Compare: to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences, or
to be worthy of comparison; be held equal.
I notice themes with my clients: yesterday most of my clients were struggling with comparing themselves to others. Not as the first definition notes, to note similarities and differences, but to define their 'worthiness'.
And each one found themself to be lacking, not as good as.
And yet, what a price we all pay when we compare and find ourselves lacking or not enough. Not worthy.
It is the thief of joy.
So what it the 'fix'? How can I help clients, and myself at times, stop?
Become aware: become conscious to the fact that you are using comparisons with others. Sometimes it happens so seamlessly we are not aware, fully aware of what we are doing. And yet I imagine each person, and each client, feels that comparison in their heart, in the pit of their stomach, in their body somewhere. And I imagine beneath the sensation is shame, guilt...dissatisfaction and discontent.
Notice what your thoughts are. Thoughts are not real...and you can manage and change them. Breathe and focus on something different. Walk outside. Take a drink of water. Put a hand on your heart and say kind things to you. Be compassionate with you.
Focus on your strengths. You do have them. If you did not have some strengths you would not be reading this. A fun way to discover your strengths is to take a survey at this website: www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/ You will have to create an account - they never send emails or bother you - and then go to Questionnaires. Find the VIA Survey of Character Strengths and take the survey. I highly recommend this as a way to be able to claim and focus on what is true for you.
Focus on your journey: stay in your lane!
Be careful not to criticize others: it is really another way of comparing yourself to them. Breathe. Feel your feet on Mother Earth. Say 'thank you'.
And...be kind and compassionate with yourself. We all face challenges...down times, down days and believe me, other people's lives can look a lot better than ours. Every time you compare you to anything else, you are losing your life force energy and soul to thoughts...which are not real. They are just thoughts. So change your thoughts!
And I put this last although it could go first: what are you grateful for? A teacher challenged me once to find 40 things every single day to be grateful for and I could not duplicate! It was a challenge and it made me be aware of so many tiny, small and seemingly insignificant things in my life I take for granted. What are you taking for granted.
What could be your mantra today when you find yourself comparing: I am whole as I am. I am worthy of love. I live my life with joy and anticipation of good. Whatever it is, put your hand on your heart and feel your breathe. Your feet. YOU!