Ever realllllly want to do something but stop because you’re comparing yourself? to someone better, smarter, more talented, funnier, more eloquent, thinner, artistic…
We all do it. Compare ourselves… and not the inspirational kind, the critical kind.
When I first started painting, my thoughts kept me stuck… I’m not artistic. Other people’s work looks amazing. Who am I to be painting?
As a new mom, I compared myself to other moms who were able to brush their hair and put themselves together without spit up on their shirts.
As a new entrepreneur, I compared myself with business owners who were making 6 and 7 figures.
This kind of comparison always left me feeling lacking.
This morning I was watching a webinar with one of my favorite copywriters. I loved it. I loved her. Slowly my thoughts morphed from admiration to comparison. I started thinking, I wish I was as articulate as her. I wish I was as comfortable communicating as her. Then they started turning mean, I’m not good at communicating. I’m not professional. I say so and um too much.
The comparison hit a nerve. Why was I comparing myself to her? She teaches communication and speaking. Why was I being so hard on myself? And then I remembered a comment I got a couple years ago when I hosted my first telesummit:
It hurt and even though part of me knew it was ridiculous, for months afterwards I felt self-conscious about the way I spoke. Today it popped up again. The thing about critical comparison is it preys on our weak hurt spaces, the places we try and cover up. It makes us put ourselves below others (or above and think we’re better than others).
It doesn’t invite inspiration or connection. It separates us. When I start to compare myself, I don’t reach out for support. I isolate. I feel like an outsider, that something is wrong with me. But the thing is, the only thing separating me and holding me back are the thoughts in my head.
So how do we change these thoughts from critical comparison to inspirational comparison?
Remember why you want to do what you want to do.
One thing that kept me inspired and moving forward was connecting to my why.
When I thought about my why, I didn’t want to paint for other people. It was for me. There was a yearning deep inside, a need to paint, to create, to share.
My why reminded me I wanted to create online events to give tools and inspiration for women to make changes in their lives. My why gets me past the 2-3 hate mails I get every event I host.
What is your why?
Maybe you want to paint because you want to feel happy and free. That’s different than painting to feel successful and hang your work in a gallery. Or maybe you want to write a New York Times Best Seller to get your story in front of as many people as possible. That’s different than writing for fame. We all have different whys, reasons we do what we do, but the thing is, as we compare, we can’t see that.
Here is my encouragement for you. Remember comparison is natural. It can help us grow and change, but when it shifts from inspiration to criticism… Take a breath. Remember your why and keep moving forward, even if it’s just a baby step.
Come out of the comparison closet with me.
Share one way you compare yourself to others and the why that can help you keep moving when you want to stop.