As you actively create your one, awesome, amazing, perfect life, you may occasionally stumble with that thief of joy, comparison. Comparison is so habitual in life nowadays, that you may not even notice yourself doing it, but if you take a present minute, you’ll feel it in your body. For me, it feels deflating, a sag to my shoulders, or tightness/heaviness in my chest. With those sensations, I am reminded to check in with my thoughts. Quite often the thoughts will be judging myself harshly by comparing myself to others.
Charles Spurgeon said, “A man will speedily sit down and sympathize with a friend’s griefs; but if he sees him honored and esteemed, he is apt to regard him as a rival and does not so readily rejoice with him. This ought not to be; without effort, we ought to be happy in our brother’s happiness.”
Why is that?
There really isn’t any reason why a friend’s good news shouldn’t be good news to me. Then why would my response be less than rejoicing with them?
Could it be because my inner critic has established a “trigger”, or when-then that says, ‘when I hear others good fortune …then I feel all the ways I have not succeeded, somehow less than, and failing’?
Comparison demands a winner. Comparison also demands a loser.
What if you simply opted out of comparison?
What would life look like then?
Isn’t comparison simply a kind of pride? C.S. Lewis reminds us that, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person.” When I engage in holding my personal yardstick up to my friend and find myself wanting, it’s a form of pride.
Nichole Zasowsky points out that comparison believes that we only have permission to celebrate if we are better than whomever we decide to measure ourselves against. Pride again. Wow! (Nichole’s book, “What If It’s Wonderful?” is fabulous.)
That’s all well and good, but how do I opt-out?
- Cherish your uniqueness. Talk with yourself about how great that bump in your nose is, love your freckles, rejoice in your inability to skydive, and how much time that frees up to do your favorite activities like reading in your favorite armchair. Be you. Nobody can do it better.
- Believe in a Creator that will work with you and teach you how to make the life that really makes your heart sing. Flex that faith muscle by learning about your Creator and taking quiet time daily.
- Do hard things. Take risks and get scared. (really, it’s okay.) The personal growth that comes from moving outside your comfort zone will make an amazing buffer between you and that thief, comparison.
Get out of your head and go do some good in the world.
Share a smile. It’s the elixir of life!
Here’s to Creating Together, my friend!
All my love,
CMH Coaching for Life