Hey, Cupcake, Stop Comparing Yourself to Apples and Oranges (or Others)

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Have you ever noticed how in today’s society, we rarely celebrate the person who comes in second place? We see this most obviously in sporting events. In sports, the winners are treated like war heroes, and the losers are lucky to get five minutes on the screen (and they are usually on the blooper highlights).  The announcers may interview the loser first, but the main focus is on the winner (who gets a much bigger check and a much bigger endorsement). And be honest: the only people who remember  finalists are parents and the fans who keep up with stats better than their checking accounts. Do we ever hear people screaming, “We’re Number Two!” at games? Does anyone wave a foam finger showing a peace sign instead of a solitary finger? Um, no. 

Don’t go kidding yourself that this just happens in professional or high profile sports, Cupcake. This happens everywhere.  In spelling bees, automobile commercials, dog shows, and retail, there is only room for one. Even in the neighborhoods where I walk my dogs, I see signs proudly displaying “this month’s best lawn winner!” with no indication of who may have had the second or third “best lawn” for the month. Sheesh.

So, society has created yet another negative message: if you aren’t the absolute best at what you do, you are a failure. 

This is a nonsense. I mean it. This is a lie. Think about this for a moment.  It’s not enough that we are comparing apples to oranges; we don’t even know who’s an apple and who’s an orange. The worst part? Often,

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The best still isn’t good enough

the best isn’t good enough; people always want more.

And who’s the judge? When rating automobile,s do the insurance companies look at the same things as Consumer Reports or Edmunds? When looking for doctors, do all people look for the same thing? What about a realtor and a new home? What about clothing brands or stores? What about dogs? Who’s the judge? Who’s the apple? Who’s the orange? Have I made enough of a point? I’m going to assume yes, and continue. If you need more convincing, email me.

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                Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself Apples to Oranges

  1. Quit thinking like apples and oranges. You are not an apple or an orange. You cannot think like an apple, or an orange, or any other fruit.  You are you, with your own cupcake flavor, your own cupcake frosting, and your own cupcake… Click To Tweet If you compare yourself to someone
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    photo courtesy of michigandistilled.org

    else, you will always lose. You will always find something she does better; her fashion sense, her earnings, the food she cooks, or even the brightness or the perfect shape of her teeth. Admire her for her awesomeness, but admire yourself for your awesomeness, as well.

 

  1. “Whatever you choose to be, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln had this right. Do your homework, get busy, and be your best version of whatever you choose to be. Your authenticity will resonate clearer and stronger, and this will bring better people into your life or business. So, Cupcake, what do you have to lose?
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Abe courtesy of clipart

3.  Follow your compass. Figure out exactly what you want, then do your own research. How many times have I said this in previous blogs? My neighbor is happy to drive thirty miles to visit his vet, because the doctor is completely wonderful and my neighbor has been with him through ten dogs and two cats. Thirty miles is way too long for me to travel with a sick dog. I want the vet who will treat my Alaskan malamute (not all of them will) and who is closest to my home, because if any of my dogs suddenly get ill, I want them in

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cupcake courtesy of www.tightwadinutah.com

professional hands as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter what your friends, neighbors, or family wants; get their advice if you want it, but if something matters to you, then you need to find and own your choice, Cupcake.

 

  1. Make every moment perfect for you. Choose to have the perfect week, the perfect night, the perfect day, or the perfect moment in time. I give this advice on the courts: “For as long as you live, there will always be someone better than you, you will always be better than someone else, and each day the ‘someone’ will change. The trick is to find out what you can do well enough to win that day.” They don’t have to have the perfect serve or the perfect backhand, but if they can figure out how to win, they had a perfect mindset for that moment in time. You are the way you are for a reason. My advice is to embrace yourself—all of yourself--and use… Click To Tweet

 

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  1. Ask for help when you need it, and be willing to help others. Help is a unique gift all on its own. When we help others, we have the opportunity to share our gifts with others. When someone helps us, we are given the opportunity to show appreciation when she shares her gift with us. Both giving and receiving raise energy vibrations, which promotes more good feelings. Remember this when you hesitate to ask for help; just by your request, you are honoring that person. People are honoring you when they receive your help, as well.

