|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/07/09 10:07 英语广场|
Comparing is competition's twin. Comparing yourself to others is nothing but bad news. Why? Because we're all on different development timetables. Since we all bake differently, we shouldn't keep opening the oven1 door to see how well our cake is rising compared to our neighbor's, or our own cake won't rise at all. Although some of us are like the poplar2 tree, which grows like a weed the moment it's planted, others are like the bamboo tree, which shows no growth for four years but then grows ninety feet in year five.
Building your life based on comparing to others is never good footing3. If I get my security from the fact that my GPA4 is higher than yours or my friends are more popular than yours, then what happens when someone comes along with a higher GPA or more popular friends? Comparing ourselves makes us feel like a wave of the sea tossed5 to and fro by the wind. We go up and down, feeling inferior one moment and superior the next, confident one moment and intimidated6 the next. The only good comparison is comparing yourself against your own potential7.
I love how noted author Paul H. Dunn put it in a speech entitled "On Feeling Inferior":
I have noticed that daily we meet moments that steal our self-esteem8. They cannot be avoided. Pick up any magazine you see people who look healthier skinnier9 or better dressed than you are. Look around. There is always someone who seems smarter another more self-assured10 still another more talented. In fact each day we are reminded that we lack certain talents that we make mistakes that we do not excel11 in all things. So it is easy to believe that we do not quite measure up12 in the great scheme13 of things but are inferior in some secret way.
If you base your self-esteem your feeling of self-worth on anything outside the quality of your heart your mind or your soul you have based it on a very shaky footing. So you and I are not perfect in form of physical figure. So you and I are not the richest the wisest the wittiest14. So what﹖
I once interviewed a girl named Anne, who got caught in the web of comparisons for several years before managing to escape. She has a message for those who are caught:
My problems began during my freshman15 year when I entered the high school. Most of the kids in my high school had money. And how you dressed was everything. The big question was who is wearing what today﹖ There were even some unspoken rules about clothes such as never wear the same thing twice and never wear the same thing as someone else. Brand names and expensive jeans were a must16. You had to have every color every style.
I began to feel self-conscious17. A voice said to me “Why can＇t you look like her﹖” “How come you＇re so fat﹖” “If you just changed a little bit you＇d be just right.” I started looking at other girls and analyzing all the reasons I wasn＇t as good as them. Even though I had a closet full of clothes I remember having anxiety attacks because I couldn＇t decide what to wear. I even began shoplifting18 because I wanted to have the latest and best clothes. After a while who I was hinged upon19 who I was with what I looked like and what kind of clothes I had on. I never felt good enough for anyone.
To cope I started to binge20 and purge21. The eating gave me comfort and the purging gave me some strange form of control. Although I wasn＇t fat I was so scared of being fat. It soon became a big part of my life. I started throwing up22 thirty to forty times a day. I would do it at school in the bathrooms and anywhere else I could find. It was my secret. I couldn＇t tell my parents because I didn＇t want to let them down23.
Finally it all came to a head24. While I was on stage performing in a play I suddenly disoriented25 passed out26. Waking up in the dressing room I found my mom at my side. “I need help” I whispered.
Admitting that I had a problem was the first step to my recovery. Looking back now I can＇t believe I got myself into that state of mind. I had everything I needed to be happy yet I was so miserable. I want to shout out to the world “Don＇t ever do this to yourself. It＇s not worth it.”
The key to my recovery was meeting some really special friends who made me feel that I mattered because of who I was and not what I wore.
The pearl of wisdom from the story is: Stop doing it. Break the habit. Comparing yourself can become an addiction27 as strong as drugs or alcohol. You don't have to look like or dress like a model to be good enough. You know what really matters. Don't get caught up in the game and worry so much about being popular during your teen years, because most of life comes after.
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