Every time we stop what we’re doing to compare ourselves to someone else, we shift our focus from our superpower to our weakness.
And from our purpose, to someone else’s strengths.
I found myself today doing something I used to do ALL THE TIME.
Comparing myself to someone who is farther ahead on their journey than I am.
But the thing is, she’s younger than me!
And she learned faster than me!
And she did things smarter than I did!
I must be slow, stupid, broken, there HAS to be something wrong with me.
For me, comparison always shows up in business. It’s no longer about my physical body like it used to be. But the disease is just the same.
My PASSION is to help BUSY women transform their entire lives, using fitness as a tool (along with other awesome things).
And the results have been AMAZING!
I know that when I am focused on MY Tribe, MY Business, MY Passion, MY Purpose… I am living in the Superpowers that God has given me.
The things that come naturally to me, that I just do because I love to do them and can do them well because they are “easy” is my Genius Zone.
I know that He has made me to be an influencer. Whether that is to one person or millions of people isn’t up to me.
The thing that is up to me is that I do what I know I am here to do… INFLUENCE. INSPIRE. CHALLENGE. ENCOURAGE.
So every once in a while, while looking for inspiration and new ideas, I get caught up on the hamster wheel of comparison.
I find a podcast to listen to. I get inspired and decide to look into some new ideas. I look at what that person is doing since they are already doing it well.
And JUST LIKE THAT…
Anxiety…. stress… overwhelm… a feeling of failure, or often feeling so far behind, like I’ll never catch up.
Have you ever found yourself there?
You are trying SO hard to lose weight. Or be a better, more present mom. Or a more intentional friend. Or a more productive employee.
And you’re doing well, focusing on YOUR strengths in those areas.
Then you decide to look for some inspiration…
Some new workouts or nutrition ideas of Pinterest…
Seeing what a friend or influencer is doing with Fitness on social media…
Read some Mom Blogs about how to be a better mom…
Look up some articles on Forbes on how to increase your work productivity…
And there it is. The story about the could-have-been-you-but-isn’t.
The one that is where you want to be.
You’re inspired, but more than that you’re jealous.
And you feel defeated.
And like you shouldn’t even try because someone else is already doing it better than you.
As a Christian, I know exactly where these feelings come from.
Because I know that if I can waste time focusing on what I’m NOT doing, and what OTHERS are doing, that is a lot less time spent in my genius zone, where I am actually making a difference in the world.
I used to struggle with this CONSTANTLY. Social media brought on so much anxiety for me.
Until I realized something…
The problem wasn’t social media. It wasn’t that others were doing well. It wasn’t even that I wasn’t doing well.
It was that I had a mindset issue.
Anytime I saw that someone was doing well, or seemed to be “ahead” of me, I took a victim stance.
“Woe is me. She is winning. I am losing.”
This not only positioned me in a weak way, but it also positioned that person in my mind as an enemy! I didn’t necessarily realize that at the time, but every time I would see their posts, their videos, anything they were doing, I would feel an instant pang of jealous and envy.
Until I heard someone share how they handled this exactly (which first was a huge relief to know EVEN those “big dogs” struggle with this!). He said he asks himself this question:
“What about their success inspires me?”
It IMMEDIATELY shifts your thinking from “I am a victim and they are the enemy” to “I am learning and they can teach me something here! What do I need to learn?”
Can’t you FEEL the shift just be reading that?!
What is so amazing, is instead of resenting that person’s success, you begin to honestly CHEER for them! And I will tell you what… secretly resenting someone’s success and happiness feels really crappy, and wrong.
But secretly cheering someone on and honestly learning humbly from them is an EMPOWERING position to be in!
So I challenge you to ask yourself… the next time you see someone who has achieved the body results you want, or is having the work success you want, or the marriage and family success… Instead of doing what so many others suggest and making yourself feel better by putting them down in some way by saying something like, “I’m sure things aren’t so great behind closed doors!” or “I bet she is starving herself to look like that!”
What about her success inspires me? What can I learn from this?
WILL. CHANGE. EVERYTHING.
So I took a step away from this person’s social media page today, and I asked myself that question. What came out of it was a massive brain dump of ideas, thoughts, and things that are EXCITING me!
I’ll go through them later and prioritize the ones that make sense to pursue now, and add the rest to my wish list.
But something that used to be such a negative activity to me that lead to negative thoughts, and that stopped my momentum, just became one of my most powerful tools.
As Jon Acuff says it, “Inspiration tells you anything is possible. Comparison tells you everything is impossible.”
And lastly- It needs to be said that there are certainly unhealthy influences in our lives. I have absolutely had to unfollow accounts that were not a good fit for my mindset at the time, my mission or my vision. Be aware of those things and guard your heart and mind.