 

  1. Sometimes, it is not about you (yes, I have said this before, because IT IS TRUE). One time, a client told me, “I can say the same things you say” as he dismissed my services. Technically, this was accurate. You, dear reader, can say exactly the same things I say when I teach (though not with my awesome Texan accent). For that matter, so can an 8-year-old. But can you say the right thing at the right time? At first, his comment hurt my feelings (and seriously bruised my ego) and then it made me furious. We parted ways on good terms and handshakes. Later, I realized there were other things happening that had nothing to do with my “inabilities.” It was simply time for us to part ways. They still smile and hug me when they see me. I love them dearly, and I am always grateful for free hugs!

 

  1. It is inevitable that someone will disapprove of your endeavor. It is inevitable that you will disapprove of someone else’s endeavor, as well. Do not take any of this personally; you both http://ownyourcupcake.comare doing something in a way that does not fit into each other’s paradigm. If you can find it in your heart to forgive the attack on your ego, and find it in your heart to show compassion for her, you will find it easier to continue on your path. Just remember she is also on a path, and it will be different from yours. This is not a competition. You are not an apple. Or an orange. Neither is she.

 

  1. You are always changing. If you can look yourself in the eye in the mirror (try it, right eye to right eye, or left eye to left eye) and say truthfully, “This is the best I can do. I have given everything,” then you are the best that you can be at that moment. Tomorrow will be different. The day after tomorrow will be different, as well. Can you say this to yourself each day? As long as the answer is “yes,” and you are honoring your gifts, you are on the right path.  Celebrate yourself, your gifts, and be joyful that you can be such a wonderful person! Click To Tweet

 

You are not an apple or an orange, so do not think like an apple or an orange. Think like you. Be the best you possible each and every day, and remember how wonderful and unique you are. There is no such thing as “not good enough,” wrong place, or second place. There is only one place, and it would automatically be first place. This is where you belong, no matter what anybody else says.

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What are some things you do when others compare you, and you “lose?” How do you overcome this? Feel free to share, as you may be helping someone else reading this, and you are sending out a karmic boomerang!

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As always, let me know how it’s going, and stay frosted!

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25 thoughts on “Hey, Cupcake, Stop Comparing Yourself to Apples and Oranges (or Others)

  1. I always enjoy it when you make me smile. Haven’t I told you that my compass is broken and I am too busy to have a moment!

    Great suggestions and another magnificent post. I commented, tweeted it and google + it – because I can.

    1. Trenna, My compass sometimes acts like the Bermuda Triangle, too. What do I want? A better job? A PhD? Just an awesome brownie? Lol Thanks for sharing. I appreciate you so very much, Cupcake! Hug from Texas, just because I can. 😉

    1. Heather, I like that one, too. It gives one the freedom of choice, and an unconscious desire to do well in whatever endeavor we choose. Thank you for stopping by, and have a cupcake kind of week! 🙂

  2. I spent a lot of years believing that if you couldn’t be the “best” at what you were doing, why bother. Yes, I arrived on this planet as a self directed perfectionist. This certainly stops a person dead in their tracks when they don’t even get on the playing field because they don’t see how they can be the best.

    Having recently watched an amazing documentary called “I Am”, it reminded me that people are actually not born with a competitive or survival of the fittest drive, this is actually man-made and something we humans have created. In reality, both in nature and with us humans, co-operation and collaboration are far more aligned with who we are than competition is.

    Your post also reminded me of the book “The Four Agreements”. The two agreements I heard/read in your post Liz, are, “always do your best” and “don’t take anything personally”. If only we taught this to children from a very young age, perhaps we would create a world where everyone was celebrated just as they are for who they are, without comparing themselves (or having others compare them) to others! Great post! Great lesson that seems to require lots of repetition. 😉

    1. Beverley, humans are definitely social creatures that thrive with co-operation. As Lev Vygotsky said when he studied children’s learning phases, “What a child does in cooperation today, he can do alone tomorrow.” And still, with all the psychology and doctor journals out there, isolation is taught. Makes for an interesting world, at least, right, Cupcake? 🙂

