She seems to have her act together and I don’t…She has a better body than I do… She’s getting more clients than I am. These are the thoughts you have when you are comparing yourself to someone else.
It can be our constant inner dialogue. But what does it get us? Ugh, It just leads us to be depressed!
If you have a tendency to compare and despair, here are 6 ways to shift and enjoy who you are now (even if you want to keep getting better)
- Use your 60,000 opportunities a day
Did you know that scientists guestimate a human being has 60,000 thoughts a day? That means you have 60,000 opportunities a day to focus your attention on what you WANT to create, instead of feeling bad about where you are now.
When you are stuck in the ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’ you are focusing on matters that you cannot currently control. These thoughts are like empty calories, you use up your mental energy and attention but they don’t give any nutrition for your well being.
Telling yourself who you think you ‘should be’ focuses your attention on the gap and keeps you focused on the negative. Instead, focus on who you WANT to be. Put that energy instead into clarifying the results you want for your life, and who you need to be in order to get there.
- Catch yourself doing “right“
You can tell your brain what you want it to pay attention to, and not. Many of us may look at what we do ‘wrong’, but we can intentionally focus on what we are doing ‘right’ and celebrate it. The more you celebrate your wins, your successful problem-solving, where you feel great about your body, your relationships, your health, etc. the more it will put you in a positive state and cause you to look for more you are doing right.
The feminist icon Regena Thomashauer advocates a practice she calls a “Trinity”. This is a saying that consists of a brag, a gratitude, and a desire. Start making a practice of sharing Trinities with the other women (and men) in your life. Everyday share at least one thing you are proud of that could be considered a “brag”. Did you make a unique contribution to a project at work, handle a situation well with your child, ask for what you want with a family member, or beautifully arrange some flowers you picked? You can brag about any or all of those! Next state something you are grateful for. And finally, focus on something that you desire so you can stay in a feeling of anticipation to create it.
- Decide to Believe you are Good Enough in order to Create that Reality
Thinking you come up short in comparison to others can create that reality.
The entrepreneur coach David Bayer teaches that “Beliefs are Decisions”. If you believe you aren’t good enough, Your thoughts will lead to feelings, which will lead to actions (or lack of action), and lead to that reality. It’s better to use your energy to decide what outcome you DO want for your life. Even though your belief is not yet reflected in your current circumstances, the best way to achieve life outcomes that will make you feel ‘good enough’ is to start with a belief about what you want and have it be a guiding decision.
- Be more objective
When you compare yourself to others, usually you are evaluating the situation through your own emotional lens. Instead, try to be more objective. For example, my friend started a company in a competitive field and felt like a failure because the other companies were bigger. When she started to look at the facts of the situation, she realized the other companies had been around longer and had been started by people who already worked in the business for years whereas she didn’t have those advantages – so her comparison was really ‘apples to oranges’. And yet even though the other companies were bigger her company had grown at a faster rate. By getting out of her despair and analyzing the other companies’ more objectively, she was able to learn tips she could then borrow for her own business.
- Replace the Gap
Instead of looking at the gap between you and other people, identify what it is about their situation you admire. And then identify what it took the other people to get the result they did. When you look at others’ success we tend to think that it must have come easy to them, or they were ‘born that way’ (and by implication that you don’t have those advantages). Instead, ask yourself if you are doing actions that are within your control in order to have a similar outcome (are you following a system in your business, are you eating foods that will help you feel attractive in the way you want, are you learning techniques for public speaking like she might have?)
- “Do You”
Be the best YOU can be. In a world of specialization, people want to hire you for your UNIQUE strengths. Use the energy you are wasting to find out more of what your passions and strengths are. Get curious about how you can serve your clients even better and bring new ideas to them. Ask more people around you what they did to lose weight or be successful or find happiness in their relationship. Experiment with new exercise regimens to see what works best for you. The idea is to pour your energy into being the best YOU can be rather than wanting to be like someone else.
Disclaimer: Opinions in this article belong to the author.