It breaks my heart when people tell me they are suffering from ‘comparisonitis’; that gut-wrenching feeling of inadequacy when you look at someone else and find yourself coming up short.
We know it holds us back and yet, from time to time, we find ourselves envying someone who seems to have more than we do — better market positioning, a better tagline, better dress sense, better hair.
But what (or rather who) are we really looking at? And why, if it makes is feel so bad do we continue to do it?
What we’re doing when we compare ourselves (negatively) to others is we’re actually looking at ourselves and feeling intense dissatisfaction about where we are. We kinda realise this but we might fall into the trap of thinking it’s real, and believing that there really is a ‘gap’ between where we are and where we should be.
I feel this intensely from time to time around my fitness and body. I know other women who feel it around their business. (which isn’t helped by a well-meaning partner or friend asking ‘are you making money yet?’
Sometimes I point out to clients that no-one would ask this question if you’d chosen to go on a gap year to Thailand, rather than start to build a business. It’s completely contextual.)
OK, back to the gap…
If you ever feel this kind of comparisonitis, I want you to know two things:
1. It really isn’t about them
There is nothing in the other person that can make you feel a certain way. What you’re looking at (and believing to be meaningful) is the illusion of a thought-created gap between where you are and where you think you should be.
(and I’d go further and say, not only can no-one make you feel this way, but nothing can make you feel this way. It isn’t Facebook, it isn’t where you live, the job you have or don’t have, the relationship you have or don’t have. It’s an illusion.)
2. We are always whole and perfect
The second is more subtle; it’s harder to explain, and, yet, it’s the key to unlocking everything for you.
However bad or dissatisfied we feel in the moment, we are always in the perfect place. We have everything we need, and we have ultimate and infinite well-being because we are divine beings living a human experience.
I don’t love the religious language yet I can’t find better words to describe what we are — spirit, soul, god, energy, nothingness — they all come with an association that doesn’t align with what I’m trying to say. It’s a feeling and when you ‘get it’, you get it at an instinctive, intuitive, insightful level.
Know this, we have something at our core — a shining light of wellness — that is whole and perfect no matter what the scales or the bank book say. Look to this place and you will find all the peace of mind imaginable.
And if you don’t believe me, then email and we can talk further.
About the author
Cathy Presland is a leadership coach and strategist. She works with people who are making a positive impact with the work they do. Find out more at https://cathypresland.com