Friday, February 12, 2010

Busier, More Popular, Nicer, Richer, Thinner etc

Just got to get this out while it's on my mind: I must stop comparing myself to other people so much! It's like a disease that eats away at the mind and it never has a positive outcome. I am never good enough.

I don't know where this tendency comes from, but I think a lot of people suffer from it. Whatever company I'm in, I always find some way in which I do not measure up. One morning I might be at a meeting for a voluntary organisation; following the meeting I will feel like I didn't take on enough responsibility or assert myself enough. Another day I might be chatting to breastfeeding mothers at a support group; after the group I will feel like I didn't fit in well enough. On another day I might meet up with some slinging, cloth-nappying attachment parenting mums; afterwards I will feel like I'm "not AP enough" because I don't do cloth nappies or elimination communication or some other such activity. I can even find fault with myself on a visit to the park: maybe I don't look good enough, or I'm not attentive enough to my daughter, or I'm on my own so I feel like I must look like an outcast.

Yet at the end of the day, I'm happy with how my life is. I don't want to take on more responsibilities, because they stress me out. I don't want to overburden myself with tasks because the whole point of staying at home with my daughter is to give her my time and attention. I don't want to get bogged down in so-and-so's parenting ideology because I do what I do because it works for me. I am friends with people that I want to spend time with; I don't waste my time with hollow meaningless relationships. And I enjoy spending time on my own, or with just my daughter: if I am too busy, I long for these quiet days.

So I actually don't want to change who I am in any way; I am, for once, content with how I look and behave. In fact the only thing I would change about me is this infernal voice in my head that is constantly telling me I'm not as worthy as someone else.

10 comments:

JK said...

I don't think that voice ever actually goes away. All you can do is chill out and try to ignore it, with varying degrees of success...

Erin said...

Seriously, where does that voice come from??? Let me know if you ever find out ... lol. One of my favorite mantras that I repeat over and over to myself goes something like this, "Treat myself like I'd treat my best friend." In other words, try and be much more gentle and accepting towards yourself. It's bound to work after awhile, because the power of manifestation eventually always happens.
Much Peace :)

Lisa C said...

I used to hear that voice a lot. Not so much now. But the one I've been trying to beat down since my son was born is the voice that tells me that people are judging me. I am happy with who I am, and any changes I want to make come purely from within, but I keep feeling the need to prove to people that I'm not going to fail, most particularly at being a mother. I think I've beaten that voice down a bit over the past year, though--I don't hear it quite so much, but it's still there.

Laura said...

I can so relate to this! The voice is getting quieter but it rears it's head from time to time, mainly around the same issues. Though I realised when talking to a friend today how completely confident and comfortable I am with our choices now, for once I felt strong about it! It does get easier. X

Cave Mother said...

Thank you so much for your mantra, Erin. We are so much more accepting of other people than we are of ourselves. That is a wonderful piece of advice and I shall try to heed it.

Amanda said...

I nearly blushed with embarrassed familiarity when I read your post. Is "the voice" really that widespread? I adore Erin's suggestion. No matter how you beat the voice back, it really requires a change of perspective to get it to shut up sometimes!

Melodie said...

Been there, felt that. If this is so widespread as it appears it might be, then I think what you do with the voice is what counts. Do you ignore it, turn it into an affirmation? Some moms are so insecure I think they end up talking about how great they are, which in turn makes the people around them feel insecure and makes the other mom feel better about herself but ultimately no one wins. I have a friend who is like this. It drives me nuts. Luckily I know I'm fine and good the way I am and see her for who she is too, but the subtle flaunting of being so great is an unfortunate character flaw.

MamanADroit said...

So glad I'm not the only one who feels like this. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes with frustration when I can't get things done and feel like "well everyone else gets their dishes/laundry/floors/etc. clean... why aren't I a better mom like all of them?" It's nice to know that really all those other moms are just doing the best they can too. Now if we could all just stop feeling insecure about it...

Jessica said...

I very rarely compared myself to anyone else before I became a mother. Isn't that fascinating? I don't know what it is about mothering that has brought up my relentless comparing to others, but it has.

This is what I'm slowly realizing, though: every other mother out there feels the same way I do (to some extent, anyway). We all think someone else is doing it better, so that helps me to chill out a bit.

And you can apply that same philosophy to other types of interaction. Everyone has to put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do :)

cypress sun (amy) said...

talking back to that voice, as you are here, is a good idea. empowering too.

a friend of mine says, "thanks for sharing" when the voice in her head is critical. i like this because it always cracks me up, and once i add humor to a situation it's no longer so overwhelming!