June 2, 2015

3 Ways to Overcome the Comparison Monster

We’re friends with a bunch of world shakers. No, really. They’re writing books, speaking to stadiums, starting motherhood and lifestyle blogs, creating movements, running multiple businesses, and getting featured in People magazine, just to name a few. Boom.

Like I said, world shakers. And you would think that when the group of us (super over-achievers) get together, that we would spend the whole time competing and one-upping one another. That we would drive each other into a frenzy of performing and “who is the latest person to do something awesome” or “who has the most of what” just to feel like we belong. But 99.9% of the time that’s just not the case. We cheer the loudest for one another. We’re the first in line to buy the book or get the magazine off newsstands. We send each other ideas that we could have used ourselves. We text each other with little party horn emojis and red dress dancing girls. Because nothing, and I mean nothing, says “I love  you & I’m proud of you” like a red dress dancing girl. True that.

But we are all also human. And that’s where that .1% comes in. ALL of us, every single one of us reading this if we’re both human and being honest, fall into that comparison monster trap from time to time. We start to worry about if we’re enough, if what we’re doing is enough, and whether or not we measure up to those amazing people who are just killing it all around us. But it’s what we choose to DO in those situations that makes all the difference. We can either stew in the poisonous pool of jealousy and let it make us bitter, or we can learn from it and get better. Through years of being friends with some pretty amazing people and watching & learning from how they handle comparison, to a few things that we’ve stumbled on & learned ourselves along the way, we’ve come up with 3 Practical Ways to Handle Comparison the second it starts creeping in.

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1. Be the first to cheer. When someone has done something amazing, you get a choice: you can either spend the whole time praying it doesn’t come up and do everything you can to minimize it…OR you can be the first one to bring it up! To raise a glass, to shine a spot light on them, to be the first to leave a comment with little party horn emojis. And just like that it instantly diffuses those feelings of comparison. Not only that, but it replaces it with these awesome feel-good feelings because you’ve done the right thing. Cheering for others changes you. Try it the next time you’re faced with the opportunity and just see if it doesn’t change everything.

2. Admit the comparison. It doesn’t have to be in some dramatic, tearful, talk it out sort of way….but sometimes just saying, “gosh, you are totally KILLING it in this area. I’m actually super jealous of how well you’re doing that” can totally pull the fuse right out of the bitter bomb. Comparison is a lot like Fear…sometimes all it takes is saying it out loud to remove all of its power. It’s like a giant exhale and a huge weight off your shoulders. And when it’s out there, you see that it wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as you were making it out to be. AND you give the other person a chance to a) feel encouraged & grateful for the good things you see in them and b) to say “oh man, but you don’t know how long it took to get there.” or “oh trust me, it’s still a work in progress. Let me tell you this story” or “oh that’s so funny, because I’ve totally been intimidated by how you’re killing it over there.” Be the first to blink. Be the first to let your guard down. That’s how we tear down walls.

3. Ask to learn from them. You always have this choice: You can either see the universe as a series of people brought into your life to show you everything you don’t already have….OR you can see them as a series of people brought into your life to teach you something. We should always want to choose the latter. If you see someone rocking out their business or their money or their organization skills or their platform or their ability to do 27 different things at once….whatever it is that you wish you had, ask them how they’re doing it. If you see someone rising up really quickly in your area, don’t think “oh we need to squash them” …think “hey, they are obviously doing something really right! Let’s go be friends with them and learn from what they know!” And then teach them some stuff too. And then we all get better in the process.

Above all, just remember there is no limit on how many world shakers can fit in at the table, there is room for everyone. The only limits are the ones we put on ourselves.

Go rock it out!
M:)

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  1. Jil

    “You can either see the universe as a series of people brought into your life to show you everything you don’t already have….OR you can see them as a series of people brought into your life to teach you something.” LOVE

  2. Amy Demos

    If only blogs would allow me to use the red dress dancing girl on this comment!! You, friend, are amazing. I LOVE this and love you. You are killing it. In every sense of the word. Thanks for being the world shaker brave enough to write this and for being the friend who throws the confetti from the party horn :)

  3. Amy

    You have no idea how timely this post is. So, so timely. And, I’m truly grateful. Thank you!

  4. Sara-Anne

    There are balcony people (people that always bring people up) and basement people (people that always bring people down) you my dear, are definatley a balcony person… and it’s so inspiring!

  5. candi

    Love this! so true! It’s so hard to see how big the mountain you climbed is when you are looking at the top of the mountain someone else is on. I needed this reminder today! Thank you!

  6. sandra fazzino

    having gone to a male dominated school that specialized in a (then) male dominated field, i struggled with how to pave my way. i wasn’t jealous, but i did feel inferior. i think it’s wonderful that you recognize that jealousy exists – that it seeds bitterness and discontent – and that there are ways to overcome it and that you’re sharing those values with your readers. and truly, even if we’re feeling ‘the pinch” to be more then we already are – we’re missing out on the basic premise of life – that we are loved far beyond our limited-mini-mediocre-measuring tapes by Someone far greater than anyone seated at our dinner table. you are a wonderful cheerleader – because there are those of us who walk through this completely unaware that the person next to us may be feeling vulnerable…. it’s good to be reminded. xo

  7. Annamarie

    Love this and you so much!! Thanks for always being the biggest cheerleader and encourager…for being such a light and for being brave and never giving up and for teaching me so much..you are a huge inspiration in every sense of the word and I am so blessed by you!!xo

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