I write to you from New York City, a place that has been hugely affected by hurricane Sandy. I feel grateful to be safe and sound in a dear friend’s apartment and my heart goes out to all of those that have suffered losses. It’s a difficult time for this city, and it’s beautiful to see people come together to take care of their community.
I came to New York for a conference with brilliant movers and shakers from around the world. It was full of poignant insights, booty-shaking music, and concrete business strategies – gotta love it! I also had the opportunity to take the stage and talk about comparison.
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t compare themselves to others, at least sometimes. The results aren’t usually in our favor and we spiral into negativity faster than the flush of blue liquid in an airplane toilet. Sound familiar?
It can be a hard habit to break (and, yes, it is a habit), but it’s worth the effort – I promise. Here are three strategies to getting on the no-comparison wagon.
Be present. The more you stay anchored in the moment, paying close attention to your surroundings, your body, your breath, and your connection to the people around you, the less time and energy you can devote to going into your mind and comparing.
Cut it out. One of the biggest challenges in avoiding comparison hell for a lot of us is the internet. We get sucked in to Youtube and Facebook and our competitors’ websites and start making mental judgments about how great Amber and LaMichael are, and how lacking we are.
Take a social media break and avoid going to those sites that bring up the drama for you. I suggest going cold turkey for a week and then easing back in when you’ve broken your habit.
Practice gratitude. Be grateful for everything you’ve got going on: your shiny hair, your amazing sense of humor, your extensive vocabulary. And then expand that gratitude out to include everything that the focus of your comparison has going on also: their adorable feet, their big audience, their flat abs. They are part of you, part of your world, and the fact that their feet are perfect makes your world even more awesome – if you let it.
Praise that which you desire. If we can’t be fully happy for others’ successes, we may be unwittingly pushing those successes our of our lives.
The fact is, comparison doesn’t just feel bad for us. It feels bad for the person on the receiving end also. When we are in our mind and making judgments about how we are better than or less than others, we create a barrier to genuine connection. That connection is what loving communities thrive on and what feeds our soul and purpose.
Join me in breaking this habit. For the next two weeks practice these three strategies, see how you feel, and notice what changes in your life. Are you willing to take my two week challenge?
Ps. Here is a picture of me rockin’ the mic! How fun!