One of the most popular graphics I ever posted on Facebook and Instagram went like this: "A Flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." This spoke to me in a big way and it obviously spoke to many others as well.
So why did this post get so much attention? Because we have a love/hate relationship with The Comparison Game. We are lured into playing it and we hate the results. Here's an example . . . you're checking your FB feed and you run across a "friend" (I use the term loosely) who seems to have it all. This is the person who is living life charming . . . the very annoying one whose every post is filled with how well it's all going, how well she's got it together and how terrific all her relationships are. Life is charmed.
So where do you go when faced with an example of someone who looks as though they have it all or is doing it better than you are?
"Why doesn’t my life look like that, why can’t I get it together?"
"What am I doing wrong?"
We gather these negative bits together like a string of popcorn, each one building on the other. We go down the rabbit hole of situational despair for a few minutes and we’re left with a residue that doesn’t feel good. So why do we engage? Because we’re not paying attention.
Here are a few things to remember when you’re playing The Comparison Game:
1) It’s a losing game. No one ever wins and especially not you.
2) If it doesn’t feel good, stop doing it. Resist the urge to play.
3) Pay close attention to how you’re feeling. It’s easy to get on the train of feeling bad, just to feel bad. STOP yourself in the moment and think of something else that feels good. A cuddle with your beloved, a hug from your little one, a smile from your fur baby, the smell of rain, the sound of the waves. Pull yourself out of that yucky feeling place. All it takes is a few seconds of a good feeling thought to change your vibe.
4) Ask yourself if what or who you’re comparing yourself to is real. So much of the time it isn’t. It’s simply a story we’ve made up about the other person/situation so we can feel crappy about ourselves. It RARELY has anything to do with them.
Let’s think about our blooming flower for a sec … how unbelievable would it be to hear the lilies on your counter top saying to themselves, “No way, I’m not opening up, not a single bit more … she’s so much more beautiful than I am, just look at her. No, I just can’t do this. Do you see how long she’s been blooming? It’s been 7 days and she’s still going…who does that? Where does she get all that energy, that stamina? I couldn’t possibly compare, she’s so much smarter, oh just look how she's got it together!” What a laugh riot! Imagine yourself as that lily the next time you want to compare yourself to another and have a giggle. You are your own beautiful, individual blooming flower. Always blooming, always beautiful, right on time.