Measuring stick vs. Mirror
Last week I wrote about the dangers of comparison and the relative ease of falling into the comparison trap. The result is a wild ride on the emotional roller coaster.
In this week’s blog, I want to empower you with several strategies, which are designed to combat the destructive nature of comparison.
Instead of using a measuring stick to compare up or down, I invite you to use a mirror and focus your energies on what you can control.
Strategy #1 – Celebrate who you are or what you already have!
The next time you find yourself belaboring the fact that you don’t have this or you don’t have that, use your self-awareness to stop this negativity and find something to celebrate. For example, if I find myself wallowing in self-pity over the fact that other authors may be selling more books than me, I can choose to celebrate the fact that I fulfilled a life-long dream of actually publishing a book. Each moment I spend comparing my success with others, I lose an opportunity to celebrate my own success.
Remember, gratitude (not stuff) leads to authentic happiness.
Strategy #2 – Live your mission.
Part of my Lenses of Leadership program requires that each student write a personal mission statement, which serves as the answer to the what I believe is the most important question in life – Who are you? Notice the question doesn’t ask who do others want you to be, or who you are compared to your peers. It’s simply a declaration of your life’s mission.
Your mission statement can be a very powerful tool when it comes to avoiding dangerous comparisons. Let me give you an example.
Amy’s mission statement is to be a light in the world and to make a difference for others. Unfortunately, Amy has spent a lot of time wondering what she needed to do or have in order to be more like her friend Rachel. If she’s practicing self-awareness and thinking about these strategies, she can implement strategy #2 right away. This can be done by asking the question…Do my thoughts and actions align with my mission? In this case, the answer would be no as her thoughts are about becoming more like someone else. Armed with a new awareness, Amy can begin to focus her energy on living her mission.
Strategy #3 – Realize that perfect is an illusion.
I think we can all benefit from hearing this statement from time to time. Unfortunately, much of what we see on television or in magazines is an attempt to paint a picture of absolute perfection. As viewers, we sometimes forget that what we are seeing on the screen (or in print) is not an image based on reality. In fact, in this digital age, it’s quite common for companies to spend thousands of dollars just to have the images in their magazine “photoshopped” to perfection. This pursuit of perfection especially affects young girls as they strive to achieve a certain look at any and all costs.
Strategy #4 – Compare yourself to your own goals.
If you’re going to compare yourself to anything, then compare yourself to your own goals. See the goal as a future version of you and use it as a gauge throughout your journey. Comparing yourself to your own goals will almost certainly fuel a desire to become a better you. After all, that’s the only thing we can really control.
Please put down the measuring stick and begin using a mirror. The mirror will reveal your true, beautiful self.
I believe in you.