How to Crush Comparison When It Rears Its Ugly Head.
Comparison really is the thief of joy.
Have you ever started out your day with a spring in your step, only to be crushed by something you scrolled by on social media? Someone on their seventh vacation this year, another woman with frustratingly perfect features (and skin??), or simply someone whose life appears to just be ‘better’ than yours?
We’ve all been there, spiralling the self-defeat drain, and now our once rosey life suddenly seems to have lost its lustre. The face we considered pretty in the mirror this morning now appears to have transformed into something frustrating and sad. Our job, house, relationship, vacation, fill in the blank, has just been thrust into a spiral of self inflicted judgement.
Though social media has cranked the volume up on this epidemic, prior to social media we had magazines, gossip, and television to remind us that we’re not as good as so-and-so. The torment of comparison has been around for centuries, probably longer, and as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison really is the thief of joy”.
It seems comparison is inevitable, but before you panic or throw in the towel, there is hope. We can align ourselves with some tools to combat comparison. By using these three tactics, we can find a way to turn it on its head and build up a strong defence for when it strikes again.
1. Take A Step Back
It’s easy to get lost down a rabbit hole of jealousy. Close the app. Close your eyes. Take a breath. Life is not a race to the top, it is a journey, and it is your own. Your own experience on this earth is just that, your own. That is something to cherish, and just because you perceive something to be perfect in someone else’s life doesn’t mean it would be perfect in yours. Take a second to think back on all your own ups and downs and how they have built upon each other. Find gratitude in your own experience, and enjoy the memories.
Sneaky trick: Once you’ve allowed yourself to reflect on your own blessings for even 5 minutes, you will likely notice your mind will have released its attachment to the last comparison trigger.
2. Get Out of Your Own Way
Who are you to say that you really are any less than the person you’re comparing yourself to? Even if she is a Harvard grad, a Victoria Secret model, or a twenty-one year old self-made billionaire, how can you actually prove that they are better than you in any way? You could do a survey, but chances are that wouldn’t prove anything because just as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is comparison. Your mind made a story that made you believe you were less than, but remember, it’s just a story. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, you don’t know what kind of edits they made to their photos or how hard it was for them to get up in the morning.
You choose what is worthy of comparing yourself to, so why not choose to remember that we are all human, and while you’re freaking out over your perceived short-comings, someone else may be pining over you.
3. Affirm Your Bad-self
Whether you believe it or not, you ARE beautiful. You are successful. You are leaving a legacy. So embrace that! Again, disconnect yourself from the source of your angst and repeat an empowering affirmation.
‘I am becoming more incredible every day.’
The trick with affirmations is to make them believable for yourself. So, start with something that will ease you in to shifting your mindset, like;” I am open to believing in my own greatness”, or “I am open to embracing my own beauty”. The more you practice affirmations, the more frequently you’ll recognize your own, unique badassery.
The big takeaway from all of this is that comparison is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to tear you down completely. So, next time you find yourself whirling into a comparison hole, take a step back, get out of your own way and affirm yourself, because you really are extraordinary.