Many of us do – but for what reason? Have you asked when you catch yourself? Comparison can be a double edged sword. It can be a source of motivation like you see someone who has what you want, is doing what you want or is being who you want to be and it gives you a surge. It gives you new ideas and fills you with potential! That’s great if that’s the way you see things all of the time.
The trouble is that not all of us see it that way or see it that way all of the time consistently and that is the comparison I want to talk about.
The comparison I want to talk about is the one where you feel you SHOULD have more, SHOULD do more or generally SHOULD be a better person because you’re comparing yourself to another person. This causes us to devalue ourselves and create jealousy in relationships and let’s face it – it’s just not ecological. This means good for self, good for others and good for planet.
Here are 4 steps to kicking or reforming your comparison habit:
- Kick SHOULD to the curb! “Should” is really not a very nice word sometimes, especially in this case. Should implies “necessity” and that isn’t always true in the thoughts we associate it with. Who says we should have more of anything or be better at anything? Is it really what you want? It’s your life and no one is better at it than you. Tell SHOULD to walk a mile in your shoes. The next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to another and saying you should… stop and ask “who says?”
- Remember nothing is perfect. There is just no way to know what is going on in someone else’s world unless you walk a mile in their shoes – so to speak. You may see a gorgeous house on the outside but have no idea of the marriage that crumbles within its walls. You may see a stellar saleswoman on the outside but may not witness the angst she feels inside for having to be away from her kids so often. The point is, just like a political election, it is near impossible for you to know the exact circumstances. So if you are comparing yourself to an ideal of perfection that is just setting you up for exhaustion and failure. Everything is imperfect and perfectly so.
- Focus on yourself. Like I said above, it’s your life. No one does it better than you. You are the only person cast for this role and the only person who can get it done. Keep track of your progress instead. Maybe you’re starting a fitness journey and you walked twice last week. Perhaps this week you walk three times. Maybe you have a business and want to expand by growing your customer base. You might want to create a goal and a support plan that markets to new customers. If you have 50, make your goal for 75 or 1000 – not 10,000 (at least not yet) and set yourself up for the win! When you achieve that, set yourself up for the next incremental win. Oh, and celebrate!
- Stop giving your resources away! If you are comparing yourself to another and feeling poorly for it then you are choosing to focus your energy on someone else instead of what you want. If you’re brooding about how fantastic someone else is and their life is just perfect (it’s not – see #2) then you are distracted, and definitely not focused on what YOU want. Your energy best serves you!
It’s great when you can notice another who is enjoying success and be genuinely happy for them while wanting to have it for yourself too. The key is when you notice this person you feel inspired or motivated or even curious about how to incorporate it into your life. It doesn’t make you feel bad. Take some time when you find yourself noticing another person, relationship, job, etc. and see how it feels inside. Embrace it if it serves you or take these steps to serve yourself.
Here’s wishing you the clarity you deserve! Have a great day!