Why judge yourself based on other people if they have no idea who you really are?
“Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self-worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.” – Elizabeth O’Connor
Nothing gets us off track from our life or our goals than comparing ourselves to others. You are an incredible person though and you have a unique role to play in the transformation of the planet.
So, stop comparing yourself to others!
Easier said than done.
Sometimes we can’t help but look at other people and the green-eyed monster of envy comes out to play. It is usually about something they appear to have that we don’t. Or vice versa.
He’s got such an easy life. He makes so much money. He’s already fit. He’s got a book deal. They have no problems at all!
What’s going on inside
“Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point – that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.” – Jennifer James
It is the internal response that crippling though. I’m too fat. I’m too lazy. I’m too…
They almost always come down to the big kahuna though. I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I am less than [everyone else].
Then the adrenaline pumps. The thoughts race. The inner critic has a field day. Some of the things we say to ourselves are things we would punch other people for. I’m an idiot. I’m a fuckwit.
Then the emotions go down the drain.
Pretty soon I am a wreck. Sound familiar?
How to stop comparing yourself to others
Simply put, in this space we are anywhere but right here, right now in the present. You are either in the negative past or future. You most certainly aren’t in your body. And that is exactly where you need to be. That is where your POWER is.
When I get into that space, I find that nothing is better for getting my out of my head and spiral of negativity than a pen and paper. Not a computer…it is not organic enough. Writing with a pen is visceral, kinesthetic. It gets you back in your body.
Here are some questions or thought starters that I use…choose one or choose them all!
What are you envious of? – What is it that you think they have got? What does having this give them i.e. why EXACTLY are you jealous? This may give you a clue to what you actually want! What are one or two steps that you could take towards what you truly want?
Get real about the situation – Most envy or jealousy about is based on assumptions and appearances, especially if we are basing what we see on Facebook or Twitter. What facts do you know about the other person’s situation? What assumptions are you making? What might be the downsides of having what you think they have? (Almost EVERYTHING has a downside)
What are you proud of? – What are 100 things that you have done or achieved…no matter how big or small? Next to these write down why this is so amazing!
Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate – What are 100 blessings that you have? What are 100 things that you can appreciate about your life?
Get some sage advice on the situation – Write a letter to your wisest self or your inner 80 year old (thank you Julia Cameron and the Artists Way for this one!) or your biggest hero about how you are feeling, what you believe etc. Get it all down. Everything. Drain the swamp. Then put your pen down, take some deep breaths, pick your pen up and write a letter back to yourself as if you were writing from your wisest self or inner 80 year old or biggest hero. See what your bigger, wiser self has to say on the subject!
Change how you want the situation to be…on paper – Write down all that you are thinking and feeling about the situation. Again, drain the swamp. On another sheet, write down what you do want…in detail. Ditch the first piece of paper…burn it, flush it. Keep the second.
What would scare the bejeeeeesus out of you? – Most of the time we are living well within our comfort zone but we are capable of amazing things if we try. What could you do that would move you towards your dreams that would scare the living daylights out of you? Now instead of finding reasons not to do it, write down 100 reasons why it would be amazing to do. Then do it!
Some other thoughts to remember
Here are some bigger principles and lessons that might help in those moments as well…
Trust YOUR process – Everyone is on their own journey on the planet. People evolve at different rates and have growth spurts at different times. Sometimes people will be ahead of you. Sometimes you will be the object of other people’s envy. Just know that your path and everyone else’s (yes…all 7 billion people on the planet) are different.
It is not a competition – Comparing yourself if based completely on lack mentality and competition. There seems to be not enough to go around (money, resources…self esteem!). This is just a perspective and not a very empowering one. How about choosing abundance and collaboration? Being pleased for other people’s good fortune, blessing them and supporting them will put you straight back in the flow.
Take responsibility – Responsibility is about your “response-ability” i.e. you have the ability to choose how you respond to the situation. You are also responsible for your life and what happens in it. What can you choose to think and do that will lead you to where you really want to go.
You MUST take action – any of the above questions or thought starters will shift your internal perspective and state. If you want to create real change in your life, you are going to have to DO something. I am a big fan of BEING. However, following your calling and living the life you dream of is both an inside and outside job.
- What action can you take in the direction of your dreams?
- What is the very first step?
- What causes you to start comparing yourself to others?
- What strategies do you use to get back on track?
Photo: Flickr/Mandy Jansen