How we stopped comparing ourselves to others and found happiness and success on the other side.
Most of our lives were spent in comparison of others.
In school, you compared fashion, status and grades. In career it’s pretty much the same.
From body shape, to how much weight we gain during pregnancies, our career paths, yadda yadda.
You know what we got from that? Sick. Oh, and tired. Sick and damn tired.
See, comparison is going to make anyone mental. Constantly on the watch for what others are doing and how we add up. Often leaving you disappointed because you’re not on the same level as others. Like we’re somehow supposed to be clones of each other.
It eats you up.
Sarah used to compare where she was with her job or salary with other friends. It would make her feel awful if she didn’t think she was as advanced as them. It was really counterproductive because she didn’t actually enjoy working full-time outside the home anyhow.
Letting go of that comparison helped her see there was another option.
That also led to her realizing she would compare herself to the possessions that other people had. Feeling like she never had enough, or never drove a nice enough car, or had a nice enough furnishings.
It always felt like she was trying to keep up with the Jones’s.
One day she realized it was not necessary and not something that made her any happier
For Apryl, she watched as her co-workers (many she trained) get great job offers at bigger TV stations, while she was still in the same job she had for 11 years. You can’t help but feel like there’s something wrong with you when that happens.
She created all these ideas of what her dream job would be and only focused on getting to that next step, instead of enjoying the journey. Feeling like she was a failure because she was still at what she considered the starting line.
If she only knew that something more amazing was waiting for her. Something just for her.
Comparison is happening all over, and especially with body image.
We are all guilty of this. Saving photos on our phones of the body we want to have. Or pasting those photos on vision boards.
You know who’s in those photos? Models. 6’2” women who have absolutely nothing in common with a 5”0” woman.
Or 19 year olds who have nothing in common with 30-something year-olds who have had kids.
Why can’t we just look at ourselves and try to make that woman the best version of HERSELF instead of trying to be something else?
Comparison also leads to feelings of being small. We make our accomplishments seem less than, because someone else is achieving something we feel is greater.
Can you run a 5k? Sure, but we make it seem less of an achievement by saying, “yeah, but really slowly.” Or, “well, Sue is the real runner, I just dabble.”
Dammit, running a 5K or even a 2K is bad ass! And it’s entirely YOUR achievement. Who cares what Sue does?!
We also used to compare our business with others too. Constantly on the lookout for what our friends or colleagues were doing and trying to re-create it or worse, keep up.
We are a few years into this social media industry, with nearly 14K followers, and our friend The Birds Papaya just hit one million followers and it took her 12 years. A dozen years!
We can’t compare her 12th year with our 4th.
Motherhood is also something that makes you fall into this comparison trap. Did you breast feed? How long did you nurse? When did Johnny start walking?
Everyone is on a different path, and constantly comparing yourself to others is taking the fun out of this journey.
The Magical Stuff
Once you stop comparing that’s when things start happening. The beautiful things.
We stopped comparing our work with other people’s and focused on our unique offerings.
Guess what happened? We got more successful.
Bonus: we gained clarity!
You start looking at your achievements with more pride, instead of thinking they’re somehow less than.
Your home is yours and you love it. Don’t make yourself feel bad because your neighbour’s home is 1000 square feet larger. Who cares!
Your friend has that new convertible you want? Be happy for them. It’s not your time for a fancy car.
Your sister bought a cottage? That’s great! She’s probably not traveling as much as you are.
Look at things at a different angle, with gratitude and understanding. Not envy.
Try having different conversations too. Don’t talk about salary or benchmarks with friends. Or how much your home cost. Leave all that off the table. It will make everyone feel better.
We all have things we want that are not in our grasp yet, but we promise you, if you stop and look around, you’ll realize what you have and it will make you even happier.
It’s worked for us, and we can say with all honestly, our lives are more beautiful when we look at the blessings we have now instead of feeling like we need more.
Apryl and Sarah