  3. I love the way you’ve put across the point that each one of us is unique and you cannot compare uniqueness.

    I admit I take my Miss Coco to a vet clinic which is 14 km away from my residence and parking is a nightmare while my residential complex owners take their dogs to a vet just around the corner but then, their dogs do not have unique problems or need to be treated by a surgeon rather than a plain vet. So I’m seen as eccentric but who cares? I do what I need to do to do it well. 🙂

    Your post reminded me of what my Dad used to tell me often – listen to everyone but do what you want to do. Similar to being a unique peach among the apples and oranges, isn’t it, Liz?

    1. Vatsala, “I do what I need to do to do it well.” Exactly my point. LOVE IT! Way to go, peachy Cupcake! 🙂

  4. You are talking about one of my pet peeves. It really always has bothered me- made me angry that only ‘the winner’ got noticed. As if the ones they had to beat were ‘chopped liver’. I’m not competitive or a perfectionist & maybe this is why. Great post.

  5. What a fun read – and, yes, I read it with a Texas accent, Cupcake! Great reminders here: how unrealistic expectations can set us up for disappointment. how our celebration for winners only is just plain nutty. Me? I’m off to do my best now. Thanks!!

  6. I find the competitive nature of most people interesting Liz, why do others feel the need to be better than me? I know I excel at some things and am not so good at others, and I always remember that it doesn’t matter how good you are at something, there is always someone better. The ego is a part of people that really needs to be watched and managed in my opinion. Great post! Cheers, Ian

    1. Ian, thanks! Would you be surprised if I told you that in athletics, girls usually have to be taught how to compete? I find this funny, since they seem to be perfectly capable of competing in the dating world! Thanks for the reminder that the ego needs to be “watched” AND “managed!”

  7. Hi Liz,
    Wonderful post! Love how you weave humor into your story and make me smile. I am a perfectionist and had to learn to let go or never accomplish things.

    These are all great points, and #2 is my favorite as well. Abraham Lincoln did have it right.

    Thank you for great read and smiles!

    1. Robin, I like that one, too. It gives one the freedom of choice, and an unconscious desire to do well in whatever endeavor we choose. Thank you for stopping by, and have a cupcake kind of week! 🙂

  8. I love this. I actually use something similar when I talk to my business clients about their competition. They are always worried about who will make it to the top first or what the others are doing. I tell them what I tell my kids, you worry about you. It’s true – we all need to focus more time on ourselves and stop comparing. There is always somebody who is better, stronger, prettier; just like there are always those who are uglier, messier, weaker, etc. We are all right where we need to be and doing what we need to be doing – if we are paying attention that is! Beauty and success are not cookie cutters; they mean something different for everyone and they should all be celebrated! Great post!

    1. Tamara, Yay! You are so awesome! I completely agree with you that “we are all right where we need to be and doing what we need to be doing–if we are paying attention!” This is so accurate, as every day will bring us several opportunities to make decisions that will take us toward a better life, or away from that. Thank you for sharing, Cupcake, and have a great week! 🙂

  9. Great post Liz! I like your message of “Stop Comparing!” I played soccer competitively, so I totally understand only the number one get noticed. but as you said, the most important thing is to “Think like you and Be the best you possible each and every day”. Thank you for sharing your great blog!

    1. Kaz, I think athletes have a really hard time with this, so I’m glad you agree with me. Thanks for the comment, and have a cupcake kind of week! 🙂

  10. Hi Liz,
    Really enjoyed your post and I can totally relate 🙂 We definately need to stop comparing and just be the best we can at anything we try 🙂 Too much competition in society, I agree!

    Thanks for the awesome share!!

    1. Joan, it’s so much easier said than done, right? Everything we do, wear, drive, gets compared by others. I’m glad you have the strength to know this and live beyond. 😉

  11. This is wonderful. I have a family member struggling with many things that you identify here. I’m going to save this and share it with her as she sorts it out. Thank you!

    1. Lori Ann, awesome! Share any time you want! I consider it an honor when you do, so thank you. Have a cupcake kind of week! 🙂

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