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Do I look fat?

Comparison is an act we will never truly escape. In fact, it happens every day. Men compare the size of their...integrity. Kids compare the brand of tennis shoe they're wearing to another. People compare how much success they have through money, religion, social acceptance and more all of the time! Truly, what you get versus what you feel you deserve doesn't often match up which can leave you confused, discouraged, sad and even angry. This is because comparison is both a tool that can construct or destruct things like self-image, confidence, creativity and inspiration. It’s a dangerously sharp weapon that operates with extreme bias. Comparison can also produce jealousy, envy, malevolence or worse. These offspring have the potential to spread throughout your mind and into the minds of others, contaminating and ultimately ruining your life.

It doesn’t always start with looking at someone else. Sometimes, you compare who you are with who you were once told and convinced to be. This is one of the most difficult scenarios to deal with as the problem is

within your own self-identification. Negative thought associations that may have been put in your mind days, weeks, months or even years ago can prevent you from believing you are worthy of being as good as or better than anyone else. Instead you commit to your pain, as it has become a comfortable place you understand better and have lived with longer. Comparison can kill but it can also help you build.

You see, there is a place for comparison. Inspiration often begins with comparison. The act of observing how or what something is can be considered a starting point or building block of creativity which can lead to what something or someone can be. So how do you manage the act of comparison without allowing it to consume you? Accept, Embrace and Engage.

Accept what is. Many times people get caught up in a web of shame and disappointment for comparing themselves and their problems to someone that doesn’t share the same issues. Accept your issues as parts of your or your life that were around before the comparison and had no terrible affect on your life to this point. You were overweight before you looked at the skinny model in the magazine and were yet able to smile and love yourself. What’s so different now that you’re looking at them? Nothing. Nothing except that bad things tend to gain momentum building off of themselves and you must learn how to accept yourself in order to place a brick wall in its path.

Embrace it all. Webster’s dictionary defines the word “embrace” as to accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically. This means you merge what you accept with your emotions and create your belief or truth. Imagine two people wearing the

same outfit with roughly the same shape. One is smiling, the other is not. The one frowning believes the other person has a bigger or better ____ where the other person isn't thinking of that at all. The difference isn't who looks better but instead it is who feels better and believes they are good! This is how you take your first steps to falling emphatically in love with yourself. You can thank me later.

Engage. Now that you’ve accepted what is and you’ve fallen emphatically in love with it, there’s no risk of comparing for the sake of breaking down but instead you see other comparisons as opportunities to build on your own unique and special gifts. You can finally move forward as you’re free to build as opposed to being stuck in one place falling apart. The only thing that can work against you is the thing you decide has the power to and then allow it to do so. Become a champion of comparison an no a cohort to criticism.

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