Right now, I’m stuck in the comparison trap. That’s exactly what the comparison trap does to us - makes us completely stuck. Unable to move, express, take action. It just sucks our energy, self-esteem, confidence, creativity, and uniqueness and makes us hide, stay small, stay invisible.
I have gotten myself into a bit of a conundrum. The situation is that I really love following inspiring coaches and therapists on social media. I enjoy consuming content online that I learn from and that aligns with my beliefs and interests. However, interestingly enough, even though I follow really good quality accounts of people who are truly up to greater purposes and serving others, I still somehow get into comparison mode!
Here’s how it tends to go: After listening to, reading, and watching their content for a while I start to get into this headspace of becoming a little bit obsessed. I read their content more and more, I look for their posts, updates, videos - all because I'm really enjoying it and look forward to learning and keeping up to date. However, over time, this tends to turn from being interested in what they have to say, to me comparing myself to their life, their job, their ability to create content, their particular style, their personal way of expressing. Thoughts start to creep in about why I can’t be more like that person. I start to experience subtle feelings that I should be more like them. When this happens, the underlying message to myself is that I should be more of something I’m not and less of what I am. To state it simply - this makes me miserable.
I have caught myself in this place currently. I haven’t been creating much content, I’ve felt stuck in my creative projects. My writing isn’t coming naturally. I feel doubt about what I have to offer. Zooming out in perspective, I can see that none of this is stemming from anything other than my own thoughts! There is nothing actually wrong with me or what I have to offer. Rather, judging myself negatively compared to someone else just makes me get in my own way.
So, you know what my escape route is? Writing this post, right now. Owning that this comparison trap has caught me (again) and having the awareness to name it. Now that I’m naming it and seeing it for what it is, I literally feel myself take a breath. I’m writing this. It’s flowing out. I have something to say and express again. I feel more in myself. I feel a weight lifting. I feel creative juices starting to trickle again. There’s something about recognizing my current experience, bringing in awareness without judgment, and sharing or expressing it that allows me to return to compassion, connection, and ultimately allows me to return to myself.
And then just now I felt bit of fear sneak right back in. This expression is vulnerable. It’s actually easier in some ways to stay stuck in comparison because it keeps me small and in that way it keeps me safe.
Comparison is just fear. Fear of not being as good, smart, successful, tall, thin pretty carefree perfect stylish rich coolniceoutgoingfriendlypopularblahblahblahwhateverwhatever. The fear could really be anything! It could change day to day: one day I meet someone really carefree and eccentric who makes me think I should really let go and be more of a carefree hippie. Then the very next day I could meet a successful business woman who has her whole life in order and think to myself, gosh I should really be more organized and put together. Can we see that this is bonkers and has nothing to do with the external circumstance and everything to do with the way that we talk to ourselves?
So right now, I commit to staying in my own lane and minding my own damn business. I have my own particular style, flavor, way of expressing, offerings, gifts. We each have our own individual composition that makes us a one-of-a-kind rarity. Back to OWNING that worth, owning that value, and strutting our own unique stuff!
Danielle shares thoughts, insights, and musings through blog posts here. Topics relate to mindfulness, spirituality, and healing.