“Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”
I can vividly see the scene in my mind, Jan Brady was frustrated that older sister Marsha could do everything well. It seemed to her that everyone was focused on Marsha and her many victories.
Jan, who felt like she couldn’t measure up to her sister, and that she couldn’t do anything well, felt as if she was hiding in the shadow of greatness. This leads to the depths of discouragement.
Have you had a Marsha in your life? Everybody seems to flock to this person, while you sit quietly on the sidelines. Everything you have tried to do, they seem to do it better and be greater. If you have walked this path, you have likely held yourself in comparison, bitterness, and resentment. This is dangerous territory to linger in, as it often keeps us bound up from exploring what WE are called to.
The trap of comparison not only leads to depression, discouragement, and hopelessness. If we are not careful, we stop pursuing and doing, to the point that we will never arrive at our unique greatness.
So how do we stop? How do we not let where others are in their journey affect us on our own? How do we keep pushing on when we seem to be all alone and face defeat after defeat? You have tried to do you, but inevitably the thoughts always go back to how others do it better or would fit better, or have it all together….better. I have listed some tips that have helped me, move beyond my comparisons and pursue that which is within me.
10 Steps to Move Beyond Comparison
1. Recognize Your Motive- Why do you want success? Are you motivated to be a benefit to your life and others, or are you motivated to just have what they have?
Do you feel admiration or jealousy?
2. Adjust your Perception of What Has Value- It is much easier for me to see what others offer as far greater than what I had readily available to give the world.
Yet, we are all designed to be unique.
3. Don’t Confuse Success with The Size of Your Audience- The author of life has given you a call and a reach. It may be millions, or just one. Never forget, THAT one, is important. You have value, and no matter the size of your impact, you have an impact. Walking out your call, your destiny will impact others. You will light a spark. You were created for such things. Your success is not measured by the size of your audience, rather it is measured by walking out what is for you and only you to do. Your very impact on one could ignite the world! Yet, we are all designed to be unique. Perhaps you may not have people flocking to you, because you are created to be intentional with people in a way that is different than somebody else. Maybe they do have hundreds, thousands, or even millions in their contacts and sphere of influence, but don’t underestimate the power of connection that you were created for.
4. Celebrate Their Victories- The quickest way that I have found personal victory over comparison is to be genuinely happy for other people and their successes. Rather than the, “Why not me?” attitude, I shift to “Yay You.”
5. Focus on Your Growth, and Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone- Success can be uncomfortable You may begin to see some attention to your hard work and want to step back. It is scary stepping out and being exposed. Yet, growth comes with some discomfort. Do you remember the growing pains as you quickly grew in seasons of childhood? It is the same way with our victories and success. Getting there can be painful.
6. Address Imposter Syndrome- I have heard the most famous of famous say that they have felt less than. They feel like they are faking it every day. When we walk around feeling like an imposter, we are in danger of walking in comparison, or an, “I wish I could be like that attitude”. Be you, do your thing, and walk in the confidence that you ARE in the right position, you are not an imposter.
7. Rethink Your Thinking- Rather than running the record in your mind, “Why are they so successful, why do they always seem to get there easily?” Shift your thoughts. This is a great opportunity to renew your mind! Instead of focusing so much on what they do well, shift your focus on what you are going to do well. If you have not arrived yet, make a plan as to how you will get to where you want to be, and follow through. Most people start and don’t finish because of the negative thinking they let control their minds.
8. Call it what it is- Comparison is jealousy, envy, and pride.
9. Define What You Truly Want- Sometimes, we think we want something because it looks good on someone else. But is that YOUR thing? Perhaps you let the dream die, because it wasn’t clicking in the first place, and it has nothing to do with how amazing they are at what they do.
10. Try, Try Again- If you feel like this is your passion, your thing, and your dream. You must put in the work, research, and pursuit. You won’t get anywhere if at the first sign of this isn’t working, you quit. You may just have to work that much harder than others. If it is what you want, where they are, and how they got there should not be your focus.
I still fight the mindset of comparison, imposter syndrome, or the energy to put the effort into my dreams. Yet, when I walk out these steps and my mind is on comparison less and less, it is then that I see my personal next unfold.