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A Week of No Comparison

Photo credit: Bruce Turner

A few months ago I wrote a post on The Danger of Comparisons where I talk about how comparing ourselves to others can hurt us in trying to Live and Work Happier.

Since it is my year of honesty, I have to confess that even after writing this post, comparison is something I am still struggling with and engage in on a daily basis.  In short, I am a Comparison Addict.

In 2012, there are many things I want to accomplish, writing an e-book/course, recording more videos, writing more in general and reaching more and more clients.  I have found especially with my writing, I get paralyzed in comparing.  Meaning, I spend WAY too much time on-line, on blogs, on marketing sites figuring out HOW to do the activity vs just do it.  Then I end up:
a. not accomplishing anything b. feeling bad about myself because I didn’t accomplish anything  c. Feeling bad that I failed against everyone I compared myself with. It is an endless loop or wasted energy.

Over the past few weeks I have been building awareness around this problem and realized it is a multi-layer problem:

  1. I am just wasting time. 
  2. I am not facing my fears or working through my anxiety 
  3. At the end of the day I am not living the life I want to be living, I am settling for being paralyzed in the shadows of others.     

So I have declared this is my Week of No Comparison.  For one week, I am going to concentrate on the many goals I set for myself in 2012 and I am not going to waste time on the internet looking at how I SHOULD be doing it.

Here are the ‘guidelines’ I have set for myself:

  1. I can check my daily blogs (I have 3-4 blogs I read every day as I drink my coffee) but I can’t look at random blogs throughout the day.
  2. I am allowed to post my blogs or other items on Facebook/Twitter but I can’t randomly check either one throughout the day.
  3. I am going to pay attention to when I REALLY WANT to check something on-line or even when I find myself mindlessly reading Twitter feeds.  I am going to build awareness around when I get stuck…is it when I have to be my most creative, face a fear, risk more or all of the above.
  4. No email unless it is a designated time of the day.  Another thing I love to do between clients–check email.  I subscribe to a number of email newsletters so I can easily get lost in comparison world here as well.  I also set up a number of ‘rules’ no my email inbox that automatically sends these newsletters to a certain inbox so if I open my email box I am not inundated by newsletters but can choose to read them in my own time.
  5. Ironically I received an invitation to Pinterest which has become a new obsession of many of those close to me first thing Monday morning–so in the spirit of my No Comparison week I am not going to open and enjoy that invitation until next week.
  6. Finally I will have a lot of self compassion around this event.   I am fully aware I may not succeed at a comparison free week–the goal of this week is to ease up on the amount of time I spend in comparison mode AND pay attention to what is coming up for me in the process.  It is a week of  awareness, compassion and incremental change. 

I recognize comparison may not be an issue for you.  However, no matter what habit or pattern is getting in your way one of the keys to living happier is to bring awareness, build compassion and make small meaningful changes.  That is my goal for Comparison Free Week. To notice when I get snagged, build in some practices to help me through those times and have a lot of compassion for myself in the meantime. I can’t wait to share my insights!!

What about you?  What habits or patterns get in your way?

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