For as long as I can remember I have been someone who would often compare myself to others. When I was younger I wanted to be a gymnast—all the other girls were so petite both in height and bone structure and I was the complete opposite. I used to stand in front of the mirror and wish to myself out loud to be shorter. I would slide my legs further apart as if doing the side splits—my reflection in the mirror seemingly making this wish come true—the bathroom sink covered my legs, so it looked pretty believable. There have been more recent times where I would look at social media, especially others who had coaching businesses and I would compare mine to theirs—seeing them as super successful, leaving my monkey mind to call me all the names under the sun.
My inclination to compare—an unconscious habit, has more recently become a more conscious inquiry, where I am more aware of this tendency and will catch it before it spirals me out of any motivated, expansive or creative state. But, to get to this point I have had to really build up my tool-kit with things that help me either avoid even crossing over into the comparison mindset, and others to help me get myself the hell outta there.
Today, I wanted to share with you some of my tool-kit because, I feel even though it’s best to create our own, as you know yourself better than anyone, I find it’s always helpful to have a guiding start. Especially if you are someone who has only really come to the conscious realization that, you most definitely are someone who has been caught in the comparison trap for sometime and are desperate to break-free, but unsure how.
Here are some of my tools to staying conscious and traversing 'Comparisonitis':
- When it comes to social media I put a limit on how long I ‘scroll’ and whom I choose to follow. If whom you follow doesn’t uplift you or inspire you then select unfollow, with love of course. Having a time limit say 20 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the middle of the day and 20 in the afternoon (this varies depending on whether I’m uploading several posts) –something that I try and stick to but, I must admit I have let this slip of late and have noticed that it can send me down that comparison trap and anxiety can creep in, so I know I need to continually tweak and be conscious of this.
- Reminding myself of how much I’ve grown and evolved over the years and making this a daily reflection, to honour my wins however big or small. This directs my focus back to myself, what’s important for me and allows me to feel more at peace.
- I always aim to be better than I was the day before. What I mean is instead of comparing myself to someone else, I look at how I can show up more fully and truthfully as myself than the previous day.
- I acknowledge that when it comes to moving my body and the way I look I need to do what FEELS good and ‘right’ for me. There is no point comparing you to someone that does Cross-fit 7 days p/week and follows a strict meal plan in order to live with a six-pack 24/7. There is nothing wrong with that, because, that is someone else’s truth. But, I know it is not mine and this has taken me many years to master. Knowing what feels ‘right’ for you when it comes to fitness, movement or exercise is so important. The way I came to know what felt good was I just tried different things and learnt with time to be honest with myself and if it didn’t feel good after the second or third time doing it, it just isn’t for me.
- This one is a biggy…there are no SHOULDS. Often when I have looked at where other people are in their business my monkey mind is set off and tells me ‘I should be further along in my business,’ and ‘I should be earning more money.’ In order for me to move through this I either journal or speak to myself, I give myself some compassion and remember that where I am is divinely where I am meant to be. As long as I stay true to what feels ‘right’ for me and follow what lights me up, along with taking inspired action, I know all will eventuate at the right time.
- Connect with one-self. Connecting more with myself through journaling and meditation has had a profound effect on the way I feel about myself, where I am in my life and has helped me strengthen my intuition. Meditating and journaling also fills in those times where I used to just reach for my phone and begin scrolling on Instagram. But, when I began to consistently follow these two practices daily, I felt so much more connected within myself, I fell out of my head (social media creates sooo much ‘headiness’) and I came back into my heart space and felt more centered and grounded. I also became more focused on what I wanted to achieve and how I wanted to show up each day.
- Follow your bliss. What lights you up is going to be different to someone else. You may have things in common but you are you, and they are they, so each of us will bring a different look or flavour to the end product. So, next time you look at someone on social who is doing what you love, or feel is your bliss…just got ahead and do it!! Obviously you wouldn’t copy exactly to the tee what they are doing but you would bring your own flair and uniqueness to it. Again, connecting to what is true for you and following that—you cannot go wrong.
- Be patient. We all have different lives and to always wish you were where someone else is in any area of life be it relationships, business, fitness, will only create tension, sadness and angst in your body and mind. Set goals, visualize and FEEL into your desires and take action, but let go to any attachments of exactly when and how things will unfold. All you have to do is stay true to your desires, and continue to take inspired action towards them.
I hope these tools give you some idea of how you can begin working through 'Comparisonitis'. I know I have mentioned social media a few times above—don’t get me wrong social media is a wonderful tool and a great way to share and connect. However, in a world that continues to get louder and busier it will only benefit us if we become more discerning—by bringing a more balanced approach to how and what we choose to draw our attention to.
Above all, knowing that you are whole, worthy and have no lack will bring you back to a place of self-love, kindness, compassion and most of all JOY. Be gentle with yourself and remember there is only one of you in this whole entire universe, be bold, be brave and be YOU.
P.S - I would love to hear how you go with compiling your own tools that help you move through 'Comaprisonitis'...Comment below or email me at sammy@sammyjpearson.