Comparing: The good, the bad & the ugly!
A couple months ago I was having a lot of trouble with comparing and my friend challenged me to write a blog post about it. I thought it was about time that I wrote about comparing so here it is!
When people say "compare" there is often a negative connotation to it. I think there is a fine line before crossing over to the bad or the ugly side of comparing. Be aware of the line and swim in the good side of comparing!
Have you every had a mentor? Is there someone that you look up to? This would be an example of the good kind of comparing.
Compare yourself to them and ask "What is it that I like about them?" --> Be super careful when you are doing this please! Don't knock yourself down in the process.
Compare yourself to them and ask "What is it that they are doing that I could emulate?"
Compare yourself to your future self: "Who do you want to be? What will it take to get there?"
Better yet: ask someone to be your mentor! Everyone loves to be complemented. Go ahead and tell them how you feel about them. While you're at it why not ask them to guide you on your journey?
Comparing yourself to those in your life and looking at them through rose coloured glasses.
Years ago, just before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I was in a really bad space in my life. I was stuck and I comparing myself to others left, right and centre:
"Why is everything so easy for them?" "Why can't I figure out what I want to do and everyone else has their career job?" "Why am I so dumb and everyone around me is so smart?" "Why can't I finish anything and everyone else has so much completed?" "Why are they spending time with them instead of me?" "Why does everything go wrong for me and it works out for everyone else?" "Why are they so lucky and I'm so unlucky?" ...the list goes on!
(can you tell that I'm a questioner?! lol)
Do you see that I had some black and white thinking going on there too? Everything isn't easy for them. Who says that they were happy in their career job? I am not dumb and I wasn't dumb.
Comparing is the trap that I fall into when I am not in the place in my life where I want to be. Knowing that I have this tendency has been crucial to stopping myself from falling into negative comparison. It is so important to build ourselves up and take a step back to gain some perspective!
Why can we give those around us the benefit of rose coloured lenses but when it comes to ourselves our lenses are mucky brown?
I challenge you to look at yourself through rose coloured glasses! What would that picture look like?!
Social media in general
Why do I consider Instagram + Facebook UGLY? When you compare yourself to someone on Instagram or Facebook or whatever social media platform you prefer, you are comparing yourself to something that has been doctored. You aren't playing fair! What you are seeing has been tweaked, edited and scrutinized for hours! It is beyond unfair to compare yourself to something that has been posted on social media. People will rarely post their "bad sides".
If you find yourself in this situation, I implore you to take a step back from your screen and appreciate the real world! There is so much good in yourself and what you have going on. Whenever I find myself comparing on Instagram (this is my weakness), I force myself to take a step back and gain some perspective (getting outdoors helps too!):
What am I doing on Instagram?
Why am I posting?
Who am I being when I'm comparing myself to others on Instagram?
WHAT IS MY WHY! --> My why is not to get more likes. Let's be honest.. when I am in the ugly comparing zone, I'm comparing my lack of likes to their thousands of likes. This is NOT my raison d'être and it's a slippery slope to getting into a bad headspace.
When you are comparing yourself to others there is something about that particular situation that you don't like! There is something that you want to change about yourself and you are looking to others and negatively comparing yourself. Sound about right? The common one that I hear from those with ADHD is "I want to be normal". In this moment you are comparing yourself to others rather than sitting in who you are and embracing yourself. Once you sit in who you are, you can then understand yourself and slowly begin to transition to what it is that you want and strive to be like.
What you can do:
Use the clue(s) and ask yourself:
What is it that you are comparing?
How can you shift from the bad and the ugly comparing to the good comparing?
What will it take to make the shift happen?
If this seems hard and you are consistently finding yourself in the negative comparing zone it may be a good idea to consider working with me as your coach. Click on that yellow "book now" button on the bottom right side of your screen. It would be my pleasure to have a 30 minute, get to know you session with you! No pressure, no commitments, just an honest conversation about ADHD coaching. I work with my clients to get out of that negative headspace. What we tell ourselves matters and you deserve to live in a positive headspace!!