Comparing Yourself Is A Hard Habit To Break

By Savannah Castaneda

I've been comparing myself ever since I could remember. 


I would compare my work-ethic in school - which made me a very unhealthy college student as I stayed up till 4am and got two hours of sleep, even though I knew I knew the material inside and out. 

I would compare my family & home - and would feel bad for not being the girl with the super nice clothes; for not being the girl that had two parents in the same house; for not being the girl that lived in a big home with a big yard and nice windows; for being brown and wondering why the white family didn't get harassed in the store. 

I would compare my personality - which made me severely question my existence. I'm very outgoing and charismatic, but not with everyone. I'm also kind to everyone, but I'm not nice. That just wasn't me. And that came a lot from being racially profiled & discriminated against and sexually harassed for being a brown Latina woman, and for having PTSD, anxiety, and depression. But in general, I've never walked around with a cheesy smile, with an energy that says "Hi, come talk to me," with this energy that wasn't on-guard all the time, with not a mug. But I have always been super jealous of those that do. If you suffer from mental health issues or have known someone who has, you'll know that sometimes those issues just take you into a fog, and for me, it was really hard to get myself out of those. And, for the most part, I didn't show my energetic, charismatic, super funny personality because of that. I would see this girls get all of the attention in school because they did those things I couldn't - they said hi to random strangers, they engaged with everybody, they made friends easily, they would make themselves the center of attention. But I couldn't do those things. And I got super mad at myself for not being able to.

I would compare my career succession - and that really fucked me up in college, since I was a low-income student that couldn't afford to take these UNPAID internships at these big fancy businesses, networks, and institutions like the kids with safety nets and connected parents/family members could. I would see other students get these great internships (which were all unpaid at the time because the U.S. loves using free labor for capitalism) - ESPN, NBC, NIKE, THE WHITE HOUSE, CONGRESS, MAYOR'S OFFICE, CHASE, etc. - and would be so resentful because there I was working in the bookstore, dining common, or Starbucks working so I could send money back to my mom and pay for my books and rent. i needed every hour that was free to work because my education, my livelihood, and my family's livelihood back home depended on me. I didn't think it was fair for that to be my and thousands of other BIPOC students' experience, and I still don't think it is.

I would compare my body. And oooooh, girl, that is a whole other story. But this has been a very big issue for me, especially because I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia to explain the extreme actions I would take to make myself smaller. But I basically have had a very hard time loving my body, even as a young mijita. I was too brown, I was too big, I was too wide, I was too this and too that. I'm never good enough for myself. And this is probably theeee hardest habit for me to break, especially when I've been surrounded by beautiful women all my life when in sports, living in Los Angeles, working in entertainment & sports, and living in New York City. This is the habit that I've wanted to heal the most. 


Needless to say, I still compare these things today. And taking on this small businesses has resurfaced this habit of  even more so because I'll try and compare myself to businesses that have been in the game for 3+ years. With businesses that are in stores across the country or that are in stores in the malls in certain states. With businesses that have hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital and resources to use for their inventory, marketing, and packaging. With small teams to handle their social media, shipping, directing, and operations.


But I need to be proud of myself for the things I have accomplished and the things I'm doing. And despite the big accomplishments you see on Instagram, I hope you are proud of everything you're doing. Our dreams are ours, and we should only be focusing on our journey and our leveling up. Love ALL of yourself, homegirl. Because you are beautiful, smart, funny, unique, interesting, and loving. You are all of these things and more. And despite our bad habit of comparing ourselves, we have the opportunity to love ourselves. And when we love ourselves, we seek to be uniquely us, because we know what we have and what we bring to the table, and we know that nobody else can do it like us.


Here's to continuously finding ourselves and learning to love who we are.

Stay Blessed, Chingona


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