It can be stealthy, subtle and sneaky.
It can infect your thinking…
without you ever having any idea that it is there.
Comparison. Comparing who you are, and what you have, what you do and what you’ve done against what you see others being, doing and having done.
How do you compare against your neighbor, your coworker, your best friend?
Whether consciously or not, I’ll bet a LOT of money that you’ve taken a look at yourself and rated yourself relative to where somebody else is.
So, is this a terrible, cursed thing to be doing?
Let’s start with the no. Why is comparison NOT the root of all evil?
Comparison can be healthy. We see our friend making a positive change for their health – choosing better foods, incorporating exercise into their day. And we see that things are changing for them – they’re feeling better, stronger and its having ripple effects in other parts of her life. She inspires us to reflect upon our own choices and we make some changes that will help us also improve our health.
Cool – that’s great. Comparison leading to inspiration and positive change.
That’s one example. We can likely name a few other examples where comparison has led to inspiration – seeing someone else achieve something despite the odds can give us “permission” to achieve for ourselves.
Then let’s talk about why comparison might truly be the worst thing that could happen to you.
- Limits your beliefs of what you can achieve. You see that someone else has what you want and you see all the reasons they’re different from you and you’re able to make a ‘reasonable’ excuse for why you can’t have the same for you.
- Gives a home for negative self talk. Perhaps it’s cultural, but we have a tendency to talk down about ourselves to ourselves. We’ll be critical of ourselves in ways we’d never be to our friends. And when we then compare ourselves against another person and how perfect and amazing they are, it is easy to draw contrasts to our lives and fuel that negative self talk.
- Allows us to rationalize why we can’t do something – “well, I don’t have what she has, so I can’t achieve similar””My idea isn’t as profound as that””I won’t have the impact he does””I’m not as strong of a speaker/writer/thinker/expert…”
- Stalls us out – Procrastination and paralyzation (I just need to learn one more thing, need to do one more re-write, need to do a little more research, need to wait for the weather to improve, need to wait for the kids to be older)
The other thing about the negative side of comparison, is that we often don’t realize we’re doing it. It’s insidious and quiet, yet starts that stream of negative words into our brain and can affect and infect all we do and think – leaving us feeling limited, less than, not good enough, not ready.
Pssst… you don’t really think you can leave that perfectly good steady job, that pays you perfectly good money that allows you to pay all those bills to go chase a child’s dream of being a travel writer, do you?? That’s ridiculous, only an irresponsible idiot would do that….
You recognize this voice, don’t you? It sounds very rational, it keeps us “safe” and makes us feel like if we doing anything outside the norm, we are risking our lives. Sometimes this voice wins, but sometimes we know that, however ‘rational’ that voice might sound, we have a calling that we cannot ignore, so we have to move forward and make change in spite of that voice.
So… how to break past it. How to shake off that voice and the negative feelings that can come with comparison?
Luckily, the ways to get past that negative voice of comparison are simple. They do require some focus and action taking, but if you’re ready to step into your bigger vision, you’re ready for focus and action.
The 4 Steps to Curing Comparison
- Get present
- Develop your vision
- ‘Turn up’ the vision
- Make it a non-negotiable YES
The beauty of this is how good it feels. Even if you aren’t feeling a strong call to make a big life change, but want to shake that habit of comparison, you can do it and get more centered and operate from a place that is more positive and true to you. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
- Get present.Basically, this is about finding yourself in a calm, peaceful state – free of regret and anxiety. You may typically be in this place, or know how to get there. If you need help, here’s a simple meditation to get you into a place of calm presence, ready for clear thinking.
- Develop your vision.What is your dream? Your passion? Your calling? Grab papers, markers, pens, and draw it out, write it out. (If you need to get your juices flowing, maybe you need to get out for a walk or a run, take a shower, whatever works for you.) What does it look like? When will it happen? What needs to happen in preparation? Can you do less than you think in preparation? What actions can you take immediately? And then, what does it FEEL like? What does it feel like to think about this reality for you? Write down how it will feel and how it will change your life once you’ve made this happen. (If you don’t already have a strong, big vision that’s tugging at you, start small. Is there a new hobby you’d like to try? Some place you’d like to visit?)
- Turn up the vision.
You’ve written down how it will feel and how it will change your life to make these changes… Write and/or think some more about what your life will be like when this happens. Get into juicy details… What kind of people will you hang around with? What will your home look and feel like? What will you be doing? What will you be doing with your free time? What foods will you be eating?… Things like that. How does that feel? Write down any more feelings that come to mind and take some time to read each one and let it soak into your body. Where is it in your body? Feel it and then turn it up so that feeling radiates into every cell and even beyond. After you’ve done that for the individual feelings, do it for the vision as a whole and really turn it up, so it’s radiating from you.
- Turn it into a non-negotiable YES.You’ve done great work here. Now, take action. You know what your vision is, take action today. I’m not going to tell you what to do, because you already know. What I can do to support you is to tell you that you now have permission, you now have the assignment, you can choose to make this real for you, today.
Katy Moses offers Entrepreneur Energy Coaching sessions via Skype to help you gain clarity around your life and business, identify blocks, behaviours and beliefs that are limiting your momentum and to help you release and heal so that you can move forward, with calm, clarity, strength, alignment, joy and inspired action. Do you have your sessions booked? Visit KatyMoses.com for more info on sessions and to book a clarity call.