This weeks post comes from the first tip in my eBook A Rad Bitch's How to Guide to Life: From Post Break-Up Survival Mode, to Rocking at Life, and it feels like it's a message we all need to be reminded of from time-to-time. I've seen countless articles and email newsletters written on this topic recently, as well as questions from within my network of peers - Yep! Even us Coaches, battle with with the dreaded Comparison-itis from time to time!
You know that feeling, when you see some other Girl Boss totally killing at life. She's posting all these amazing photos across Social Media - Oh look, another Instagram photo on a beach with her puppy and Significant Other, followed by a Facebook update about that gig she went to last night. Whatever the case story may be - it doesn't actually matter.
What matters, are the stories and the meaning that WE attach to other peoples lives.
Sometimes we look at those around us with envy or jealousy. It's easy to get caught up in thoughts that there's some finite level of AWESOME available in the world, and that somehow, it's being unfairly distributed - especially when you're really struggling. Sometimes, it just feels so f*cking unfair!
"Like, really Life? How come SHE gets to have ALL of the AWESOME, while I'm stuck over here on Struggle Street? Gahhhh!"
Okay, if this is YOU right now? STOP!
Here are some really important things I want you to remember:
First of all, the people in your life, are here because you're YOU.
They love you and want to spend time with you because they damn well get the person you are. Unless you have totally shitty friends - this is a good thing! They love YOU - quirks, weird habits, dangerously high number of feline friends and all!
Secondly, EVERYONE starts out SOMEWHERE, and has a bad day every now and then.
This one took me a long time to realise for myself, so please don't beat yourself up if this takes some consistent practice - and some missteps along the way. It may be that the Girl Boss you've been shooting dagger-eyes at through your phone screen, once found herself in the same tired, old, warn through sneakers you're dragging your butt down to 7/11 for a sneaky 2am donut in (It's ok, we've all done it). There are any number of possible events that may have occurred, and choices she may have made about her life - let alone how much work she's put in in the mean time, to get to where she is now.
The take home message here - is not a new one, but it is an important one all the same: You can't compare your Page 1, to someone else's Page 101 and expect them to look the freakin' same. Seriously, plot and character development are crucial elements to any story that's supposed to make any sense - let alone great to read!
Third, whatever you get to see is NEVER the full picture.
Regardless of where you interact with others, be it at work, uni, the gym, online, or even through the media - you will never get to see a complete picture of who they are. Whatever you see of them - particularly online (or in the media) - will only ever be what someone chooses to show you. In reality, unless you're reading trashy tabloid crap - in which case what you're consuming is probably totally made up bullshit - you'll only get to see the BEST selfie that someone took, not the countless other ones which feature weird light, or the ones when their eye was half closed and they look kind of drunk. What we see is CURATED.
Fourth, it's great to have positive role models and people who inspire you, BUT...
Role Models should have a positive influence on you. They should INSPIRE you to grow as a person, and to be your own best self - they should not bring out feelings of defeat or hopelessness. If you've tried all the things I've suggested so far, and you've still got a severe case of Comparison-itis, I want you to remember that YOU get to choose what and who you see, or at least how often and how you interact with a given person. If you REALLY can't shake the negative feelings someone brings up for you, limit or eliminate the contact you have with that person - at least until you feel more confident in where you're at.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, REMEMBER THAT THE ONLY PERSON YOU SHOULD BE COMPARING YOURSELF TO, IS YOU!
Check in with how you feel about what YOU are doing, feeling, achieving? Who do you share your life with? What do you have to show for yourself? What goals are you working towards, and how much closer are you to reaching them than you were yesterday? Last week? A month ago? Five years ago? How much have you grown and what have you learned from your unique experiences in life?
Ask yourself, "What AM I doing?" In spite of all the excuses you could be making, and potential set backs or barriers which would cause anyone else to throw their hands up in the air and scream, "F*ck this for a joke!" I guarantee that you're kicking more arse than you think you are - AND I'd be willing to bet that somewhere out there, SOMEONE else is looking up to you, hoping that their Page 101 looks half as freakin' AWESOME as yours does to them.
Thanks again for stopping in, and please let me know in the comments section below:
How YOU deal with Comparison-itis when it rears its' head?