Many of us have heard the Theodore Roosevelt quote, “comparison is the thief of joy.”
It’s so true. BUT it implies that we should STOP comparing. Which is basically impossible.
The primitive part of our brain is wired to seek approval because if we do not have approval we will be left by our ‘pack’ and, long story short, left to die. In order to know if we are approved or going to get approval we must compare. It is just human nature. Our primitive brains have yet to figure out that one, we aren’t going to die and two, we don’t live in packs anymore.
So yes, our brains could get on the bullet train to 2017 and help us out a little.
BUT our brains are also really cool. We are the only species that can actually watch our own thoughts.
So instead of fighting nature what if we just got super observant. What if we just watched our thoughts around comparison (read: can’t judge, can’t be mean, can’t beat yourself up).
Then we can say “oh, that is just my brain being a brain” and “isn’t that interesting?” or “wow I never noticed my thoughts on comparison” and “how cool that we are all different and unique?” Go with whatever you come up with that is neutral or positive and authentic to your brain!
From there you can access JOY. We can’t access joy by not comparing because we are literally programmed to do it.
Stop worrying about not comparing and just worry about watching how and when you compare and what you choose to make it mean.
This has helped me especially during pregnancy. I found myself comparing myself to other beautiful moms to be. Judging myself for not being or looking a certain way. And then beating myself up for the whole thing. And then of course beating myself up for beating myself up. What if I just noticed and allowed and chose what best served me feeling the way I want to feel!? Such a better option!
So step one, watch your thoughts. Step two, find the comparison thoughts. Step three, make a positive choice about how you want to think when you catch yourself comparing. Step four, feel joy. Voila!!!