good care of our skin through vitamins, moisturizers, sunscreen, and not eating sugar and processed foods. We are intended to look our best as we were born to be. Compete with ourselves to take good care of ourselves to honor our individual looks.
Refuse to compete with anyone on weight. The goal is to feel good in your body. The goal is to be healthy. You and I are not meant to be the same size. We are meant to respect and honor our bodies through eating healthy, exercising, not using food as an excuse to stuff our emotions or pain or to satisfy boredom. We are to compete with ourselves to find the healthy weight for us, to maintain that weight, and to do whatever it takes to keep our body in optimum condition.
Refuse to complete with anyone on money. Set your financial goals based on what you deem successful. Some of the richest people I know are the poorest as far as values and happiness. Some of the financially poorest people I know are the richest in terms of satisfaction, generosity, and joy. Compete with yourself to be financially responsible by refusing to surround yourself with stuff just because other people have done so.
Refuse to compete with anyone on anything. You are distinctive among all other human beings. That means you have been specifically designed to be yourself.
If there are things about yourself you want to change, you certainly can. First make a list of what you want to change. Second choose one item from the list. Third make the decision to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goal. Fourth don’t give up and REFUSE to compare yourself or compete with anyone – even if you have a friend who is doing the same thing – like losing weight or quitting smoking. You are an individual. Your body, metabolism, addiction level is different than your friends. Don’t go down the she is losing faster, stopping faster, etc. road. Take that same energy and support one another so you both accomplish your goals. But refuse to compete with one another. Compete with yourself and support her.
Healthy competition is good for your soul. Healthy competition is that which you do with yourself. Let the competition begin so you create the magnificent you, that you want to be.