Where, why and how does this ‘natural’ need to brag, show off, project develop!
From the day a child is born, everything about her is measured and compared against a barometer. That barometer could be comparison with others, siblings, parents, peers or even standard. Let’s examine this more in the parameters we normally use.
Physical appearance – fairness of the skin, features like the face construct, eyes, lips, hair are compared with those of the parents and siblings. As they grow older how they walk, talk, the language they use, the games they play, the books they read, the food they like and so on are compared with how it was for the older sibling or how it was for the parents when they were young.
Once the child moves in a school performance in all fields is measured by comparison with peers. Where you stand vs. your peers in terms of academics, sports, dramatics, arts or any other skill is the way every child’s ability, attitude, skills is measured. The current system of percentile is based on your performance vis a vis the highest. The current scale too is a comparative scale.
This ingrains a need to compare oneself with others, probably the only way to judge ourselves. We would be able to prove our worth when our worth is more than others around us!
At a deeper level we think – that the way to boost our self esteem is to prove that we are more worthy than our peers.
Therefore, a constant need to brag, to show off, to project oneself is there. We are inadvertently putting our children in this trap! This insatiable need to prove that we are better than the others.
What’s the way out of this trap!!
The first step out of any trap would be to first recognize this as a trap. We have been brought up in a world that this is the way it is, the only way to measure yourself is to compare yourself with others. Till the time we are not willing to open up to the possibility of a way out, we would not be able to find a way out.
Then the willingness to come out of it, can be developed purely from realizing the impact of this on our life. The feeling of “not yet there” and the unfulfilling feeling every step leaves us with, the stress and anxiety to prove oneself. Comparison always leaves a person with anxiety of either wanting to meet up to the one you think is better or the anxiety to maintain the superiority over the next best!
A simple yet difficult way out of the trap…
1. Operating from the belief that each one of us is born with all the power in the world i.e. with the ability to create a fulfilling life for ourselves.
2. The power we have in creating a life free from comparisons for our children is to never compare ourselves with others and never comparing them with anyone. Our child is as powerful and as unique as anyone else. Our status as a role model for our children is the most potent quality we have to cause miracles in their lives. Compare them with their previous performances, and encourage them to compete against themselves. A clear, stress free way to keep growing.