“Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt

It’s Saturday morning, and, finally, you got enough sleep after a crazy busy week. You say to yourself, “I’m feeling pretty good today. I think I will take my time getting ready.” Hours later, you are feeling like a $10,000 diamond ring and are now ready to get your day started. First stop -- the mall. You walk in with a huge smile on, feeling extremely confident in who you are today. Looking around, the smile starts getting smaller and smaller until it has become a frown. You go from feeling like that expensive diamond ring to the random, 25-cent plastic ring you got from a machine. All of your inner confidence has left your system, and, instead, shame has filled its place. You have suddenly compared yourself to 98 percent of the people in the mall and realized, in your head, they all look better than you.

Maybe that isn’t you.

Imagine you are at work. Maybe you are a teacher, a retail worker, a factory worker or maybe a cop. You know you are great at what you do. (Not to toot your own horn, of course.) Suddenly, you pay attention to a coworker’s work ethic and your confidence slowly makes its way to the back burner. You begin to question your worth and wonder how great you really are at what you do.

These are only two scenarios, but the list goes on.

We are so quick to strut our confidence until seeing someone else makes it quickly wither away. Why is this? Instead of admiring everyone’s good qualities, we begin to question our own. We’ve grown up in a world of bigger and better. Thus, it is always in the back of our minds that someone is better. Maybe that is true. There will always be someone with better eyes, better hair, a better figure, funnier jokes, more of a giving nature, more creative intuition, a better work ethic, but guess what? Some people are looking at you and admiring that you have the things they want. So while you concentrate on the fact that you aren’t the top dog at work every day or walk into a store and start feeling like a trash can versus a super model, start realizing what you do have to offer.

“If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.” – Ruthie Lindsey

Ruthie Lindsey is right. Be sure to compliment people when you see those amazing qualities in them, but don’t let admiration for others lead to the questioning of your own worth and value. I, too, have caught myself holding back a flattering remark because in praising others for their qualities, I fear I will lose those qualities in myself. I am afraid that telling someone I like their makeup, or their creative perspective or their knowledge of U.S. history shows a weakness in those areas for me. This is not true.

Say that you have 10 single-dollar bills. You walk up to 10 strangers and give each of them one. At the end, you are short the 10 dollars and can no longer say you have that. Now, say that you walk up to 10 people and give them each a compliment. What does that take from you once you give them away? Absolutely nothing. See, the truth is, I am scared that complimenting someone else will take something away from me. For instance, if I feel I have pretty eyes but tell someone they do, mine will suddenly become hideous. It sounds silly, I know, but think about it. Deep down, we each do it at some point.

I think, to truly have confidence, we have to start giving out those compliments to others. Start looking at people and admiring what they have, all the while not forgetting that you have something good to offer, too. In the same manner, don’t look for negative qualities from others to raise yourself standards up.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air, and thinking you are better than everyone else; it’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone else in the first place.”

You are great the way you are.