“Admire the beauty in others without questioning your own” – unknown
Yes, it’s possible. It’s possible to look at another woman (or man, if you’re a male reading this) and admire something they have without doubting your own beauty or pulling your own life into question. In a room full of flowers, I can look at a tulip and daisy and say that both are beautiful. I do not have to compare one over the other and say that one is more beautiful because its stem is longer, or its petal’s softer. Their unique characteristics make them stand out from the other flowers in the nursery and each one has their own magnificence about them. They’re different, they’re unique, and each one has its own beauty about it.
I am learning to look at myself and others the same way. In our world of insecurities, it seems as if the most common way to make yourself feel better about who you are is to pull others down. We grab them by their throats and shove them into mud just so we can stand above them and proclaim “I am better! Look at me!” It happens all the time. Snide comments on social media, trash talking to our best friend about someone, even picking someone a part in our own minds. Nowhere is safe. But, we fail to realize that tearing down another – whether verbally or figuratively, only shines a magnifying glass on your insecurities and self-esteem deficiencies. “It’s all fun.” Not in the slightest. There’s a reason we don’t say these things to someone’s face. There’s a reason we whisper. There’s a reason we don’t say them proudly. We’re ashamed of them. We know the comments are negative and will negatively impact the person. Or at least, I hope most of us have the foundations to know that.
When I teased others for what they wore, for how they acted, it was because I was uncomfortable in my own skin and whether or not they knew I was talking about them didn’t matter – I knew – and tearing them down made me feel better about myself. Sick, isn’t it? It’s true. And it’s something I would have never known about myself until I started on a path of recovery, self-love, and self-healing.
On the other end of the spectrum….
If we aren’t pulling others down to build ourselves up at their expense, we often go to the other extreme – using them as a metric to measure our own beauty and life. We know nothing about them or their life except from what they portray we use our views about them to make ourselves feel inadequate. They have more beauty, a better figure, a better home or car, they have more money, more success, a better life. In thinking of those things, we start to look negatively at our own possessions and our own beauty. We put ourselves down and elevate them to a status we could never attain. We pull ourselves down into the mud and proclaim they are better. What kind of impact does that have on our self-esteem and self-worth over time?
We have to learn to appreciate ourselves, our lives, our beauty, work on our flaws or deficiencies if we must but not use others as a metric and not do it out of self-loathing. If I want to be more caring, it’s because spiritually I feel I need to be more caring. Not because I want to be like Sally who is the most caring person I know. If I want to be lose weight, it’s because I want to be healthier so that I can live the fullest and longest life on can and fulfill my God given purpose….not because I want to have an hour glass figure like Jill. There’s no need for putting yourself down through comparison.
Once you start on a path of self-acceptance and self-love, you’ll be so confident and comfortable with yourself that there will be no need for comparison. You’ll be able to look at someone else and admire them. You won’t have to feel threatened by their beauty, by their intelligence, by their success, by their confidence. You won’t have to compare yourself to them… or anyone else for that matter. They are who they are. You are who you are. Like the flowers in the nursery, you all have characteristics that make you unique and you both radiate beauty. Celebrate who you are, don’t over concern yourself with who they are and how you measure up.
So don’t be afraid be who you are.
Don’t be afraid to be unique.
Don’t be afraid to embrace your life and strive to change it for the better for you.
Don’t be afraid to compliment someone, do it – without feeling less than.
You have your own beauty. Stop questioning it.
For more help on building yourself confidence, check out my post on affirmations