Comparison is a Thief!
How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Probably more often than you would like to admit, especially since social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have hit the scene. Everyone is guilty of comparing themselves and their lives to others. I know I do it.
Social media platforms can make it difficult for you to feel anything but a loathing for yourself and your life. It doesn’t take long. A quick scroll through your newsfeed and you see how beautiful everyone looks and how great their life is. A new car. A new job. An awesome vacation. Events like this weekend’s royal wedding can make you feel less than enthusiastic about your own life. As a side note, I don’t know about you but I thought Megan Markal looked absolutely gorgeous and her wedding was every girls dream.
When you see the “highlight” reel of someone’s life you know that is exactly what it is and yet there is something inside that begins to churn. Before you know it your mind has somehow convinced you that 1) you don’t have your life together like so and so 2) you don’t look as good as so and so 3) you don’t have a boyfriend like so and so and my personal favorite 4) your business isn’t as far along as so and so. In the blink of an eye you suck and so does your life. Can I get an amen?
Comparison distorts our views about who you are and what you want. Comparison causes you to lose focus of where you’ve been and where you are going. One of the biggest problems with comparison is that it blinds you from being content and seeing clearly the path that has been laid out for you. When you spend most of your time looking to the left and right to see what everyone else is doing you drift away from your unique path.
This reminds me of my time in the military when I would have to do land navigation or most people know it as orienteering. The first thing I had to do was get my pace count. Your pace count was the number of paces (every two steps) per 100 meters. The pace count was important especially when I had to navigate around obstacles like trees or rivers. If I didn’t know my pace count, as I moved from point A to point B I wouldn’t know how to adjust my distance around any obstacles. I would lose focus, and begin drifting left and right, and eventually drift away from my path. When that happens-YOUR LOST!
Comparison is corrosive. Comparison is a poison that kills the love you have for yourself. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Think about how you feel about yourself after you’re done comparing yourself to others. You’ve got no love for yourself. Just a lot of self-loathing and a baseball bat as you beat yourself up for all that you're not and everything you haven’t done.
I have a client who is a personal trainer. A few weeks ago she reached out to me and said she had signed up for an Instagram account and in less than 2 hours she deactivated it. When I asked her why, she said she couldn’t take it. When she looked at other trainers Instagram pages it would send her into a tail spin. Even though she knew this was happening she kept going. 2 hours later and a somewhat shattered self-image she knew she didn’t want to open up Pandora’s box. She knew that it wasn’t worth it to kill the love she had for herself.
How many of you can relate to my client? I know I can. It’s like a black hole. You know you’re in there and it takes all you’ve got to get yourself out.
What can you do to keep Comparison from being a thief in your life?
I want to share with you the steps I take to keep Comparison from being a thief in my life!
I want to say up front that this isn’t easy work. These steps are not a quick fix. It takes time and effort to change your thoughts. Take baby steps every day to get where you want to be.
1. Recognize/Remove your triggers
Like my client did in the above story, you want to recognize what you “hot button (s)” comparisons are (bodies, houses, careers, vacations, family, money). Know what triggers you.
Once you know what your “hot button(s) are then you can stop reading the messages that don’t build you up. You can unfriend, unfollow, unsubscribe, un-whatever you need to so you can avoid the temptation to compare.
2. Get inspired
Find people or groups to follow, watch videos or read blogs that will inspire you, make you feel better, and make you a better version of YOU!
3. Check your thought life
My favorite thing to say is “Change your thoughts, change your life!” Nothing has ever been more true in your life. What are you saying to yourself?
My friend, now is the time to become aware of your thought life. Your words to yourself should build you up not tear you down. When you catch yourself saying something that tears you down, STOP, and REFRAME it or come up with a positive affirmation to replace it.
4. Cultivate an attitude of Gratitude
Train your brain to start seeing more of life’s positives. This can be anything from being grateful you have a roof over your head to being grateful that the person in front of you in the Starbucks line this morning paid for your coffee.
When you cultivate an attitude of gratitude you will begin to see more positives in your life. Focusing on those positives will keep you from focusing on all those things you don’t have in your life.
5. Be YOU!!!
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are uniquely you! Who you are and your gifts are unique to you. Be proud of who you are and the gifts and talents you’ve been given.
I have a theory. I believe there is someone out there in the world that is waiting for your gift and they cannot share their gift until they receive your gift. Don’t you want to share your gift? You can’t share it if your quest is to be like someone else.
Words of Encouragement
Love YOURSELF! Love YOUR life! There is no joy to be found in measuring your life against anyone else’s. Keep your vision fixed on following the plan and purpose for YOUR life.
When something triggers you, stop and ask yourself:
What about X triggers me? When you get that answer then ask again what about (your answer) triggers me? Whatever that answer is ask again what about (your answer) triggers me?
This will help you get to the core of what is really going on. Keep asking yourself until you get to the bottom of why it triggers you. Trust me, it goes deeper than you think.
Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
Keep the list handy and look at it when you are not feeling very grateful for yourself and/or your life.
When you wake up in the morning write down three things you are grateful for. Reflect on those three things throughout the day.
How does Comparison steal your joy? I would love to hear. You can share in the comments below or you can DM me on Facebook/ Instagram or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the comparison trap has you in its web and you can’t find a way out, I would love to help you. Connect with me so we can talk.
I would be most grateful if you shared this post with someone you think might benefit from the content. Thank you in advance for sharing!
Make today amazing!