I used to compare a lot. To friends, co-workers, later to people on the internet. That’s not so strange in my case, because I was compared a lot as a child, to my older sister or other kids at school. I kind of never knew that you don’t have to compare to other to see if you’re good enough.
At some point I stopped, but I don’t know when it happened exactly. Sure I still compare sometimes, but it’s less general, less random. It’s more focused on one particular topic I feel I’m not achieving enough in.
The comparison comes up particularly in the times of uncertainty. Like when I moved to another country to be with the guy I’ve met six month before (He’s my husband now and we’re very happy by the way.), where I was allowed to settle, but wasn’t allowed to work. Or when starting my own business in the crowded coaching world and loosing my day job at the same time.
The difference between now and then is that I know not to get into the downward spiral of comparing to other successful people and how to talk (or write) myself out of it.
A couple of months ago I picked up a copy of Lucy Sheridan’s book The Comparison Cure, because I thought I needed it, but it actually made me realise that the comparison is not such a big problem for me any more. It was a great feeling to see that it changed for me. That I’m able to recognise those moments and work through them.
I’ve learned so much in the last couple of years. I’ve learned to trust my vision and when I compare to others to connect to it and recognise what’s important to me.
I’ve learned that we all are in our own time zone (Lucy, again) and use it when I get the inclination to compare to other people on the internet. We wouldn’t compare our dinner in Europe to someone’s breakfast in Australia. Wouldn’t we? I’ve learned to focus on my own goals and my own work that I need to do, instead of looking at others and where they are.
I’ve learned to identify what’s good for me. I understand that other people’s lives or ways of doing things are not necessarily good for me. I’ve learned to put my head down and do the work. To stay in my lane and stop looking for the magic formula. I’ve learned that there’s no one way to do things. That we all need to figure our own path.
It’s a work in progress and it never ends. But knowing that there’s place for us all and there’s a time zone for us all, makes it a little bit easier.
If you’re struggling with comparison I recommend Lucy Sheridan’s The Comparison Cure. Lucy is one of the reasons why I am where I am.