How to stop comparing yourself to others (in an instant).
I touched on the topic of comparison in the online space a few months ago, and because if anything the issue has probably gotten worse, it's compelled me to write about it again. And this time, it's not just an online vibe.
First of all, please know that I sooooo feel you honey and I've wholeheartedly been there, believe me. And nope, it didn't make me in the least bit happy or content with my life either, but nor could I stop myself from doing it! However, I can [hand-on-heart] now say that comparing what I have to others, genuinely does not enter my radar, and if it does, it's extremely rare and fleeting at most. It's legit just not a part of my thought process anymore, which is insane. Because at one stage, it was my entire thought process! And I wanna share with you how I got in that headspace.
Before I start, you need to know that not comparing yourself actually takes courage. It means following your own path regardless of what others might think, and that takes guts. Putting the blinkers on and focusing on your own lane takes grit and determination too. It's the furthest from the easy path to take for sure. The easy path is most definitely repeatedly plopping yourself in the comparison zone and staying in a loop of sameyness and inertia that never seems to bring you joy.
If you genuinely want to stop comparing yourself, stop feeling that continued sense of feeling like you're behind, stop feeling like you're not good enough and stop feeling like life's just unfair on you, then read on. This one's a corker 😁
When do you do it?
As an educated guess, I'd say your peaks of comparison are when you're in the pits of your own despair. Am I right? When you feel like life is just not bringing you the goods, you want to look elsewhere to see who's got what you want. And how come they can have it when you can't? And why is this always the way in your life? 😩 And...and...
It's a lot more rare when you're having a ball of a time, right? You don't often consciously pause yourself and wonder if your mate's having more fun or better fun than you. You're just in it. Loving life. So looking out for these 'despair' triggers is key. Note down when and what sends you off on a despair-into-comparison spiral. This is super-useful intel to be aware of as you go through this process.
Why do you do it?
This is a really interesting one, because if you think about it, you bizarrely put yourself through the torture of comparison, 100% aware that the outcome will be you feeling like sh*te. There's pretty much no doubt about that being the result, right? But you still can't help yourself either. So there must be a bigger reason why we repeatedly do it to ourselves.
The simple answer is, you're comparing what you have with others, because you're trying to live and keep up with someone else's life, not get busy creating your own. Now that may sound woowoo and extreme, but it's genuinely the case and I'm real-life proof that that's how it works (more on that later). So I hate to be the one to break it to you, until you make changes and start living life your way, you'll always compare and feel crap about it.
How do you stop it?
Like I said earlier, despite the title of this post, there is no switch that'll flip your thinking in a matter of days. This takes some real soul-searching and some sack-up-ing. It takes being completely sick of not feeling worthy enough, and being completely desperate to finally feel content in life. If this is you, then you can totally do this 💪🏻
The hard work comes from tapping into your gut and really listening to it. Pulling out those despair triggers from earlier and really paying attention to them and how they're making you feel. Maybe it's that mortgage payment, maybe it's that dire job, maybe it's your fitness or lack of, maybe it's your relationship. I'm pretty sure that those despair triggers are the exact things you're using as a lever to compare with others too. And I'm also pretty sure that those despair triggers are through a choice that you've made at some point. So the goods news is, it's therefore a choice you can also un-make 🙌🏻 winner.
So on the other side of your decision-making, when you know what triggers need addressing and changing, you've realised how you can start living your own life, your need to compare yourself with others does genuinely disappear in an instant. Because there's nothing to compare to, your life and your lane is yours and no-one else's ❤️️
So just as a bit of a juicy insight for you:
I went from earning a high-paid, regular salary, always buying new clothes 'n' stuff, owning a beautiful, four-bedroom house in Dublin and going on mega holidays to New York on the regular 👉🏻 to basically not knowing what my income would be each month, rarely indulging on clothes 'n' stuff, renting a bijou, two-bedroom apartment in Birmingham and not having a 'proper' holiday in years.
👉🏻 AND THAT WAS TOTALLY BY CHOICE 👈🏻
Now if you're in the comparing zone, you're most likely looking at my life thinking I'm freaking crazy. Maybe I am. But y'know what? It's my crazy. And making those changes made me as happy as a pig in 💩 Do you wanna know why? 👉🏻 Because my life was no longer about doing what I thought I should do, keeping up with what everyone else was doing, or having what I thought I should have 'by my age'. It was me living my life how the hell I wanted to. And in an instant, I didn't feel the need to compare myself anymore. It was one of the most freeing, liberating things I've ever done (and I've done some bonkers 'freeing' stuff as you know! 😂) and I'll continue to live my own crazy life until my number's up!
So tell me, what are your despair triggers? What are the things you find yourself comparing the most? They just might be where your answers lie 💋