This past week, I had my 20-year high school reunion.
But you know what? It actually ended up being quite a fun evening. And even more fun was the debrief brunch with my closest high school girlfriends the next morning!
Twenty years is both a long time, and yet in some ways it was as though no time had passed at all (well, almost!)
While there were one or two who were almost unrecognizable, most hadn’t changed a hair. Our conversations had though – we were now talking about kids and real life issues – instead of cute boys and tough teachers!
I’m not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive going into it. And I know I wasn’t the only one.
Discussions I had with a few before the event confirmed we were all thinking similar things:
- Will I measure up?
- Have I made something of my life? Or enough of my life?
- Am I ageing well? (no joke!)
What it really comes down to? Wondering whether we can feel good enough about where we are. We’re ultimately comparing ourselves, and our lives, to those of others.
The ironic thing is, we are ALL doing it!
It’s kind of silly if you think about it.
So much has happened in those twenty years… who knows where one’s life experiences or events have taken them. Who knows what unexpected turn of events took place. Who knows what’s really going on underneath the surface (spoiler alert, you and I both know it’s rarely as it seems!)
Comparison is the thief of all joy.
It really is!
I know I’ve suffered from it before, and I’m pretty sure you have, too. We’re human after all. But I really think it’s high time we kick it to the curb, once and for all.
Here are five tips to ensure you don’t catch a case of comparisonitis this Fall!
Don’t look at your everyday life next to someone else’s highlight reel
It’s really easy to make assumptions and judgements based on what it looks like on the surface… don’t be fooled! When we compare our day to day with the highlights we see on social media or on the outside, we’re doomed to be left feeling less than. Think about the last time you got all glammed up for something, or took a stellar vacation. I bet people were looking at your fancy life they same way you do others! Nothing is as it seems… at least not all of the time. And remember, perception is reality (even though it isn’t.)
Stop comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle or end
It’s just ridiculous to look at someone who has been running marathons for years and then tell ourselves we’re not fit. It’s not fair to look at someone who has been working in their career for 20+ years and feel we haven’t achieved anything when we’re only a few years in. And it’s pointless for someone who has been in business for decades to somehow make us feel we’re not where we could or should be!
Ask yourself if you’re willing to trade in the whole picture
Unless you are willing to change 100% of your life, for 100% of the life of the person you are comparing yourself to, it’s not fair! You can’t simply pick and choose the parts that appear glamorous and amazing. It doesn’t work like that. Chances are when you consider the whole picture, you may actually want to stay exactly where you are.
Check in With Your Values
On more than one occasion I’ve caught myself feeling badly at my output – my productivity – compared with someone else’s. And yet how I define productivity and how you define productivity may be very different. Moreover, I may not even value productivity as highly as that other person does! I value connection and relationships a lot, so it’s not uncommon for me to be spending a lot of my time with people, instead of cranking it out at my desk. So it just doesn’t make sense to compare. Identify what your top values are. Once you are clear about what matters most to you, you’ll be less likely to compare to someone who values something that isn’t even as important to you!
Take a Moment to Acknowledge Where You’re At
Take a moment to acknowledge all you have, all of the choices you have made to get you here, and everything you have in your life worth celebrating. Write a gratitude list, a celebration list, or reach out to some of your closest friends and ask them to share some of the things they love about you. Pop open some bubbly or sparkling water and take a moment to cheers to YOU.
It’s time to kick comparison to the curb.
We’re all doing it ~ yet it really is the thief of all joy!
I dare you to be brave enough to stop comparing yourself to anyone else this week, and to start loving where you’re at. And, if there is something that’s no longer working for you, that you’re simply sick of tolerating, or that you’re ready to change, let’s JUMP ON A CALL to figure it out together!
And of course, I’d love to hear WHICH of these 5 ideas you’re going to put into practice this week in the comments below!
Have a FAB week!