Comparison and Competition between Women

What if instead of ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t happen, we could understand comparison and competition between women as an opportunity to notice something more about ourselves?

Could comparison be a reminder that we have forgotten our own loveliness?

When we start to see comparison as a symptom of forgetting ourselves in the first place, it stops us from making it about the other woman – the one we are comparing ourselves to – and becomes solely about the relationship we have with ourselves.

Is it possible that comparison enters through the doorway of lack of self worth or self loathing that we open whenever we brush off, ignore or hold at bay recognising and appreciating the absolute preciousness and amazingness of ourselves?

  • When I see a friend, sister, colleague, daughter or my mum feeling amazing, stepping up and being beautiful, there is a lot of information exchanged in that split second about the choices they have made and the ones I have made too. I get to feel them and myself in that same moment. If I hold that woman above me, better than me, more ‘it’ than me – I feel deflated and crushed by my own ‘not enough-ness’, my mouth goes dry and my tummy feels punched. Hello comparison… where’s the chocolate?
  • When I am present with myself and hold myself as equal to any other woman, including the one in front of me that is reflecting their beauty and amazingness, all the information of that single moment is still there, but instead of being crushed I get to feel where I have let myself go or held myself back, in the face of my mums, friends, sisters, colleagues or daughters’ choice to be more of themselves instead of opting for something less. I get to see and feel where they have made choices that I didn’t. But the difference is, I do not feel less for it, I feel soundly aware of the choices I’ve or haven’t made and the ones I can still make instead. Hello inspiration!

How different would our relationships be as women if we were able to, instead of using the information we are constantly feeling in every exchange as a measuring rod to beat ourselves (or another) with, we acknowledged the unfolding beauty of another woman without feeling an iota less in ourselves, in fact, feeling more aware and appreciative of ourselves instead?

As women we have a powerful opportunity to nip comparison and competition in the bud wherever it plays out in our daily lives and our relationships with each other – friends, family, colleagues, celebrities, strangers – even pictures in a magazine or characters in a movie.

What if instead of cutting one another down as women with the ill will that comes from a bruised self, we took the opportunity to REMEMBER our own absolute worth and loveliness?

When comparison and competition between women gives way to inspiration and appreciation we get to see and feel each other blooming, knowing we share that same blooming power too, equally, in all our different bodies, ages and lives.

Inspired by the Esoteric Women’s Health presentations of Jenny Ellis, Rebecca Poole and Mary Louise Myers.

By Adrienne Hutchins, BEd, Brisbane, Australia

627 thoughts on “Comparison and Competition between Women

  1. More and more I realise the concoctions we use to make our lives miserable. Lack of self-worth is one of those things, how does it come into our lives? At what stage do we decide that we’re not good enough and start to feel less, compare & seek recognition and attention from the outside?

  2. I find myself back here as it is such an enormous topic in our day to day lives. If we can support each other and be honest about what is on offer the moment we feel any comparison – or that we do indeed feel comparison, then we cut the poison for both the person feeling jealous and the person on the receiving end of that jealousy.

    1. Yes, i’ve been looking at comparison recently and found myself very sneakily praising other people in my head, but those words were rooted in jealousy towards the person rather than appreciation. For example, i would think things like “my God, that person is so amazing at ….” but saying that from a place of lack, a place I feel less – in comparison. That then leaves gaps for me to get jealous because I see them as so much better than me.. it’s a vicious game & one very much worth being aware of.

  3. “Hello inspiration!” Feeling the pull of inspiration offers us the choice to live the amazingness that we are and be a part of the inspiration.

  4. To hold myself in the steadiness of the love I am is a loving gift I give not only to myself but to every woman when jealousy comes my way. It is inevitable jealousy and comparison occurs when we choose evolution… it is learning to be love no matter what.

  5. Being inspired by each other rather than comparing must feel nicer to be on the receiving end of as well. I have watched from afar when someone is jealous and I see it affect the person who is feeling less but I also see the person they are looking at feeling uncomfortable and not sure why because it is not relatable to the situation they are in. How many people are dealing with that and how aware do we need to be of the implications of our own behaviour?

  6. I realise I still go into comparison, when I do it feels so yucky I can feel it is actually poison to the body.
    And what is the remedy to this- it is to love more and to realise that comparison first happens when we are not feeling enough love for ourselves.
    It’s super simple really love love love ourselves and then we can not see love back.

  7. Recognising that it is a choice to release ourselves from the prison of comparison by claiming ourselves as the beautiful women we are and being inspired by the shining of others allows for the blossoming of sisterhood as we all move in ways that build a foundation of love and appreciation of how far we have come.

  8. Yes, appreciation and inspiration between us feels so gorgeous, how lovely that would be to be the norm, ‘When comparison and competition between women gives way to inspiration and appreciation we get to see and feel each other blooming, knowing we share that same blooming power too, equally, in all our different bodies, ages and lives.’

  9. If we feel comparison or competition creep into our live, it is aways great to see where we can bring in appreciation.

