Do you ever find yourself thinking that others are better than you?
I’ve always been prone to negatively comparing myself to other people, a feeling probably not exclusive to me.
During kidulthood (Kidulthood is a film that I’ve never watched but the title struck me as a great way to describe those pesky years between childhood and adulthood), I was rather anxious and lacking in confidence so I often looked to others to see how they were doing in the old life game. Obviously their way was so much better than mine!
I used to worry a ridiculous amount about whether I was as ‘cool’, fashionable or popular as my peers, was I getting worse marks (grades), was I uglier than other girls?
Unfortunately I’m sure that many teenage girls and boys (although it doesn’t miraculously stop after the growth spurt) have felt the same.
Instead of looking at the great things about being me, I looked at others and decided that they were doing things better.
I suppose that it’s a case of the grass growing greener on the other side. Professor Richard Wiseman makes a great point in his book 59 Seconds Think A Little Change A Lot. Although he’s talking of a different topic, I find it relevant to the subject of this post.
He says of regretting an action that has been done e.g. marrying the wrong person:
“The negative consequences are known, and although the potential for regret may still be substantial, it is limited. However, the situation is completely different when it comes to things that didn’t happen. Suddenly, the possible positive benefits seem almost endless.” (59 Seconds Think A Little Change A Lot pg 249)
Between the ages of 12 and 15, I was obsessed that I had never kissed anyone, not to mention that I was lacking in the breast department. Whilst this isn’t the world, to my teenage self, it was a huge deal.
Everyone was snogging at least at every other disco, accompanied by the bare minimum of a C cup bra. To have boobs and be kissing boys was what dreams were made of for my teenage self and anything else meant failure as a teen.
Shamefully I remained flat chested and un-smooched for years. Oh the teenage embarrassment, as you can imagine, was near fatal.
But time went on. I got that first kiss and surprisingly, found that it was worth denying myself an awkward tongue assault at a disco with a bunch of school mates pointing and giggling to wait for a nicer introduction to the joy that is a good snog! Who would’ve thought it?
And then when life really started to get good at around 17, you know… having friends, socialising, getting a car… well there came the chest. The joy was overwhelming I can tell you.
Yet one thing remained.
I was too busy looking at those around me and somehow believing that everyone else in the world was better than me. Smarter, prettier, happier, more blessed of chest.
Although I’m older, and would like to think wiser, I still occasionally find myself slipping into the old comparative ways.
I might get a moment where I think that I can never be as good as Joe or Jane Bloggs especially with starting up a business in the competitive industry of media but what I realise now (with the help life experience and an expanding horizon) is that I’m merely different to Joe Bloggs. I’m no better or worse.
I’m Kerry Leese and with that honour comes many brilliant and unique personality traits. Hoorah!
For one, I do a great running man.
Additionally, when I do meet or hear of brilliant people doing amazing things now, instead of concentrating on feeling inferior, I make sure that I surround myself with those great people and learn from their awesomeness.
Failing that, I hope that it might rub off by power of osmosis!
Do you have any tips for focusing on the positives, or could you do with some help in doing so? Also, what makes you great? Maybe ask your mates and see what they say. You might be surprised how the world views you!