As I enter this particularly strange (but very good and exciting!) point in my life, I’ve become even more aware of the human behaviour that is comparing yourself to others. It’s something that has been merrily playing in the background up until now, but it’s beginning to take centre stage a little more.
In younger years when I’d come back from school having had the dreaded Friday test in a particular subject, beaming at my results that I’d worked so hard for my parents couldn’t resist the killer question – ‘how did everybody else do?’ (I won’t go into the psychology behind them asking that question, I don’t have the emotional stability!!).
Pregnancy books, apps, website and people in general provide multiple opportunities on pretty much an hourly basis to compare experiences. Some providing great comfort (‘oh that’s normal? Phew!’) while others can put the fear of God into you (‘no, that shouldn’t happen *eeek*’). In most other aspects of life we have to opportunity to compare ourselves – exam results, points scored, stats, achievements. So what’s the impact? And more specifically, what is the impact on YOU?
There are a couple of people I’m friends with that spend their time comparing themselves to other friends and it only ever goes one way – down! It mostly stems around what they’ve achieved by a particular point in their professional life and then migrates to every other aspect – home, family, travels. I’m all for ‘benchmarking’ but come on, we’re all unique…aren’t we?
I’m in the camp of there is a place for knowing how well you’re doing and what you’ve achieved (sorry but I’ll never get the non-competitive sports days and the like). However, I do think there’s a tipping point and constant comparisons between you and others can drive you insane. Quite simply you will end up comparing apples with oranges and take yourself down a dark road. So with that in mind, before you next go venturing off into a check list of where you are in life versus your best friend (or arch enemy for that matter), ask yourself these questions:
- What’s the significance of me carrying out this comparison?
- Does it matter how I’m doing compare to others?
- How will the answer help me?
- What’s reality and what’s my emotional reaction?
- What do I want to do stretch myself in my own unique way?
Happy questioning x