Have you ever heard the line ‘comparison is the thief of joy’?
We’re going to be focusing in this part of your journey on comparison.
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We all do it, we all compare ourselves to other people and the result of it is rarely positive.
If we’re looking at someone else and saying to ourselves that we’re doing better, we are judging that other person, which may be reflecting a need to comfort an insecurity within ourselves.
If we’re looking at another and thinking we’re not as good as them, then we end up feeling down on ourselves. It can completely ruin your day. Whether it’s that they’re better looking, fitter, skinnier, cleverer, more attractive, having more fun – whatever you are judging them or the situation as, it will likely make you feel less valuable.
First, let’s identify your main points of comparison. What do you find yourself regularly picking others up on? Good or bad. Make a list.
Are you aware of any correlations between how you’re feeling first or what’s going on with you, when your comparison points are triggered? It could be when you’re feeling bloated and all of a sudden, everyone else but you has a perfect flat stomach. Or it could be when you’re single and not wanting to be, everyone else but you has a perfect partner.
There are two approaches we can take with this. Number one is to dial up your focus on self care when you’re feeling vulnerable. Check in with your feelings each morning. Are you feeling down? Vulnerable? Open? Generally ‘less good’? Practicing compassion for your own feelings and staying on high alert for your mind jumping on the ‘everyone is doing so much better than me’ bandwagon.
Secondly, we can do some work on your perceived weaknesses. If you are picking out repetitive positives or negatives in other people, this is very interesting. The positives (where you’re saying that someone has or is something better than you) may ultimately be a recognition that you perceive yourself to be lacking something. The negatives (judging another for something) are likely things you believe you have/do too, but you don’t like this about yourself.
Going back to your main points of comparison from earlier, perhaps look at them again under this lens:
For me, my stomach used to be a big issue. If I saw someone with a flat stomach, I’d think things like ‘they have too much time on their hands’ ‘they have the good genetics’ ‘it’s easy for them’, or ‘I’ll never have that’ ‘I’m ugly compared to them’.
Turn around and I see someone with a stomach that I perceived as undesirable (as I saw my own), I’d think things like ‘they must be really lazy’ ‘they don’t care about how they look’, which were things I used to think about myself beneath the surface.
So if someone had what I wanted, I might feel bad things about that.
If someone had what I had and didn’t want, I might feel bad things about that too.
All reflecting my own desires back at me, plus the story I was telling myself that I didn’t have any power to change the situation or get what I wanted.
Let’s do the same for your points of comparison.
Once you start to dig beneath and see the real things behind the seemingly ‘first’ thing, it’s incredibly interesting and revealing, and it shows you the real meaning behind comparison.
What this does for you:
- Helps you break down your own patterns of comparison – so you do it less and feel less shit!
- Reveals to you again what you truly want – so you can go after it
- Become aware of the judgements you’re placing on other people – and therefore on yourself – and do them less
- Show more compassion to yourself
When we accept ourselves as worthy, deserving, desirable and all the other positive adjectives that we value, the need or drive to compare ceases because we recognise that we are good enough and that we are all individuals.T
Until next time,