Theodore Roosevelt is famously quoted as saying that comparison is the thief of joy.
How right is that?
I’ve been in a weird head space lately which is frustrating as all hell but it’s how I work things out for myself, how I resolve issues I may be struggling with…. retreat into my head, get all broody, moody and contemplative and then head over here and word vomit my thoughts and conclusions all over my blog.
So here goes….
I’ve been struggling you guys. Something about being
middle aged in my mid 40’s and having half my life behind me and half my life in front of me has seen me standing at a cross roads and in the process I feel like the struggle stole my voice.
I find myself comparing myself, my work, my blog, my look, my personality, my everything to women around me, women who are, in all honesty, more often than not, a lot younger than me. A lot hipper than me. A lot more happening than me. And because of my comparison’s and my own insecurities, it silenced me. It stole my joy, it robbed me of my story telling ability, it took my confidence and crushed it under one perfect stiletto heel.
I know this will sound contradictory, but I am a hard arsed people pleaser. I think, like most people, I want to be liked, I want to be popular, I want to be loved by everyone who meets me. Not only is that exhausting, I know that logically it’s also just not possible. And then the contradiction, I also don’t want to give a damn about what anyone else thinks of me, and often times I don’t. See the struggle? See the contradiction?
It’s also made me realize that I need to be more confident of my own identity. I need to embrace every aspect of me and try to not worry so much about others approval. But that’s really hard for me even though now in my mid 40’s I feel like I have the internal strength to be who I am, without apology, a lot easier than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. And to be able to do it, to a certain degree no matter who’s watching me.
The turning point came earlier this week when a few people, unknowingly, tossed comments my way that were massive confidence boosts for me. Comments about who I fundamentally am, comments about what I do and how I conduct myself.
I want to be seen for me, really me, the inner me that I’ve struggled with and on some levels kept hidden from others. I want to embrace me, authentically me. The hell raising, kick ass, opinionated, unapologetic, fearless me.
And that’s when I realized that I’d allowed comparisons to steal my joy and silence my voice in the process. The only person I need to compete with is me. The only person I need to be better than is me.
The only priority is to strive to be the best version of me I can possibly be.