Many of us are slaves to comparison.
I’m not as thin as So-and-so.I don’t earn as much as she does.I’m not as funny or as intelligent.I’m not as tall or as pretty.
The list goes on.
I totally get it. I do it too, but (thankfully) not as often as I once did.
I live in West Hollywood, California, aka Hollywoodland. Land of the beautiful, thin, and young. Each and every day I am surrounded by stunningly gorgeous people.
I’m an entrepreneur with an online presence in a self-help industry that is flooded with competition.
Everyone is a coach, a therapist, a change agent. We’re all competing for more followers and engaging in the daily circus of tweeting, instagramming, facebooking, pinning, and longing.
I could belittle myself, crouch beneath the weight of pining and comparing. I could long for their popularity, presence, shape, youth. And many times (maaaaaany) times I am tempted to go to that place. But I’m happy to report that I’ve learned how to reframe and redirect myself.
Here’s what I do when I’m feeling unpleasantly competitive:
1. Consider what we already know.
Until we learn to celebrate and adore ourselves for exactly the way we are today, in this package, at this weight, mascara streaked tears, with a manicure that is 10 days past due and looming grey hairs, we will never love another. Because when you believe you are enough, you stop screaming and start listening; you’re kinder and gentler to yourself and kinder and gentler to others.
2. Stop. Breathe.
And ACTIVELY recognize that this is not the energy you want in your life. Too often we get pulled under by the overwhelm and forget that we have the power to re-direct our thoughts. It’s time to see ourselves with kinder eyes and remember that the miles we’ve walked and the battles we’ve fought brought us to this point. We’ve arrived at ourselves as a friend. Our first friend.
3. Create a tough-time-toolbox.
Instead of allowing ourselves to enter the dark place, actively create a plan for those inevitable times when you begin to fall prey to the comparison game.
Need a mantra?
“I forgive myself for comparing. Kindness created me and I am perfect just the way I am.”
Lean toward the light and find a way to uplift your beautiful soul.
There’s always a way: a mantra, healthy food, a phone call to a friend, a 10 minute walk outside, meditation – craft your own personal toolbox of comforting remedies. There is unlimited joy in this approach, you just need to use it.
Most of all I’ve realized that comparing myself to others in an obsessive, longing way is just mean. If I’m not compassionate with myself, how can I be compassionate with others? I’d like to choose love instead.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
You’re smart enough. You’re pretty enough. You’re good enough.
Honor your enough.