“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
We all do it right? Compare ourselves to other women … assuming they have it all under CONTROL.
- The family
- The job or amazing business
- A great figure and dress sense
- Intelligent and articulate
- Great hair and nails
^^^ We all KNOW someone like that? But who’s to say they don’t think of you that way?
I’m Guilty of It Too
I’ve always struggled with comparing myself to other women for most of my life. It could be all consuming at times, halting me in my tracks not able to move or do anything.
The comparison started young for me.
I had an older brother who I secretly hero worshipped … but don’t tell him that! He was very cool, popular and an amazing, gutsy swimmer. Where as I was a bit of a geek, I loved reading, learning and worked hard and far from cool with my own unique teenage fashion sense.
Then in my teenage years I’d compare myself to the other girls, how pretty/clever/popular they were … never objectively just in a direct comparison mode BUT with no true metrics to compare.
My beautiful best friend always followed by the boys who hung onto her every word. She accepted me just as I was with mullet hair cut, top and bottom train track brace and NHS specs.
My cheeky friend who got me into the pub with her cheeky chat and could talk to ANY boys when I was tongue-tied and shy.
Even at times I’d compare who was growing boobs the most quickly! Although that all came good for me in the end. 😉
As I got older, it became more about the BIGGER things in life. Getting married at 24 also meant I was the first to get divorced and compared my wedding and marriage to EVERYONE else’s.
Work as well when I didn’t get the promised promotion the comparison spiral would start.
- “Why them?”
- “Why not me?”
- Then it became absolutes NEVER me, it ALWAYS happens to me … that seals your own fate.
And more recently my want to be a mum has led to me comparing myself to my friends who are mums and sometimes not wanting to be with them. NOT because of them but for my own reasons.
AND the ever present business comparison on days when I don’t feel great. When I see ALL that others have and one of what I have. I have one friend who has a HUGE business in terms of numbers where as mine I work with a smaller group of lovely ladies at anyone time. BUT we both think that the grass is greener and we would both swap sometimes!
It’s a BIT like Pringles …
Once you compare you can’t stop … the business you have, the clothes you wear, the leaness of your body … it goes on and on and can become all consuming.
It can be constant checking on Facebook … a deadly tool for comparison. And one I avoid on questioning days.
It can take the pleasure of day-to-day life. Your friend who you love BUT seems to be in complete control all the time. It STEALs joy. It makes you seem LESS. It’s feeding the DARK and dampens down the light.
Where did my Comparison Come From?
I believe it came back to feeling like I wasn’t enough and not having my internal values in check. Which meant I’d often look externally for reassurance and comfort, maybe even to validate who I was.
In times of stress and worry I had so much doubt and lack of clarity as I didn’t know ME that I would become like Interpol and ask for opinions everywhere.
For me comparing myself to other women came from me not feeling ENOUGH and having enough prediction and response within ME.
The Destructive Power of Comparison
It steals joy but does much more. It can really destroy our confidence and self belief BUT I believe it lies deeper than that.
- Comparison belittles our own achievements
If we compare we take away from what we have achieved. Put simply it’ll NEVER be good enough. The new job won’t be enough if you compare your salary to your best friend.
- Comparison steals time and energy
It takes time and energy to compare, energy you could be putting into knowing who YOU are and what YOU want.
- Comparison can go ON and ON
It starts with the small things, your best friend attracting boys constantly and ends with your feeling low about your marriage compared to others.
- Comparison might be based on what you perceive and NOT truth
You DO NOT know what is happening in everyone else’s life. Facebook for example is a show reel and people select the highlights to share, they won’t share the lows so much. So the truth might not the TRUTH.
- Comparison does not gives any happiness or pleasure.
What positive emotions come from comparison? If you feel other women are further ahead … you’ll feel down. If you feel they are behind you.. you’ll feel pity and sorry for them.
- Comparison is a LOSING game
As above but what good comes from comparing?
- Comparison is based on FEELING not TRUTH
What is the metric in comparing salary, happiness, house size, what car and holiday destination … it’s not comparing apples and apples. One person’s dream house is another’s nightmare.
- It does not serve ANYONE to compare to other women.
Instead that energy can be focused on getting to know YOU. Who you are and what you want. To become your own best form of prediction and responde. To protect the YOU bubble.
What is a better FEELING than comparing?
Know who YOU are and what YOU want
We’re all our own women and we all want and NEED different things in our lives. Knowing who YOU are and what YOU want keeps the focus on YOU.
Create and stay on your own road.
You’ll have your own road to what you want in life; the family, the job, the body or the business … that road is YOURs only with it’s own milestones and challenges.
Be grateful for what YOU have and what YOUR life
Gratitude, keeps the focus on your own life and being grateful for what you have … your business/job, family and partner. Women are so focused on everyone else and looking after them it’s not often we just stop and think THANK YOU.
Build your own success bank
Build a little bank of your successes and magic moments. They don’t need to BIG things but achievements and happy times… ‘DAMN I DID THAT!’
Walk away and HELP
Walk away from what’s triggered you and sent you into comparison. For example for me if I don’t have the best day I can sometimes fall onto Facebook and comparing that ONLY adds to feeling low.
Life is a process of CREATION not a destination
Sounds woo woo but it’s true that life is not about getting to the END … although we all end up there! It’s about the learning, experiences and growing as we go. You don’t need to compare to create.
Take heart in other people achieving what you want, instead of comparing ask for their help and lean into all their experiences, which in turn can save you time, pain, money and effort.
If you do compare here’s a SIMPLE, FAIL-SAFE way to do it
Compare only with YOU … strive to be better a little bit each day for us but also for all those who rely on us and love us. Committing to growing a little each day and celebrate the small steps forwards into what YOU want.
And think of those women you compare with. The ones you put on a pedestal … they still need love, support and care. How would it be to ask them how they are? To check in with them? To ask how they do it AND share their experience.
- What if you changed your attitude?
- What if you asked for their help?
- What if you asked them how they do it?
- What if you learnt from what they do?
- What if you learnt from their failures and achievements?
They might just appreciate the help and love 🙂 All is not always how it seems from the outside. Facebook for example is the showreel life NOT the actual life.
You’re not ALONE, never ALONE
If you do compare you are NOT alone .. it’s all too common especially amongst women.
WHY? We have a larger social part of our brain, the mammalian part so comparing comes as part of that and comes from the time we needed to be in groups to survive the sabre tooth tigers of the world.
We’re actually DESIGNED to compare more and think more about what people think about us. It’s in our nature so it’s NOT just YOU.
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