The Do It Scared™ Podcast with Ruth Soukup provides weekly motivation, inspiration, and practical instruction for anyone tired of settling for “good enough.” Each week we tackle topics like goal-setting, overcoming procrastination, finding the time, energy & know-how for accomplishing our dreams, and overcoming the challenges that stand in our way. Don’t miss an episode; subscribe here.
Have you ever felt, after scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and seeing the fabulous lives of our friends, neighbors, and even people we don’t actually know in real life, that your own life just doesn’t quite measure up?
Honestly, I think it happens to all of us.
We start to wonder why we can’t jet off to tropical locations every month, or why our blogs or businesses are just limping along when our friends have found major success. We even start to compare our children to others. Why don’t our lives look as perfect as the ones that are popping up on our feeds?
Let me just tell you, this comparison game is a TRAP!
The thing is, we get so stuck in comparing ourselves and our lives and our progress and our success to other people. And whether you are trying to build a business, trying to manage your home, trying to get promoted at work, or simply trying to create a life you LOVE, comparison is a giant trap that will suck you in and not let go.
You see, comparison breeds discontentment, and ultimately there is no way to win that game. Even so, there IS a way to avoid the comparison trap that brings so many people down.
So let’s talk about three very practical techniques you can try the next time you feel yourself slipping into that comparison trap.
KNOW WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE TO YOU
The first essential step is to get completely clear about what you want most of all, as well as getting clear about your priorities, and about the path you will need to take.
I think the biggest reason that comparison is so sinister is that it doesn’t happen on an equal playing field. What you want, and what you view as success, is a destination that is unique to you. That means that often the people we are comparing ourselves to are on a completely different journey—one with different rules and different objectives.
Your journey is your journey, and ultimately creating a life you love means recognizing exactly what is most important and most meaningful to you. But it also means understanding that what is important and meaningful to you will not be the same as what is important and meaningful for other people, and vice versa. And that’s okay.
PUT YOUR BLINDERS ON
Once you’ve defined what success looks like to you, and created an action plan on how to get there, then the easy part is done! The reality is, dealing with distractions, putting your head down, keeping your blinders on, trusting the plan, and actually doing the work—that’s the hard part!
Action is the antidote to fear. And the secret to success that so many people never realize is that as long as you keep those small steps in one direction, you will get there eventually.
In our everyday lives, comparison almost always leads to discontentment—this feeling that what we have, or what we’ve accomplished, or where we are at right now isn’t good enough. And while not all discontentment is bad—sometimes we need that gentle nudge to encourage us to face our fears or make a change—the angst that comes from feeling that what we have is lacking in comparison to someone else is not generally a good thing.
But gratitude turns that all around.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we need to focus on what we do have. Instead of beating ourselves up for what we haven’t yet accomplished, we need to celebrate the little milestones along the way. Instead of only looking forward to what still on the horizon, we also need to look back and acknowledge how far we’ve come.
Creating a life you LOVE starts with appreciating the life you have.