May 15, 2010

Smitty's ESH: Achievement and Comparisons

How I talk to myself matters a lot. I can see that as a condemnation of myself, "You only feel good about yourself when you get something done! When are you going to learn to love yourself for just being? Obviously not today, and maybe never! It is going to take a big catastrophe for you to learn to do this!"

Or I can see it positively. "Doing something constructive that makes a difference helps me to know I can have impact and wow, it can sometimes meet the unspoken hope of a person I live with!"

I learned this new thing about myself. I was telling my husband how much it meant to me that what I did yesterday...(my impulsive work on our bathroom shower) was something my he spontaneously voiced appreciation for. He said this as he prepared to put up the shower curtain: that he had wanted to clean the shower, too. Those words affirmed that I had done something that mattered yesterday.

When I told him how much I appreciated this, he smiled and said, "You know you are an achiever... just as I am. The only difference is....." and he paused and I finished the sentence in my head.. " it that I only feel good when I get something accomplished?"

Instead he finished, " don't like to be graded."

I found myself repeating his words, staking a modified claim to their truth and I share it here: "I am a person who likes to achieve and be appreciated, but I don't like to be compared." Today, I see that it is when I compare myself to others that I can lose my confidence and my focus.

This insight may be a guiding light for me in the coming six days. My DH goes out of town for this coming work week, and it is the last week of my son's school year. As I am able I will share how I appreciate myself each day, even if I fail to reach an impossible mark. I am not as confident when my husband is out of town, but in each day I will see if there is some small way I can detach from self-sabotaging comparisons.


  1. Oh boy can I relate to this! I come from an extremely productive family! I do not like to be graded! ( or compared ) It has gotten better over time, but once in a while I get flattened by
    something - right now I'm sick- and then guilt sets in! 2 days of barely getting off the couch...

  2. I used to compare but have learned that isn't important in Al-Anon. Hang in there.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~