Comparison is the thief of joy. It sucks the joy from your life and leaves you with feelings of jealousy, resentment, and envy. Comparison is corrosive. It eats away your ability to be content and confident. It is a poison that kills the love you have for yourself.
What is it about us humans that we feel the need to compare ourselves to others? Why is it so hard to see the good in ourselves?
We all know it’s human nature to compare, but many people get caught up in the vicious and destructive cycle of comparing, then move right into finding fault with themselves. They end up feeling inadequate and small.
I’ve spent a good deal of time comparing myself to others. My particular focus has always been my body. My breasts were too small, my thighs were too big, my hips too wide. My high school friend went so far as to criticize my size 10 feet throwing me into negative self-talk about how I wish my feet were smaller.
And, the funny thing – even when I was at my very best weight and fitness level, I couldn’t recognize it or appreciate how great I looked because I was always comparing. Of course I can recognize this now, but back then it was nearly impossible for me to see.
So much wasted time and energy.
Comparison Is The Thief of Joy
We all have our personal favorite comparison past time:
- Or maybe wanting to reach out to someone you met at an event or at the yoga studio. You hear that little voice in your head tell you, “She’s probably too busy/isn’t interested/doesn’t like me enough.”
But we’ve got to get a handle on this comparison beast and stop feeding it, otherwise, we’ll never move forward and do the things in life we were meant to do.
Today, to help you out of the chains of comparison I’m sharing seven super-beneficial tips. These are the same three tips I use whenever I hear that awful voice of comparison try to take over my thoughts and actions and stomp on my unique brilliance.
1. There’s A Personal Message Here To Help You Move Forward
When you notice someone else is achieving more than you or making more money in their business, it’s a signal that in some way, you haven’t been stepping up to the plate in the way you’re meant to.
Pretty much all of life’s circumstances are mirrors reflecting back to us what’s missing. So comparison becomes the mirror, reflecting back to you where you’ve been playing small instead of growing, stretching and pushing past your fear.
The reflection back is asking you to take a leap forward and grow.
Imagine you’re in a mastermind group with other entrepreneurs. This friend has a great month, bringing in lots of revenue and loads of new followers or clients. Outwardly you’re happy for her, but inwardly you feel less than adequate and small in comparison.
Where have you been holding back? Where do you need to grow? What can you be doing that you haven’t?
In the moment of answering these questions, you free yourself from the negative beast of comparison and can instead, see your friend’s success as an incredible gift — for you and her!
2. Put A Lid on the Trash Talk
When faced with the comparison of someone who is moving along in ways you wish you were, it’s tempting to trash talk the other person.
This is the shadow side of comparison, the one filled with envy or jealousy. We think it’s going to make us feel better to sling a little trash at them, but the reality is tearing someone else down only makes us feel worse. It deepens our feelings of limitation, lack, and fear.
Remember, you’re only comparing because you haven’t yet achieved what you were meant to do.
Instead of slinging slogans, ask yourself, “How can I learn from them?”
Use these insights to move you forward towards achieving what you want to do.
3. Look Back and Revel in How Far You’ve Come
I believe in moving forward, but here’s one time when looking back is useful.
Most people are uncomfortable with honoring how brilliant and amazing they truly are.
Turn the tables! Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, compare how far you’ve come compared to where you used to be.
I regularly call myself a technological idiot. But truth be told, if I look back to where I was a year or even six months ago, I’ve come leaps and bounds. I get to remind myself of this every time I handle another technological beast and am successful!
Set goals and track them. You’ll have concrete evidence to support you in looking back and celebrating those successes.
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4. Remember No One Is Perfect
We all have flaws and limitations even if no one can see them with the naked eye. What we see on TV and on social media is just a snippet of someone; it is never the whole of that person. So don’t get caught up in seeing others as perfect because it doesn’t exist. And remember they struggle with comparisons as well. Comparison is the thief of joy for them too!
5. While You’re At It Get Off Social Media
If you’re really struggling with the comparison beast, do yourself a favor and get off social media. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and all the other social media platforms out there do nothing except encourage an environment of comparison.
Jane posts her “new car” so she can show off and make others feel envious of her. Mary posts a picture of her hot date so all her friends who are at home on a Saturday night can feel bad their dateless.
Social media is when used in this way feeds the narcissistic tendencies and fuels other’s people’s insecurities.
So if you struggle in this area, and comparison is stealing your joy, taking a respite from all the social media hoopla will do you wonders.
6. Cultivate An Attitude of Gratitude
When you come from a place of being grateful for your talents and abilities, you’re less likely to make ugly comparisons with others. You are unique, brilliant and a work in progress. You get to choose what you want to improve upon in your life and when. No one else.
Gratitude allows you to be accepting of everything in your life.
One way to learn how to cultivate gratitude in your life is to start journaling. I’ve started using The Five Minute Journal and I absolutely love it. It’s a gratitude journal that helps me to focus on the good in my life, become more mindful, and live with intention. It’s got a built in structured format based on positive psychology research. You start and end your day with gratitude and the side effects include: increased happiness, better relationships, and more optimism.
What could be better than that? The Five Minute Journal could be the key to unlocking more joy in your life!
Remember the journey is about you! Comparison IS the thief of joy and engaging in that activity will do nothing but bring your down. Use these tips and strategies when you find yourself comparing and you need to break out of that cycle.