Compared to what?
One of the biggest gifts I have given myself is to stop comparing myself to others. Every time we compare ourselves to others, we tell ourselves what we are not rather than accepting and celebrating who we are.
This is ingrained in our culture and our lives from an early age with throwaway comments such as “your just like your mother/father” or “you’ll never be like your brother/sister”. This is reinforced in schools where we’re measured on specific and limited results whether in sport or maths. Absolutely competition can be healthy, but the culture that supports it also needs to be healthy. Instead, children often perceive they are ‘not good enough’ and compare themselves to others rather than having the freedom to enjoy and express their unique passions and gifts.
These messages are reinforced in our adult lives through our relationships, the media, society and culture. I see this every week in my practice, regularly hearing comments like:
‘I don’t think my orgasms are like they should be’
‘My erections aren’t hard enough’
‘My genitals are too small/ugly’
‘My body is too…..short/big/fat/skinny….’
Sometimes these concerns are for good reasons but often they’re due to comparison. One of the first questions I ask is “compared to what?” Usually the person is comparing themselves to something or someone else. Every time we compare ourselves we tell ourselves what we are not. We are constantly putting ourselves down and for some this is a deeply ingrained habit. As I often say, if your own best friend spoke to you the way you spoke to yourself, you’d have asked them to leave your life a long time ago!
Comparison is a huge energy drain. An oak tree doesn’t compare itself to a yew tree. A sunflower doesn’t compare itself to a rose. But we humans do it all the time. Sometimes it is so on auto pilot that we’re not even aware of it. We may even believe it to be true.
First, notice when you compare yourself. Shine the spotlight of awareness on it. Then you can begin to challenge the habit and change the pattern. It takes discipline. There’s no short cuts but its so worth it. Bit by bit this old pattern falls away, like the old leaves from a tree. Then we can allow the new shoots of our being to emerge. Focusing on what we are and what we have, we can truly accept ourselves and then we can flourish – growing our self worth, self love and bringing more vitality and joy into our lives.
This blog was inspired by a Facebook post which stimulated a great conversation! Thanks to all who shared.
If you are struggling with comparison or any other problem in your intimate lives, do get in touch for a complimentary chat. I offer bespoke programmes to support you to reach your goals in sex, pleasure, intimacy and life, in person or via Skype.
Sarah Rose Bright