Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein
Last week we jammed on the comparison trap we can all get pulled into on and offline.
(Missed it? Click here to catch Stay in Your Own Lane.)
We’re wired to compare, but with social media literally at our fingertips, it's getting us nowhere fast.
Our self-esteem, productivity, and motivation take a hit when we get pulled into comparison.
In order to create our own unique version of success and stop living vicariously through the lives we see online, we have to stay in our lane and keep our eyes on our own paper.
But that’s easier said than done when the opportunity to compare pops up every few minutes on our phones and computers!
Taking a social media detox, turning off notifications, scheduling your posts and the times you check in on social media can do wonders, but they don’t completely solve the problem. After all, we’re all human, and comparison is a part of our makeup.
What do you do when you find yourself pulled into comparison quicksand?
7 Ways To Get Out Of Comparison And Back In Your Own Lane:
Catch yourself in comparison and stop. This might sound overly obvious, but so often as the damage is being done, instead of hitting the pause button, we fall deeper into the comparison spiral by clicking on another link, page, or profile.
Our brains are working against us here, firing off dopamine, which is a twofer, hitting us with a feeling of reward and triggering the want for more, more, more of the same. We’re training our brain to get addicted to comparison as we click.
When you feel the comparison icks come on, go cold turkey and quit whatever app you’re in.
2. Practice gratitude.
Gratitude is uber importante and powerful and has been linked to all sorts of positive effects. If you haven't heard me say it before, gratitude is one of the most proven ways to boost your happiness.
Take a moment to be grateful for what’s good now.
What in your life do you have to be grateful for now? What’s good about your life now? Don’t phone this in!
And don’t hit me with the excuse that there’s nothing good in your life right now. If you’re reading this blog, you have enough first-world privilege to access the internet.
We can always find something good or bad in every situation, depending on what lens we decide to look through. Choose rosy colored; life is prettier in pink.
3. Do the work.
It’s easy to let comparison overwhelm you. Suddenly what you want seems so damn far away and out of reach. Beware: this can quickly turn into a sneaky stalling tactic.
Get yourself back in your lane and focused on your work. Taking action can do wonders for your momentum and sense of achievement.
4. Take the next step.
I’m all for visualizing big goals and our ideal future, but you achieve those big goals one step at a time.
When you're drowning in comparison-infused overwhelm, ask yourself, "What’s the next step I can take? What’s one easy step I can take to move my myself, my business, and my life forward?"
Instead of getting swallowed up in how far you have to go, break your vision into easy bite-size chunks and take it one step at a time.
Then, get stepping!
5. Revisit your purpose and mission.
That thing you're feeling less-than about as you comparison-trip? Remember how on fire you felt when you started?! Knowing our "why" keeps us in the race when it feels easier to quit than keep going.
Remind yourself why you started, when comparison threatens to bring you down.
Bonus: Watch this awesome Ted Talk with Simon Sinek the King of knowing your why!
6. Look outside yourself.
Whenever you’re feeling stuck in comparison or just stuck overall, one way out is to think about how you can add more value and serve other people.
Ever notice when you do something nice for someone else, you feel better about yourself?
We pull ourselves out of comparison when we stop making it all about us.
Take the spotlight off of yourself and where you feel you're lacking, and shine it on the people you serve. Double down on your efforts to deliver value. You'll help someone else, and you'll feel good as a result. Win-win.
7. "Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” -Jon Acuff
Remember everyone starts somewhere. Be aware of where you are on your journey.
So often, we’re comparing our beginner selves to someone else’s years of experience. We can’t see all of the hard work, time, and dedication that went behind the picture or post we’re seeing today.
How can you honor where you are in your life? How can you use this knowledge as inspiration for what's possible for you when you reach your "middle"?
The next time you feel yourself coming down with a bad case of comparisonitis, pick your favorite tip and act on it. Taking action can propel us out of comparison and feeling stuck.
Get back in your own lane and create your version of success!
P.S. I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite tip? Do you have a favorite way to get yourself back in your own lane? Let me know in the comments below!