“My mother and her sister always competed for my grandma to love them. In the end, my mother lost. See, my aunt was prom queen, homecoming queen, softball captain, on the swim team, gymnast, and she made these perfect grades without trying.
Now my aunt has a daughter, Lauren, and Lauren is just as great as my aunt. Now Lauren and I are competing to be the best. And I can't win! I mean, if I make track team, Lauren already made it and holds a record or something. If I look good in a new swimsuit, guess who gets the same thing and looks even better in it? Lauren. I can barely hold up my grades too! My math average: B-. Her's: A+. Why can't I be like Lauren? How can I win this? I mean, shes a living barbie doll!”
First of all, thank you. Thank you for allowing me and other trusted women in my life to come beside you to help. Thank you for sharing your story so that other girls going through a similar struggle can get help. Lets face it, being a woman is tough. We all could use some solid advice for girls.
You are right. You will never win. You will never be successful at the game of, “understanding my value by comparing myself to others.” There will always be someone prettier, someone smarter, someone more talented, more articulate, etc. Your cousin isn’t the issue—your mindset is. And until you change your approach, you will have constant issues with other women and forever feel inferior.
I have good news. Even though you can’t win at the game you are playing, you can still win. You can become a confident girl who values herself and can celebrate the victories of those around her. It starts with the realization that your individuality is what makes you invaluable.
Think about a painting. Would you rather have a print or an original piece? A print is virtually perfect. An original however is far more valuable because no one else has that exact painting. Each mark expresses the delicate and creative imprints of the painter.
You are an original. You are incredible because there is no one else exactly like you. No one on earth has the exact set of skill sets, the same DNA, or the same personality. However, that comes with responsibility. No one else can accomplish exactly what you can in this life. Embodying that idea will lead you down a path of growth. Continuing to reel over perfection and comparison will cause you go down a road of self destruction in a game you will always lose.
You are not perfect. You are an original. And that makes you perfect and an insanely interesting creature. Embrace it.
Carrie is an award winning young adult author. She is also a great friend, mother, and seriously wise woman. Here are her thoughts:
The declaration at the start of this question is one I'd have you go back to. What makes you think her mother lost her mom's love? She lists a series of accomplishments, none of which equates someone loving another person. Why does she think love is quantitative? Is this coming from her own mother? Love is something that should be freely given, not based on achievements. I'd ask you to try and discover where the root of this is coming from. Jealousy? Your mother's unmet needs? What if you tried turning things around? Instead of competing, try serving your cousin.
My mom is my mom. That automatically makes her quite amazing. But seriously, my mom is an incredible source of wisdom, strength, and life lessons. I would love to share her wisdom with other girls.
These are her thoughts:
Competition is everywhere in life. There will always be someone better than you. At some point you have to learn to be able to celebrate others victories. If you don’t, you will become a jealous and embittered person who suffers in relationships and life will be very difficult for you.
We hope that these words help comfort you, challenge you, and remind you that you aren’t alone.
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