Tell me if this sounds familiar - You see someone, on social media or at an event, maybe a party or on the school run, and they appear to have their personal and professional life well and truly together. All whilst looking completely goddess like in the process, of course.
And not only do they appear to have it all, but they also seem to do it all. And whilst their ducks are neatly lined up in a tidy little row, you seem to have caffeine fuelled squirrels, all with their own agenda. All you can think "How does she do it all?!"
All you can think in that moment is “How does she do it all?!”
And although you don't want to be that person, you feel a sting of envy wash over you. You start questioning your abilities, where you’re at in life and where you're going…. And before you know it, you make the decision to go on some ridiculous fad diet, you’ve joined the PTA, registered for an online crash course in Italian and you’re obsessively googling new career ideas. And macrame.
This, my friend, is a classic case of the dreaded comparisons. And I wont lie, I've experienced this on several occasions, usually at a time when I wasn't quite where I believed I supposed to be (You know, on the the imaginary timeline we gave ourselves to achieve things by a certain time...?!) In all seriousness, I’m yet to meet another person who who hasn’t, at some point on some level, found themselves comparing their journey to that of another which left them feeling rather lacking in the life department.
So if you're reading this and thinking "F*%k. That's absolutely me" - you're not alone, it's super common and it just means you're human.
It's how you deal with it that counts and having enough awareness to acknowledge that you're spiralling down the comparison rabbit hole means you're in a better place than you know!
Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to disempower yourself and knock your confidence in the process
Now, whilst it’s not uncommon, I believe that comparing yourself to others is possibly the fastest way to disempower yourself and knock your confidence in the process, not to mention stealing your joy and creativity along the way. Lets face it, if you catch yourself in a state of comparison, it doesn’t feel good.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Several years ago I made a discovery that forever shifted my perception of those moments, that in turn led me to approach comparison with compassion and curiosity. Here’s the thing, those feelings of envy (lets call it by what it is!) are merely indications of something in your own desires and dreams that are yet to be fulfilled and a loss of focus on all that you are. With a strong emphasis on the word yet…
So instead of comparing, dare to get curious! Be brave enough to ask yourself what those slightly uncomfortable feelings of envy are actually telling you and make the commitment to compassionately reconnect with yourself . A great way to do this is through journaling or carving out dedicated time to reflect up on this through meditation. I know, far from revolutionary but it's often the simplest methods that yeild the most powerful results
Here's some questions to get you out of a comparison mode and into state of curiosity and self compassion:
When do I find myself struggling with “the comparisons” the most?
What are the feelings of envy or comparison trying to tell me?
When I bring the focus back to my own journey, what am I most proud of?
How can I extend compassion towards myself in moments of comparison?
What am elements of my journey so far am I grateful for?
What am I most proud of right now?
What inspiration can I take from those I usually compare myself to?
What qualities do I most admire in the people I compare myself to?
What inspired and aligned action can I take from this?
These journalling prompts are designed to reconnect you to all the magic, love and amazingness you already have within you, refocus on your achievements so far and help figure out where you maybe want to go next. Some will resonate, some won't. Your journaling may surprise you. It may bring up things you had no idea you wanted to explore and through the cathartic process of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards!) you may even come to realise that the things you were coveting are actually not for you at all.
In which case, you can release them!
Finally, a gentle word of caution….
Forget what “everybody else” appears to have or be doing, especially on social media. Asides from the fact that social media merely portrays a persons “highlights reel”, peoples real lives involve a vast myriad of experiences, resources and environments that we often know very little about, no matter how much we think we do.
The best comparison you ever can draw is against the person you were yesterday. Be inspired by another’s success and see their wins as proof of what is available to you, get curious about elements that you could incorporate or explore on your own life. But ultimately, keep the focus on your own journey.
And whilst we’re here, don’t forget to reflect and appreciate how far you’ve already come. I can guarantee you that there will be someone out there, looking at you right now and wondering “How does she do it all?!”
I hope this article provided some value and inspiration on your journey. If you'd like to work with me through my 1:1 coaching program then I'd love to hear from you! Simply send me a message me via firstname.lastname@example.org