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It seems like whether we’re thriving or holding on for dear life, we seem to peek our heads to see how everyone else is surviving. Social media makes these “comparison traps” even harder because people love to show off.
The beginning of the year is the season of self-doubt. When people are already counting “wins” we may be ready to kiss our goals goodbye (again).
What are the reasons we get stuck in comparison traps?
- We question if what we’re doing is “right.”
- We want to be accepted even when we don’t accept ourselves.
- It gives us an excuse to quit.
- We no longer recognize our own “wins” because all we focus on are “losses.”
- We haven’t secured a mentor, trainer or guide to keep us focused on our path.
- It can become lonely when we’re working long hours on our dreams. Comparison breaks up the loneliness.
- Our dreams/visions/goals aren’t full-fledged commitments.
- Our squad isn’t supportive or on a similar path.
When I see entrepreneur friends who are killing it in their dreams and goals, I realize that they’re putting in ten times more work than me. I don’t look at that as a personal weakness. I see it as a challenge. If I can’t applaud a friend or colleague on their success because I feel it reflects poorly on me, then I got work to do. Reminder: No one is considering MY goals when they’re achieving THEIR goals. That form of competition doesn’t breed success.
A cognitive trick I talk about in mental health therapy is teaching people to recognize their personal mirrors. We “project”, or throw, our thoughts and worries onto other people because our flaw is ALL we can think about. We assume that’s all they see too.
For example, if I look in the mirror and see someone who isn’t smart, I will assume everyone sees the same thing. I will react to people as if they’re treating me like an idiot. I will assume that every rejection and unanswered text is because people think I’m not smart. When we build up the confidence to work for a promotion, begin a weight loss program or start dating it’s easier to give up if our personal mirror isn’t rooted in love.
I can’t imagine there’s a person on Earth who thinks they’re flawless everyday but are you going to focus on the flaws or the strengths? Point out your strengths daily. Hourly.
Are you focused on your mediocre resume or your badass network of references?
Are the thicker thighs a problem or a benefit during weight training?
Were you hired to have voluminous hair or for your ability to work well with customers/clients?
Did any of these sentences make you feel like you need a boost? This is where coaches, mentors, spiritual guides and therapists fit in. They’ll remind you of your strengths until you learn to do it yourself.
I recently read that likeability is like a prison. Is our desire to be liked something we carried over from adolescence? (I see an upcoming blog post on this subject…) Accepting who we are places a neutral label on what we see in the mirror. It’s not good or bad. It just is. It’s easier to be loving towards myself if I’m centered in the middle, in neutral, rather than at the other extreme of “negative.”
Bust out of comparison traps by reminding yourself how remarkable you are, how realistic and within reach your goals are and give yourself credit for making it through the day. Find people who believe in your goals and will only lift you up. Accept more than what you see in the mirror. Click To Tweet Point out the wins from last week, last year and the wins that made you feel alive when you were a kid.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. That’s all you can control and you can only go HIGHER from here!
Book Recommendation: You Are Enough: How To Elevate Your Thoughts, Align Your Energy and Get Out Of The Comparison Trap by Cassie Mendoza-Jones