Last week on The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I delved into comparison, including who we compare to and about what, why we do it, and the connection with perfectionism and shame. In part two of this episode, the focus is on breaking the cycle of comparison.

**As mentioned at the start of the episode, I’m hosting an event on Tuesday December 17th 2019 at the Janet’s List Pop-up, 41 Cross Street, London, N1 2BB from 6-7.30 pm. Join myself and Janet’s List for an evening of conversation about self-care, resilience and boundary setting for busy women.

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Some nuggets from the episode

  • Is comparison a distraction from another hurt or from something else you’re supposed to be doing? Basically, is it procrastination?
  • Much as our comparison habits can and are prompted by subtle and triggering signals and stimuli, sometimes the cue or trigger is our thoughts and feelings. We think something, that prompts a feeling. These will cue or trigger us into further thought, feeling and action responses.
  • Break down your comparison habit into cues, triggers and responses. What sets you off, and what happens next? What happens after that? Where am I, what am I doing, who am I around, and what am I thinking and feeling? Is there a pattern to who you compare to and what you tend to compare about?
  • Is this something you actually want? A lot of the time, we are giving us a hard time about not getting or having something, not because we genuinely want it but because we think we’re supposed to want and have it, or because of what we thought getting or having it would make us feel. ‘Finally, I’ll fit in. I won’t be an outsider any more.’;’I’ll be able to distance myself from my past.’;’I’ll finally command everyone’s respect and be in charge.’ 

Sometimes we’re comparing ourselves because it’s an act of war. We’re giving us a hard time about something that we secretly don’t want to be or do.

  • Where are you using comparison and then deciding that there’s no point to pay off guilt about something else? So, for example, and this is a common one: We may have determined long ago, way back in our childhood, that we are not good enough because of our experiences with a sibling and our parents.
  • Comparison, particularly when it triggers us and reveals long-held, unacknowledged pain, fear and guilt, is an opportunity for us to heal that part of us. We say that something doesn’t bother us, that we’re over it, that we’re “cool” and “fine” — and then something or someone comes along to peel off a layer.
  • Say “I’m really happy for him/her/them.” You’re either going to discover that you are, or your true feelings will come up to the surface, giving you something to work with. When you realise that you don’t want to take away their happiness or success, it disarms your ego because you’re acknowledging that it’s not about winning or losing. If it reveals your anger and sense of injustice, at least you have something to work with. 

Karma’s a bitch, but it’s not our bitch. It doesn’t work on our clock.

  • It’s egotistical to have an attitude that the issue we have we them or just our simple dislike of them means that they shouldn’t get what they want or be happy before we are. 
  • Redirect your thoughts on comparison. Have you got something to add to what you’ve already thought? If not, the same old thought has made a return. Are you rehashing? Is this the best use of your time? What are you doing today that you couldn’t do 6 months, 1 year, 3, 5, 10 years ago? This is growth. What new decisions have you made that you might have felt were inconceivable at one point? Are there unhealthy habits that you’ve been working on?Keep asking you these questions when comparison thoughts pop up and you will recognise who you are and your growth.

Links mentioned

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