Be Like Everyone Else, But Better

Comparison is all about conformity and competition. At first it seems like conforming and competing are mutually exclusive, but they’re not. When we compare, we want to see who or what is best out of a specific collection of “alike” things…The comparison mandate becomes this crushing paradox of “fit in and stand out!” It’s not cultivate self-acceptance, belonging, and authenticity; it’s be just like everyone else, but better.

~ Brené Brown

How many times have you been caught in this web? How often have you said, “If only I could look like, act like, have what she has, I would be happy.”

meerkats

And in our efforts to catch up or fit in we strive even harder, often pushing way beyond our limits financially, emotionally or physically.

I have a friend who gently reminds me that I am unique, which I often forget when I get caught up in my busyness. I’ll go along believing her for a while and then get all tangled up in myself, letting self-doubt creep in, and then find myself competing with others, with me on the “losing” side.

The curious thing is that the definition of “losing” comes from within me. And its meaning always seems to change.

What is it that makes us feel that we are inadequate as we are? And why is it so important that we must fit in and be accepted by our tribe?

I can understand the utility in being like the others back when we lived in caves and survival depended on group effort. Those who were different might be ostracized which could mean certain death.

Really, when did you last live in a cave? And when did you last require a group, outside of your family, to help bring home the bacon?

And then there’s that urge to stand out…I mean, we want it both ways. We want to be like “them”, to be accepted by the “in” crowd, to be liked for being the same as. And yet there’s this push to stand out and be noticed. Because recognition goes to those who stand out from the crowd…because they are different! Name any famous person. Why are they famous? Because they have better skills, technical ability, beauty, money, business prowess, yada, yada, yada, than us folks.

Do you see the absurdity here?

So, why will we do almost anything or compromise ourselves just to fit in? What is our fear? And how did we come to believe that group validation equals personal validation?

Sheesh, when do we get to be ourselves? And revel in that?

Your Call to Action

List 20 ways you are unique.
What are some benefits of being unique?
Where do you hide your uniqueness? Why??

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