I wish I could stop comparing myself to extroverts and embrace ME. That’s what a Wise Introvert newsletter subscriber wrote to me. It’s a wish that speaks to the heart of my work with clients because it involves being Brave, Seen, and True.
Comparison can feed the underlying belief that, “I’m not good enough as I am”. It touches on a tender spot that many of us share. And it can surface in the most unexpected ways.
Take this past weekend for example. I was in “soccer mom” mode, cheering for my daughter’s team in a four-day provincial tournament. After one of the games, she said to me very matter-of-factly, “Those are REAL soccer moms.”
Want to know what the “REAL soccer moms” were doing? The absolute opposite of me! They were VERY loud, constantly talking or yelling, blowing a loud horn, jumping around, and actively interacting with others on the sidelines. Hard not to notice.
Yes, I felt a sting from my daughter’s casual statement. It wasn’t her intention to suggest that I don’t measure up, but that’s what I heard. I felt smaller.
I don’t know for sure if those moms were extroverts (introvert soccer moms can be vocal too), but that’s the judgment I made. They were not like me. They were better. More fun.
WHETHER IT’S IN OUR WORK OR PERSONAL LIVES, ALLOWING OURSELVES TO GET CAUGHT UP IN COMPARISON CAN BE LIKE CHOOSING TO NEVER WATER AN INDOOR PLANT. LITTLE BY LITTLE, THERE’S A WITHERING AWAY.
So it’s important to catch yourself in the act and shift the momentum by actually saying (out loud or in your head): Stop comparing myself.
And then add a bit of water. Be kind and embrace the real YOU.
The fact is that I felt as proud and invested as I believe those other soccer moms were. I simply expressed it differently. And that’s perfectly fine. There’s room for all of us.
Be Brave. Be Seen. Be True.