Turning Comparison from Envy to Aspiration
You do it. I do it. Everyone at some point compares themselves or their work to someone else. It's human nature. And sometimes comparison can work to your advantage but I'm sure for the majority of us, it doesn't. Which is pretty unfortunate. But my first read of 2016, "Girl Code" by Cara Alwill Leyba has drastically changed my perception of comparison. And I must say that I chose the perfect book to start the year off. Ladies, I urge you all to read this. It's insightful, inspirational and filled with so many golden nuggets of wisdom. In one chapter of the book, Cara talks about the two major types of comparison and envy. There's malicious and benign. Malicious is the bitter, resentful nasty one and benign is the aspirational one. Let's be honest. How many of us can say we always practice benign comparison? For me, it's pretty rare. But Cara shared something that completely changed my point of view about it.
She said "The trick is channeling those feelings [of comparison and envy] and using them to fuel your own fire. You've got to reframe your thinking and tell yourself, " if she can have it, I can too." And the last thing she said that really hit me was that, "You've got to shift your envy into inspiration."
Please tell me your mind was as blown as mine was. That chapter completely blew me away. Cara really challenged my whole attitude about my bad habit of comparing myself to others. And by habit, I mean part-time job because I would do it so often. For me, it's so hard to stop comparing. Especially as a blogger. I get to read a lot of amazing blogs every day and sometimes I can't help but to compare. Which only leads to me being sad and disappointed that my blog doesn't look that way or that I don't have as many followers and comments. It had gotten to a point where I had to stop reading blogs for a bit because I couldn't go without getting down about how my blog was and would constantly be comparing it. I had lost sight of why I started and fell in love with blogging and began to envy other's who I wanted to be like.
So now, instead of scrolling down Instagram and wishing I had this or that, or feeling bad because my blog doesn't look a certain way, or that I can't travel all over the world, I now look at all of that and remind myself that I can have it and do it all too. There's nothing stopping me, or you, from working our butts off to achieve it either. We all can do it if we only shifted our focus and energy.
Can I be honest? I get so annoyed when people say they unfollow others or don't support people because it makes them feel bad about themselves or contributes to the endless comparison in their lives. And it bothers me because that they can't see past what they aren't or don't have, to see what they can be. If you're secure and confident in yourself you have no need to unfollow people because their lifestyle or looks make you feel bad. No! Shift that focus and use it as inspiration to get there.
I was the same way. I would purposely not comment on blogs or pictures because I felt that I couldn't measure up and was jealous that they had what I wanted. But now I realize that life doesn't have to be a competition and I'm becoming more secure with myself. So now when I see a really nice picture on social media or a blog post that's on point, I think to myself, " If they can create something like this, then so can I", and I get right to it. I also make a point to show support for whoever inspired me.
Which brings me to my last mini-chat. I've noticed, even with myself, that the majority of the envy and comparison happening is woman vs. woman. But why? Why can't we celebrate our peers instead of compare and be envious? So what if the girl on social media you follow just bought the purse you can't afford or is taking the vacation of your dreams. Go congratulate her and wish her well. Send her an encouraging note. Women need to stop the shaming of each other and start the supporting and celebrating of all our achievements big or small.
As Cara says in "Girl Code", There is more than enough abundance in the world, and if another woman has achieved a goal you want to achieve her success should only prove to you that it's totally possible."
So today, I challenge you to show some love to someone you might compare yourself to or be jealous of. Send them some words of positivity and encouragement. I've realized that the more I put support out the more I get back. There's enough success to go around!
Let's Chat: Tell me one area in your life where comparison takes over. For me, it's definitely blogging. What's yours?