Anthropologists would say that women’s drive to compete and compare with other women is the primal procreational drive to deter our mates from straying to other eligible child baring women. Apparently it’s the survival of the species that keeps us comparing ourselves and watching out for other women who might steal our mates.
Well, as primal as I like to think I am, I disagree. Because you see, even though I wholeheartedly want and support the continuation of our species, and while I do believe that we are physiologically and instinctively wired to do that, I believe that comparing and competing have more to do with our compulsion and drive to grow ourselves, creatively evolve and connect.
I believe that women envy and compare ourselves with other women as a way to connect with other women. We need to connect for our own survival and sanity, and that competing and comparing helps us to get into each other’s skin and motivates our creative drive to grow and develop ourselves to fit in and in turn be sought out for connection by other women.
In and of itself this creative urge to connect and grow is a gift and opportunity. The problem starts when we decide that just because we like and want what another woman has, or the way she looks or acts, that must mean that our present circumstances must be pathetic, wrong, bad or not good enough. This in turn causes us the feeling of low self esteem, self judgment and self-deprecation. But Sisters we don’t have to spin that way. We could instead be inspired by what we observe in others, instead of being discouraged by it. And let’s face it, what you like about the world around you is what you aspire to become, so that’s how it’s going to play out anyway.
So instead of getting down on who we are today, let’s celebrate who we are now even as we aspire to who we are on our way to becoming. We are all growing and becoming and changing whether we like it or not. So celebrate the evolution by celebrating even what we leave behind because without each stepping stone in the journey, there would be no journey!
If you want to flip comparing and competing to make them work for you, (because you’re going to compare and compete anyway so you may as well make them work for you), use your comparisons to inspire you instead of beat yourself up.
The next time you find yourself comparing, take a breath and smile and say “thank you Sister for the inspiration!”
Love and sisterhood,