  10. Comparison is a killer, if we knew how detrimental and harmful it was to our physical and mental health I am sure we would think twice before we let energy in that allow us think we are separate.

    1. I would suggest that inspiration is still something outside of ourselves and that appreciating the choices we have made and being at ease with where we are at is far more empowering and enriching of ourselves. If we put a marker for ourselves of where we should be we will constantly feel like we have let ourselves down. However, knowing that as we change our choices so too will the movements that come from our body and the thoughts that come into our head, that offers a deeper relationship with ourselves and one that I feel is let outside and more inside.

  11. When we are honest about what’s going on between women our relationships becomes more transparent and joyful. Exposing the comparison and competition with each other is the first step to make every relationship that we have (including our own) about love.

    1. It is not until we are willing to be honest with ourselves that we can start to build more loving relationships with others.

  12. Recently I found myself in competition with a friend when she reflected me back an old pattern that I was playing. I felt defensive and went in to the justification to not simply recognize that I was feeling less than her. It was very beautiful and freeing opening mysel up to recognize what was going on between us in a very humble way. This competition was stopping me to see and appreciate her loveliness and mine. I appreciate her steadiness in not accepting less from me and that even though was quite confronting at some point I didn’t feel a ounce judgment from her but a huge appreciation for the woman I really am.

  13. “Could comparison be a reminder that we have forgotten our own loveliness?” Comparison now feels horrible in my body but I am becoming more aware of its sneakiness in subtle ways. Appreciating the person for the choices they have made allows me to see where i could make different choices too.

    1. Sue I can relate about how horrible comparison feels. I appreciate the space in some of my relationships to nominate every time this poisoning feeling plays out. I am realizing that once is expressed it I can see how silly and nosense it is this individual way of being with others.

  14. I recently had a situation where I could see the choices that someone was making and the choices that I hadn’t and could see what had come to them as a result of that. I chose not to go into comparison and instead chose to feel the truth of what was happening. It was very beautiful to feel it all and be inspired not go in on myself.

  15. A powerful turnaround from competition, comparison and jealousy to being inspired to look at our choices and take responsibility for ourselves, the way we feel and move through life.

  16. I so very agree, it is time to turn the wheel and see life from the perspective of the beauty that is there instead of feeling not enough. And isn’t that the beauty of the reflection we give to each other, to inspire one another of the beauty that lives in all of us, and each of us has her own expression thus the power of inspiration is manifold and never ceases.

  17. Why is it that I have felt hurt when another chooses jealousy and comparison? Why have I chosen to neglect and dishonour myself because of another’s issues which in truth they do not have but have chosen to create? Interesting?! But today I have too much love in my body to hold onto that which is not true. For me now it is about learning to love and accept myself and the situation immediately when I am up against jealousy and comparison coming my way and if there is some self-doubt or ill-thoughts that may have entered to clock them and let them go for they do not belong to me as they are not who I am. It is so beautiful and incredibly powerful to claim the knowingness of that which is true and that which is not.

    1. ‘I have too much love in my body to hold onto that which is not true.’ What you shared is really cool Caroline. Sometimes I have found judging myself for feeling jealous and thinking ‘this shouldn’t be happening’, but simply because I tried to be perfect. Now I am learning to not judge myself first and foremost, to embrace my imperfections which are like an open book from I can learn very much and to express more honestly how I’m feeling, whatever it is.

  18. And it is not my responsibility when another woman chooses resistance and dismissiveness but when they do it is a very beautiful exchange where nothing but equality is present. Inspiration and appreciation are always there for the taking… it is simply a matter of choosing them.

  19. It is empowering in every way possible when we are open to the truth, as we then are aware of what is not true, how it feels in our body, and our choice to continue in a ill-momentum or change it. Comparison is 100% dis-empowering as is designed, in order for us to not be inspired by and appreciate the divine reflection of who we are when we, every woman, lives in connection to her essence within.

  20. I love this article, and I’m with you one billion per cent Adrienne. Each woman reflects yet another angle of exquisiteness and grace, and when we let ourselves see this, we are nourished by it. To celebrate another woman means we celebrate ourselves, because the divine beauty we all come from and hold within us, is one.

  21. What is presented here is so supportive where in those moments we compare, rather than beating ourselves up, we can see it as ‘an opportunity to notice something more about ourselves?’, an invitation to go deeper, to understand that in that moment we’re being asked to connect back to ourselves, and to appreciate the steps we’re taken while seeing another take theirs and to understand the inspiration we can get in that moment from another shows us another aspect of the all we’re all a part of.

  22. Revisiting this article as this is something I am very aware of thanks to the love of a practitioner. What has amazed me is the amount of comparison I go into it is automatic to compare rather than be inspired. Putting myself on deepening my self love and care programme. Time to value my loveliness and gorgeousness so that I can love and appreciate others.

    1. Wonderful, because ultimately the relationship is between us and our origin. If we deepen who we are, through the relationship of where we are from and what we are made of, the rest will naturally follow.

  23. About blooming time I paid attention to this inspiration and stopped eating my chocolate! Thank Adrienne for addressing this much needed subject.

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