Much of many of our lives is spent caught up in comparison. If it’s not against your brother, sister, mother, best friend or neighbour then maybe even against yourself. Your yesterday, last month, or even 3 years ago.
Behind comparison lies a number of things…people-pleasing, insecurity, competiveness or even boredom. While some of these may just fall into your personality traits, that in noway means that you aren’t able to combat comparison & start to live with a higher level of truth, a new positive habit.
3 ways that help me combat comparison:
Acknowledge what you have
An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. There’s an age-old saying that “The more you have, the more you spend, the more you want”. While you can probably think of 10 friends who fit this description, it’s my guess that deep-down you know this to be true for you too.
A simple ‘count your blessings’ moment, will help your brain to take stock of all that you have. This in-turn is likely to create a flood of dopamine to your brain – leaving you happier, more action-orientated and less likely to point out negatives, or in this case what you don’t have.
Know what you want & where you’re heading
Comparison is often the habit of those who lack in vision, personal direction or conviction. Get to know yourself. Embrace visioning activities (like this one) that get you thinking about what YOU want for your future. Then allow your VISION to develop into actions, which will ultimately lead you towards your best self. The life you dream of living.
The people least likely to compare themselves to others are those who are so sure of where they’re heading, that other’s victories are easily acknowledged, celebrated and let go of. There is no room for comparison when your road is so clear.
Get out of your head & start to be more present
One of the most prominent moments of comparison is the half hour that follows, after hearing of someone else’s success. The reason for this is that we are likely to celebrate with someone in the moment, but once alone we allow our brains some room to filter through everything that was said, done or even thought in the prior few moments.
This reflection-time is a pivotal moment to take charge over. The moment you allow a simple thought to spiral into something bigger, you lose the battle.
An easy way to catch yourself in these moments is to say out loud…
“I am so happy for …. for …. . Every person deserves happiness, and I am on a path towards my best life too. It’s different to theirs so I can’t compare, but it’s mine, and that’s what matters.”
While saying this out loud may seem odd, these declarations trick our brains into believing that we truly are ok with someone else’s success, and thus our brains enter a happy space, and are less likely to fuel negative thinking.
Another way to get out of our heads is to think over our own vision again. To remind ourselves who we are, what we want and where we’re heading. Moving in the direction of your dreams is enough to escape any negative thought patterns.
You may be shaking your head now & thinking, “how could someone not be happy for someone else?!” If that’s you, how wonderful that your personality allows for such thoughts. Give grace to those who have yet to learn this skill. We all have our shortcomings.