I’m sure you have heard the saying “you can’t compare apples to oranges” or some version thereof. It’s such a simple yet profound statement when you think about it. Yes, apples and oranges are both members of the fruit family, but the similarities end there. Apples are crisp whereas oranges are soft and fleshy. Apples make a delicious filling for a pie; oranges, not so much. Blech!
The exact same thing rings true for us as human beings. Just like snowflakes, no two of us are exactly the same. We have different goals, dreams, desires, and challenges…..our differences are what make each one of us UNIQUE.
So why then, do we constantly compare ourselves to one another?
I will be the first to admit that I am a primary offender when it comes to self-comparisons. I find myself constantly doubting myself and my abilities when I am in a perpetual state of comparison with those around me. It does not matter if it’s my co-workers, friends, acquaintances, or even total strangers…my natural inclination is to compare THEM to ME.
Why can’t I be a stronger runner like HER? Why can’t I wear a size 6 like HER?
Why can’t why can’t why can’t! Some days it feels like I am running on a hamster wheel in my brain.
This habit and logic does NOT serve me well in any way. We all have our individuality, our strengths and weaknesses that make up the wonderful & vibrant US.
Why, then, knowing that it is absolutely of no benefit for me to subject myself to this constant self-comparison, do I continue to do it?
There will always be someone who is thinner, with longer legs, perfect abs, thicker hair, more money in their bank account, a faster runner, etc. I will never be perfect.
Apples vs. Oranges: How to STOP Comparing Yourself to Other People
One thing I DO share in the common with all of these women is the fact that we are ALL human. We all carry flaws with us, whether they be external or internal, it matters not.
And, we have all overcome adversity and challenges in some form or another. The friend with the 6 pack abs? Well, she overcame breast cancer last year. The faster runner? Not only is she 10 years younger and 30 pounds lighter than me, but she also is a young widowed bride.
The other day I met a friend who I hadn’t seen for some time, and she made the remark “Oh, if only I were as thin as YOU, THEN I would be happy!”
Woah. Talk about getting my attention with one statement. It blew my mind to realize that someone was comparing themself to ME, wishing that they were more like me.
Instead of lamenting about what we don’t have, how we wish we were more like “her” or “him”, how about we focus on US and what we’ve got going for us (which I have a hunch is quite a lot). When I compare myself to someone thinner, I need to remind myself that I have lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for over 10 years.
When I am passed by a faster runner, I need to remind myself that I have rheumatoid arthritis, and a few months ago I was barely able to walk without pain, let alone run.
It truly is a matter of keeping things in proper perspective, don’t you agree?
No matter how young or old you are, fat or skinny, rich or poor, whatever – these things are not what defines YOU. The number you see on the scale nor the size dress you wear matters not in this world. It’s what’s in your heart that really matters.
Let’s celebrate our diversity and cheer each other on for all that we have overcome, together. You did it! Celebrate the most wonderful you, whatever stage of life you may be in, and all of your accomplishments.
Make it a habit to practice self love every day, embracing yourself whether you are an apple or an orange. Both are wonderfully sweet in God’s eyes!