It’s time to use our comparisons for good instead of for evil.

the larger issue

Comparing ourselves to others is simply a symptom of a larger issue at hand.  When we are focused outward, comparing ourselves and our lives to others, it is simply because we are not focused and engaged enough in the experiences and things unique to us that bring us joy and happiness, or some need is not being met.

what is healthy comparison?

what is healthy comparison?

There is nothing wrong with admiring and appreciating what someone else has done or accomplished.  It becomes an issue when you start to devalue your own accomplishments, or when you stop appreciating your talents, strengths and gifts.

There is nothing wrong with critiquing your efforts when it’s done in a helpful, healthy way.  It becomes an issue when you become hyper-critical of your efforts and now all forward progress comes to a screeching halt and it holds you back.

becoming your own private eye

So instead of using comparison as an opportunity to tear ourselves apart, what if we used it as a launching pad of curiosity?

Instead of telling yourself how awful you are, get curious about why you are feeling that way.  Why do I feel she is a better parent than I am?  Am I just feeling sorry for myself?  Is there something I could actually learn from her, or I need help with?  Why am I frustrated with my kid’s behavior?  What small shift could I make today that would have a positive impact on my child?  Become a detective, you don’t have to have all or any of the answers—just be curious.

And instead of comparison coming from a place of lack—my job isn’t as good as hers, my kids aren’t as well behaved as hers, I am so fat compared to her.  What if we used it as a gauge to measure what we really do want for ourselves and in our lives?

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, what if we used it as in indicator of what you’d like more of. 

If you have the thought I am so fat compared to her—decide what it is that you are really wanting for yourself.  Are you wanting better health?  Are you wanting to replace your junk food habits with healthier choices so you have more energy?  Are you wanting better sleep habits so you wake up feeling refreshed?  Are you wanting to find more ways to move your body that feel pleasurable to you?  Make yourself a list of what it is that you DO want and take 1 small inspired step toward bringing that into your life.

And instead of putting our focus outward, we put our focus inward.

where is your focus?

I can tell when I am not focused on my true desires, when I am not engaged deeply in what has true meaning for me, or when some need is not being met. 

I’ll be scrolling through social media, and instead of using it intentionally, all of a sudden I find: I must have a pug dog wearing a sweater, I must have thick, blonde, wavy locks that cascade seductively, I must go trekking the Himalayas-like now, I must have a picture perfect home, and dang-it why does she always get more ‘comments’ than I do??!!

What is this trekking the Himalayas thing all about?  When I stop to think about it, that does not hold a genuine appeal to me right now.  But with moving to a new home and battling the flu season, I do feel that I am wanting and needing some adventure in my life right now, in the form of getting out of my house.  I have been wanting to get down to the art museum for the longest time.  I have now put a date in my calendar for this week to do just that.  It’s a great start!

You may have heard the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  I invite you to change all that with these easy lifestyle shifts and instead make comparison your catalyst for change.