Confidence Booster Series: Let Go of Comparison
“Comparison is the death of joy.” – Mark Twain
This week’s focus is to look at the ways we use ‘comparison’ in our lives and practice what it feels like when we release the need to be different than we are.
Comparing ourselves to others is a common thing to do. This type of behaviour often begins in early childhood as a way of learning how to gain the acceptance and approval of our loved ones. We may compare ourselves to someone else, or we may see how we measure up to a standard we’ve set for ourselves. If we choose, we can even compare ourselves to ourselves. We may wish we were more like the past version of who we were, or perhaps we are aiming for some future version of who we could be. Either way, if we aren’t accepting ourselves the way we currently are, we risk our sense of security and personal happiness.
In order to be truly happy, I believe we must accept and love ourselves as we are in this very moment and let go of the need to see how we measure up against others.
Comparing ourselves to others is an entirely different thing than being ‘inspired’ by others. When we are inspired by someone, we see value in what that person is offering the world, and witnessing their gift lifts us up. When we are inspired by someone, we have a sense of joy and admiration for another human being. When we are inspired, we may be motivated to create more happiness in our lives, but it doesn’t come at the expense of criticizing ourselves or the other person.
When we compare ourselves to others, I believe we are doing one of two things. We are either beating ourselves up for not being like the other person, or for not achieving whatever it is we believe the other has that we don’t. Or, we are beating up the other person because doing so makes the person sharing their gift seem inferior. If that person is knocked down a bit, then the person feeling insecure about themselves gains a very temporary feeling of perceived superiority and security.
The thing I have learned the most about ‘comparison’ is that it can serve as a very powerful gauge for how I am feeling about myself. If my reaction to someone’s success is an immediate feeling of joy and admiration, I know I’m feeling confident and I’m on the right path. If on the other hand, I witness someone’s win and immediately think about my shortcomings or fails, I am reminded that I need to take a look at myself. The same holds true when I find myself minimizing another person’s success. I use that feeling as a strong indicator that I need to point the finger inward and do more self-care to build myself up.
When we find ourselves in these negative spaces, it is never truly about the other person, it is about how secure we are with ourselves.
The truth is there is enough room on this planet for everyone to shine their light bright and to experience joy. Being happy and living a fulfilling life isn’t reserved for a select few. It is not as though there is a happiness quota on earth and one person’s success somehow means we have lost an opportunity to experience similar success and joy. When we follow our ‘OWN’ joy and accept ourselves right now, we won’t be looking to be more like another person and less like ourselves. When we give ourselves permission to cherish our own personal gift and light, the need to compare shows up less and less.
So this week resist the urge to compare yourself to others as much as possible. Be kind to yourself and have some fun with changing your thoughts and words. If you hear yourself beating up on yourself or on another person, don’t use it to feel worse. Instead use your experiences and self-reflection as an opportunity to say something ‘different’ that will help build you up. Before you know it, it will become more natural to let go of comparison in exchange for accepting yourself as you are right now.
Believe in Yourself – ❤ Emily
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — come on over and join our growing community within my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you.❤