5 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Own Your Uniqueness
I remember being a little girl, having slumber parties in the living room at my grandmother’s house in the Bronx, and watching the flashing headlights of cars sliding down the wall at night. I would put my hand up and try to touch the light, trying to “catch” it. But of course that never worked. It was kinda fun for a minute, but mostly frustrating.
I think of comparisons as sort of like trying to catch that moving car light, trying to hold it, be like it, contain it. It doesn’t ever, ever work. The thing is, we are “moving lights” in a sense that we’re all on our journeys, moving through, dynamically changing and growing all the time in our lives. Even those yes, we all go through stagnant periods also! The name of the game in life is change and flow.
You may compare yourself to another and feel higher, or many times, sadly, with the advent of social media, you may feel that you don’t measure up. Either way, it’s always moving and shifting, and so you’re only going to fail if you’re trying to play the comparison game. As Byron Katie says when she’s talking about living in “should” instead of being in reality, “you fail, but only 100% of the time.”
I’m still a work in progress too and sometimes I still compare. I compare myself to other moms, other speakers and so on. Recently, I was on a panel and comparison started creeping in as we went down the line to answer certain questions, one at a time. And I started wondering if I was as articulate as the other women.
Yet it’s gotten WAY better for me in my life.
And here are some tips that have helped me get past not enough-ness, miserable comparison tendencies, and being happier in general:
1. Remember the dancing outside light is well, not really real.
I heard someone say once, “Don’t compare your insides with others’ outsides.” Sure, on social media or at social events people may only paint the very brightest, highlight reels of their lives. So it can get easy to think your life is boring or sucks in comparison.
That is, until you take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you really don’t know the full picture of what is going on beneath the surface. We’re all perfectly imperfect, and everyone is struggling in some way also, whether it be with body shame, massive credit card debt, a bad relationship they feel insecure about leaving or whatever.
2. Tune out unnecessary noise.
To paraphrase Paramahansa Yogananda in one of his Lessons, “Sure you could really focus and concentrate and meditate through the phone ringing. But why waste energy on that? Just turn off the ringer before you start.”
We have so much we are already dealing with! Give yourself a break. Make it a little easier on yourself. It’s like food-wise, keeping the cupcakes out of eyesight on the counter so you don’t have to fight temptation every time you go into the kitchen. Or avoiding the conference room altogether when you know it’s doughnut day. :)
I say if certain social media feeds or news feeds or alerts or whatever trigger you, stop them! We don’t control everything in life, but you very much do control that. You are not obligated to have to follow everyone you think you “should”. If something doesn’t feel good to you, if it makes you feel bad about your body or your life or your social status or whatever, why not make it just a bit easier by cutting out the battles you simply don’t have to fight?
3. Wear blinders (so to speak).
Have you ever seen those horse-drawn carriages where the horses wear blinders so they don’t see to the left and right? (And yes, having lived in NYC for some years and being around it, I personally believe that the horse carriages in Central Park should be banned).
The point I am making though is to keep the focus steadfastly ahead, on your own path before you. Step by step. Not getting side tracked by looking around all the time, and beating yourself up for wondering why you can’t do this or look quite like that or any of that crap.
Here’s where a strong morning practice is also really helpful. To me, the Glowing Green Smoothie isn’t just about physical nutrients. Yes, it’s packed with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and so on. But beyond that, it’s such a grounding whole food. The fiber enters your body, and to me, and part of the earth is going in. You are integrating more into being One with nature and the whole.
Don’t rush your GGS. Experience it, say a little gratitude prayer when you drink it (and chew it!), and be still with it. What’s amazing is that when you become really receptive to this part of the morning practice, it will help you get and stay present in your body, in your being, and so be more present in your life, rather than sticking your nose in others’.
(And also, when you start to poke around too much and get distracted, you’ll notice that dropping feeling in your belly or whatever bodily cue it is for you. And that’s the reminder to get back in your own lane.)
4. Practice More Gratitude.
We can choose to water the seeds of goodness in our lives by paying more attention to them. Being thankful for them. This is like watering the seeds in the garden of the flowers and the organic tomatoes and kale. This shifts the focus away from comparing what others’ have. Plain and simple.
5. Radiate Your Uniqueness.
There’s no one out there at all like you. So own it girl! What makes you unique and different? You DO have a unique way of seeing, creating and saying things. Start noticing your unique nuances.
Instead of trying to conform and compare and be like every other person on your Instagram feed, step out. Highlight your differences. Lil’ Bub has this “fishy” book we read every night and the title is You Be You. Go your way, and instead of hiding them, talk about them, build projects and photos and conversations to share them.
If you spend time looking around all the time, you’re going to forget all the specialness you offer. And the gifts you give. Now wouldn’t that be a shame, for you and me and the whole world?
I hope this is helpful to you Beauty! You have a beautiful light to shine, and I am here to support you every step of the way ☺.
Sending you so much love!!! You are awesome, and I love you.