Do you suffer from comparisonitis?
It’s an actual thing.
I know I can suffer from it really badly at times and I’m sure I can ‘t be the only one.
It’s hugely debilitating. It really stops me in my tracks, and can literally seem to paralyse me. I see what other people are doing, and find my own efforts so lacking by comparison that I get overwhelmed and can quickly sink into a funk.
I was talking about this to a friend a while ago, and it was the first time I had ever heard the phrase:
It’s so true!
Comparing ourselves to others robs us of the joy and happiness of our own accomplishments and lives.
If you are prone to bouts of comparisonitis, then here are 6 strategies beat it:
1) Step away from the screen
I’m not sure if there are any concrete studies to suggest that comparisonitis is worse in the modern age of social media, but I can’t help but think that this might be the case.
I can be feeling on top of the world, and full of motivation to get on and take the steps I need to move me towards my goals, but after half an hour of aimless scrolling on social media, my old friend is back, and I find my own efforts sorely lacking compared to all the other content I see out there.
I am learning now to recognise the feeling as it creeps up, and for it to prompt me to log off and actually get on with what I am supposed to be doing, or better still, to get out of the house for a walk.
On social media we only see the end results, the shiny, air-brushed versions of perfection that people want us to. We see the engagements and the holidays, and the successful product launches. We don’t see the family rows, and the piles of dirty washing, and the products that flopped.
2) Practise gratitude
Gratitude journals are rapidly becoming something of a cliche in the personal development world, but you don’t have to go as far as religiously documenting 3 things you are grateful for each evening before you go to bed (although you can if you want!). It can be as simple as taking a moment when you are feeling the creeping tendrils of comparisonitis starting to curl around you to think about all the things you do have, rather than the things you don’t.
If you are reading this, you are already in a far more priviliged position than the majority of people. Chances are you have a roof over your head, you have eaten today, and you have access to clean, running water. And you definitely have wi-fi and some kind of device for getting online. By many accounts you are winning at life.
It can be all too easy to lose perspective, and to think that everyone else has it better than us, is more successful than us, is achieving more than us.
Take a step back – think about all the things you have already achieved, how far you have come, and yes, how much you have to be grateful for.
3) Be you
Always remember that you are you.
You are uniquely you.
People will follow you, use your services, buy your products, because you are you. There is something about you that they are attracted to, and that resonates with them.
Your competitors will have their tribe, their followers, their customers. And you will have yours.
Believe in you, the wonderful unique you-ness of you. And that your tribe is out there.
4) Don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides
It’s all too easy to see other people, their achievements, and what they are doing, and to think that it’s easy for them. That success has just fallen into their laps.
We don’t get to see other people’s insides (or at least not very often). We get to see the finished product. The icing on the cake. The shiny veneer. We don’t see their insides.
But we do see our own. We see the chaos, and the overwhelm, and the mess. We see the fears and the doubts, and the snotty tears of frustration.
And we think that it’s just us.
It’s not just us.
In fact, there are probably people looking at you right now, and thinking “it’s ok for her” – seeing your successes and your achievements, and thinking that success has just fallen into your lap. You know it hasn’t.
5) Recognise your own achievements
Sometimes we get so caught up in chasing the dream, and looking around to see what everyone else is doing, that we forget to look backwards, at just how far we’ve come.
Once upon a time I had never used Twitter, I didn’t have the first clue about setting up a website, and not so very long ago the thought of getting my first coaching clients absolutely terrified me. But I did it.
There will be stuff that you have done too, that you once never imagined you would be able to do – whether that’s start a blog, or sell your first product, you haven’t always been able to do it. You have already stepped out of your comfort zone, and achieved. But we have short memories for the good stuff – remember the good stuff.
6) Don’t compare your Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 10
Wherever you are in your journey, there will be people ahead of you, and people behind you. There will be people who haven’t even realised they have a journey to go on yet.
It’s not a race. It’s a journey.
There will be many detours, many ups, and many downs.
But just as you are uniquely you, your journey is uniquely yours. Keep moving forwards, one foot in front of the other. Cheer on those you meet on your journey, and every so often, take a look back to see how far you’ve come – you might surprise yourself.
So how about you guys?
Do you suffer from comparisonitis?
What are your tactics for dealing with it? Do share below, or hop over to our Facebook community of changemakers and join in the conversation 🙂