Comparisonitis - the Thief of Joy
They say comparisonitis is the thief of joy. At the end of February 2022, I'd moved out of my own lane and had been looking around at what other people were doing. I then started to compare myself and my results against my perception of theirs. I was totally making things up in my head based on the ‘evidence’ I could see. It lowered my vibe. I’d started to focus on all the things I hadn’t yet achieved instead of celebrating all the amazing things I have done.
It was as if comparing myself to others was the antithesis to gratitude. Once I realised what was happening I got back in my own lane. I remembered my why and looked at how far I’d come. I became my own cheerleader again.
Things I have in common with Gok Wan
Similarly, I once blogged about comparing myself to Gok Wan and compiled a list of things I have in common with him.
We are both Librans (I’m 10 years older than him though)
We both have connection with the East Midlands. (He’s from Leicester, I live in Nottingham.)
We both have female French Bulldogs. (He has Dolly, I have Ruby.)
We have both trained as make-up artists. (He loves the bronzing balls though.)
We are both good at cooking. (He’s added his own cooking show to his repertoire.)
We both have issues with our weight. (He’s taken up running recently and lost a load of timber.)
We have both been on TV (He’s been on telly A LOT more often than I have though obvs)
We are both compassionate and have empathy around struggles with body confidence.
We are both passionate about helping women feel good about themselves and making minimum effort for maximum impact with clothes.
Things we don’t have in common – being a household name and having a reported net worth of $1.5m – bahahhaha...if I focus on this aspect to compare against I might, very quickly, start to think about myself as a failure.
Check against your intentions
I’m sure that we all have people we feel inspired by, but it doesn’t mean we have to measure our success by comparing ourselves to them. Likewise, you don’t know who’s looking and comparing themselves to you. As my coach reminded me last week, what we see as our seven out of ten could be someone else’s ten.
It’s so easy, when you have big goals, to lose sight of how far you’ve already come. It’s important to acknowledge and recognise the stepping stones and little wins along the way. For the past few years now, I’ve made a concerted effort to review my achievements at the end of each month. I look at what’s worked and what I need to change. I check in against my intentions I’d set out to focus on for the month and I think about how I’m feeling about everything.
Does it make my heart sing?
I’m striving for ikigai and my question is always “does it make my heart sing?”
What you love + what the world needs = mission
What you love + what you’re good at = passion
What you’re good at + what can be paid for = profession
What can be paid for + what the world needs = vocation
What you love + what the world needs + what you’re good at + what can be paid for = ikigai
I know where I want to be and what I’m aiming for, so this monthly check in helps keep me on track. It’s good to have a reminder of the bigger picture. It’s so easy to look up the mountain and see how much further you’ve got to climb and forget to look down and reflect on how far you’ve already come.
As well as taking a regular check in on yourself and your progress, it also helps if you have a solid support network around you too that will help you stay on track.
The other day I was feeling a bit meh. I’d not slept well and the self doubt crept in uninvited with the negative chatter. I wouldn’t normally take much notice these days. I know it’s rubbish. BUT, probably because I was feeling tired I let the doubts get into my head.
I often talk to my clients about SID the self image demon. He’s the name I’ve given to the voice that pipes up in your head being critical and nitpicking. Sometimes it’s about business stuff, other times he’s telling you your bum looks big in that or that top is doing you no favours. SID used to be a constant companion of mine at one time. I never liked what I saw in the mirror. I hated the lumps and bumps and was generally in a very negative relationship with myself full stop.
I had a “why am I bothering” cloud hanging over me and SID was saying “what’s the point?”. All of this was going on, despite the fact that I KNOW I’m fvcking awesome at what I do, my FAB Network is growing, I’m getting amazing feedback on a daily basis etc etc...I sat with it a while. I recognised some deep, ingrained old patterns coming to the surface. Once I’d identified this the clouds lifted and I started to feel back to my normal self. SID is never allowed to stay for very long these days, he gets shushed by FIFI (the f*ck it fairy).
The other thing I did was lean into my support network. One of my favourite features of the FAB Network is our WhatsApp chat group. I mentioned how I was feeling in there and asked if anyone else ever had these days. There was a resounding yes! I asked my members what they do on these kind of days and got lots of constructive ideas and support. I felt no shame or judgement, as the leader of the network, opening up. That’s one of my favourite things about the tribe – it’s OK not to be ok and everyone has your back. But not in a wishy washy, pity party way. It’s a solid, we’ve got you, compassionate way, we are a resilient bunch. I love that it feels a safe space. It didn’t take me long to get my head straight and shut SID up after the flock rallied round.
FAB Network : female authentic ballsy
My vision for the community was for it to be a place where when you are asked the question ‘who are you?’ you feel able to answer in such a way that it does reflect your true self. Somewhere that you have permission to be whichever version of ‘you’ you need to be on any particular day. Somewhere that its ok to not be ok if required, somewhere to be a bit daft, irreverent and playful if you feel like it and somewhere to feel respected, connected and supported by other women who get it. One member said “I love the openness of this group. Holding each other from afar. Laughing, commiserating, crying and every other emotion. A space to be happy, vulnerable and together.” Reading this makes me so happy.
So, next time you’re having a bout of the comparisonitis remember:
Comparisonitis is the antithesis to gratitude, stay in your own lane
Look at how far you’ve come already, take time to acknowledge that
Choose pride over self doubt
Have clarity around what you are striving for and your reason why
Think about what you can change if what you’re doing isn’t making your heart sing
Your seven could be someone else’s ten – be the best version of YOU
Get a reality check with someone who understands
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” Malcolm Forbes
DON'T let yourself be one of them
You can hear me reading this blog here
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