“Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.” ~Scottish Proverb
I grew up believing I was never enough. Ever. Not when I got all A’s in school. Not when I was in the talented and gifted program. Not when my father made more than enough money for me to buy whatever I wanted.
I became an adult who compared herself to others too, always wondering why I didn’t have what they had or why I wasn’t as pretty or as cool.
I brought this behavior into my relationships and my business. I would get super jealous to the point of stalking when it came to my romantic partners. I was controlling and pushy because I thought they would leave me for someone better.
In my business, I would obsess over other entrepreneurs and wonder how they “had it all,” convincing myself that no one cared what little ole me had to say. I played the victim all too well. And it kept me stuck, alone, and broke.
After a series of dramatic events, including a baby, a layoff, and a divorce—in one year—I hit rock bottom. It sucked, but that’s what it took for me to realize how terribly I was treating myself.
I committed to making changes in my life, my behavior, and my attitude. I had to embrace who I was and who I was going to become. I had to risk becoming nothing to become something.
If you catch yourself playing the comparison game often, it’s important to remember one thing: you don’t know anyone else’s story. You can only base your assumptions on what you see, and that’s a pretty shaky foundation to put all your bets on.
A complete shift in focus and mindset around these behaviors needs to happen. Here are some things I learned to do instead of comparing myself to others.
1. Compliment them.
Most of the time, when you are jealous or comparing yourself to others, it’s because you think they have something you don’t. The natural instinct for most of us is to criticize them. We try to pump ourselves up in by putting them down.
It’s a terrible practice and it puts you at a low vibration, feeling even worse. Instead, find something you really admire about them and compliment them.
If it’s someone you know personally, send them a message or a note. If it’s someone you don’t know or someone with celebrity status, send a tweet or leave a nice comment on the blog. I guarantee you will brighten up their day and feel good about it.
2. Believe in yourself.
You are a beautiful, amazing human being. You were put on this Earth to do something unique. We all are. Unfortunately for some, they never embrace it and end up living unhappily.
Believe you have a purpose and a mission in this life, whether it’s big or small. If you don’t believe it, then no one else will either. There are few people who will love you unconditionally. You should strive to be one of them.
3. Embrace your journey.
The comparison game is a sneaky trick. It makes you think you are on the same path as everyone else. Though some paths may be similar, every person has a different journey. Embrace yours.
Stop comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. You have no idea how much this person struggled or how hard they worked to get where they are. Stay focused on your own path and forge ahead.
4. Find your awesome.
Along with comparison comes a whole lot of negativity. We start beating ourselves up and talking badly about ourselves for not being as pretty, as smart, or as successful.
Remember, you are unique and awesome. You have talents, traits, and accomplishments that make you who you are. Write a list of amazing things about yourself and put it somewhere you can see it daily. Make it the background of your phone or computer and read it to yourself all the time.
5. Feel the fear.
Most negativity comes from a place of fear. Fear of failure, success, looking silly, or being judged.
Fear is something that never goes away entirely. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is their ability to see the fear and continue anyway.
What are you afraid of? Identify it. Then ask yourself what’s the worse that could happen. Chances are, it’s not as bad as you think.
6. Live in alignment.
When I was going through my personal struggles, most of it came because I wasn’t in tune with who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was frazzled. Something felt off.
I had an insane work ethic, but I didn’t work on my relationships. I was preaching self-care, but I was overweight. When your life is not in alignment, it will always feel like something is missing.
Take a look at how you’re living. Are you in tune across the board? If not, examine the areas you need to focus on.
Comparison comes from a place of lack. If you find yourself doing this often, figure out what’s missing and where you can improve.
Chances are, the person you’re comparing yourself to is reflecting something back that needs expansion. Pay attention and trust yourself. There’s always a deeper meaning. Figure out what it is, so you can move forward.
About Jenn Scalia
Jenn Scalia coaches smart, successful women on how to get clear on what they really want. Her clients have suffered from self-doubt, have trouble setting—and keeping—boundaries and forgot how to love themselves. She helps them transform all that and ultimately change their lives. To find out more about Jenn, visit JennScalia.com.