Comparing yourself to others…and what to do to overcome it

Hi there. This morning I was struck by “comparisonitis”. Yuck. It was a horrible feeling. Frustration and shame at myself for not being where I thought I “should be”, feelings of resentment at this other person, along with the stories I made up in my mind about their situation.

Many of my clients have described to me feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, concern and resentment too about comparing themselves to their colleagues, their boss, their mat leave cover or other women in their Mother’s Group.

I get it and I like to help my clients get past it.

Because comparing yourself to others is corrosive to YOU, not them – it holds you back from taking bold action in your work and life. It prevents you from achieving great things as you worry about what others will say or think. It takes up valuable ‘headspace’, removing your focus from the bigger picture.

There’s also a temptation to make up stories based on your perception and often aren’t true.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“She can achieve all of that because she’s got lots of family support at home to look after her kids…”

“My boss will want to keep on my mat leave cover as they think that I can’t do the job as well as them…”

“She looks better on her Instagram pictures, I’ll never look like that.”

Perhaps there are others that you’ve thought of while you’ve been reading those examples.

So what can you do when you are feeling this way?

  • Write a list of your achievements from the past 90 days – big or small. Often we forget to reflect on how far we’ve come. Don’t discard or denigrate the things you’ve achieved – even something like talking up in a meeting, or doing a report that took a lot of work. Be proud of these things and don’t compare it to anyone else – the focus here is on what YOU’VE achieved.
  • Write a list of your goals for the next 90 days, the next year and next 3 years. Focusing in on YOUR goals allows you to bring your focus back to you – stay in your own line. Again, don’t compare on think about anyone else. This is your moment to dream, imagine about your life.
  • When you are writing your goals, think about how you want to feel when and as you achieve them. Attaching emotion is a powerful way to help you achieve your goals – more so than willpower. You can read more on that here.
  • Use affirmations. My clients love the affirmations that I give to them – have a look at Louise Hay for inspiration. I encourage my clients to develop their own so that it really resonates, drawing on my template. Affirmations can change the neural pathways in your brain. They are far from ‘woo-woo’ and I know many senior Executives (from my former corporate career) who use them.
  • Power poses help to change your mindset too, including increasing endorphins.
  • Every time you start telling yourself a story about this other person you’re comparing yourself to, please, I urge you to stop. Take 3 deep breaths, and remind yourself of all you’ve achieved, your goals, affirm yourself. It will take a few times before you are able to pick yourself up on this. It’s about having a conscious awareness of how you talk to yourself. Once you become an ‘observer’ of your thoughts it becomes easier and and faster to stop yourself going down this negative spiral.
  • You can also use meditation to help you to be better at observing your thoughts and thought patterns.

I’d love for you to sign up to receive my emails if this has been helpful for you. Olivia x

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