The Comparison Cycle

There are particular times in our lives when we are tempted to look up and around us at the lives of others in the name of comparison.

It's what we do - right?

Or perhaps our intention is not to compare, but what we see triggers us and we find ourselves drawn into making those comparisons anyway.

And the feeling that we experience when we make these comparisons will always leave us feeling less than. Because we start to compare what we believe that someone else has, with what we perceive that we don’t.

You may also find that you tend to compare when you are feeling self-doubt.

When you feel self doubt, you may have a habit of looking outside of yourself for answers and validation. There is certainly no right time for comparison but comparing yourself to others when you are feeling self-doubt is not for now. You will be feeling hyper-sensitive and your mind will focus on all of the things that you don't need to see and hear.

And you will always compare your perceived less than with your perception of someone else’s better than. You know that though – right? Yet it just washes over you and you cannot break out of the cycle.

But the real problem comes when we compare ourselves to people that feel more like us. And we will always find that they appear to be doing what we are doing better or have more of something that we don’t have. Whatever that may happen to be for you.

Here's the thing though, there is generally no reality or benchmark to the comparison you are making. It is highly unlikely that the person you compare yourself to shares the same goals or vision as you. On the outside it may always appear that they have the ultimate things that you want (more money, more clients, a happier life, a better job) but that is their life and the life that they have curated for themselves.

And the part you see is ‘their outcome’. And that is very different, purely and simply because you don’t know their story and how they reached that outcome.

There is always such a gap between who we are and where someone else is. Our motivation is different for a start and we don’t do the same things in the same way. Neither do we want the same things.

When we compare, we also make the mistake of assuming that what we see has come to someone else easily. On the outside, we may see that they do things with ease and that everything seems to go their way. Life is always on their side. Yet, that is rarely the case.

Comparison can also be a form of self-sabotage. Oftentimes we do it without realising, but there are also times that we go looking for it – generally by endlessly scrolling on Social Media. And depending on what it is you are hoping to find out about yourself, you will find it. Remember, you will always do the comparison thing when you feel self-doubt or that you are lacking in some way. And you will find what you are looking for Every. Single. Time. You mind is hell bent on looking for the things that will make you feel worse.

And if you really find yourself stuck in the comparison cycle, perhaps look for similarities.

We overlook those things because we are too busy focusing on what we think we need that we do not have. Perhaps, there is something that also inspires you. If there is, fabulous – it's always good to get that inspiration because it can often tell us a little more about ourselves and what we want to be doing.

Because if we start fixating on the same type of person that we perceive to be ‘winning’, we lose sight of everything that is marvellous about us.

Our scarcity mindset kicks in and tells us that there isn’t enough to go around. If someone else has it, it means that we can’t. All we can see is our shortcomings. Nothing else.

I have no doubt that you give your perceived shortcomings and failures the 5 star treatment. You will focus on exactly those things over and over. And it's when your mind is heavy with how you have made yourself feel that you start comparing. And everything that you feel about yourself will be magnified.

But let me ask you this …… when do you allow yourself to praise your own successes and write them out in all their glory. None of this is bragging, it’s telling yourself the truth about what you have achieved?

This is the bit we often forget to do. We write our achievements off loosely and tell ourselves 'oh anyone could have done that'. And that's exactly where we go wrong. Make a list as long as you like and do it often. Have it somewhere as a reminder of how far you have come. When you start to celebrate you a bit more, you'll have less time to get caught in the comparison cycle.

And do go easy on the comparing – you will always do it but be mindful of why you are doing it. If you find yourself doing it more often than you would like, it's a sign that you need to be compassionate with yourself and come back to what it is that you are trying to achieve. And what it is that's important to you.

No one else.

And don't forget that list of achievements that you have. You never know - you might be the one that someone else is comparing themselves to while you were busy concentrating on your shortcomings!

If this post has resonated with you and you need any further support, let me know and we can have a chat to see if coaching would help you to move forward and start taking the action that you really want to or you can book a call with me to find out how I can support you.

My name is Nicky Kentisbeer and I am a Mindset & Confidence Coach.

I support women like you to work on your mindset and develop the confidence that you need to move beyond the challenges that are keeping you stuck, towards a place that you would much rather be.

I do this based on the belief that you have within you the most incredible resources and capabilities to find your own solutions - irrespective of your background or starting point. There is no barrier to entry.

Maybe you have a feeling of being stuck, going round in circles or living the same day over and over? Or you are finding that the way you approach problems and challenges always gives you the same result. And it’s not the one that you want.

The feeling of being stuck is incredibly disempowering because it brings about feelings of indecision, procrastination, overthinking and fear which in turn can affect our self-belief and confidence.

And if you stop to think about it, you may find that you fear success as much as you do failure. Sometimes staying stuck may feel like a safer place to be when the alternative means change and stepping outside of your comfort zone? There is nothing unusual here as we do all have a tendency to stand in our own way at times.

This may happen because you have lost sight of how resourceful you are. You may also allow old beliefs and stories to inform your response to what is going on for you currently. Yet, much of this narrative is historical and it is no longer relevant to your life now and the choices that you make.

As your coach, I can support you to understand and address the things that may be holding you back from achieving your goals.

Through 1-to-1 coaching sessions, we will explore what it is that you want and the steps that you need to take to get started. I will ask lots of questions! Questions that you may not have asked of yourself. It is through these questions that I invite you to look at things in different ways, from a different perspective and access your own solutions accordingly. I will invite you to look at old beliefs and the stories that you may be telling yourself about your abilities.

I do not teach nor tell you how things should be done. And there is no judgement. If this resonates with you, I invite you to book a free 30-minute call with me to discuss whether coaching would be the right approach for you to start turning your ideas and aspirations into action.