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A Week of No Comparison–Update

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

A few weeks ago I wrote about my Comparison Free Week.  In an effort to increase my productivity and decrease my negative self talk I decided I would attempt to stop spending so much time on the Interwebs comparing myself.  I’ll be honest, I have been putting off writing this update to that post.

I WANT to be able to say

  • It was a rousing success, 
  • I didn’t compare myself to anyone for at least a week.
  • It went so well that here I am weeks later still successfully none comparing.  
  • My comparison behavior has been changed down right eliminated.
  • My productivity has sky rocketed.
  • I am healed from comparison syndrome.  

Like I said, I WANT to be able to write that and because I can’t I just have chosen not to post about this topic.

So what is the truth?

Well in reality, I started strong.  I was able to limit my comparing for the first week, and then slowly it creeped back in.  And before I knew it I was back to some of my old patterns of spending WAY too much time on the internet and using it as a way to feel bad about myself.  So as a person who is suppose to be teaching about change and positive changes, I felt a bit like a fraud to say that I have not succeeded.  But then last night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I thought to myself I have changed.

No, I haven’t completely changed, I haven’t totally eliminated the behavior.

I have:

  • Made myself more aware of it.
  • Noticed when I start heading down the slippery road to comparison hell (sometimes I am able to stop it sometimes I don’t notice until I am too far down the path). 
  • Paid attention to what triggers the behavior, how it feels when I am doing it and have implemented some small ways to change it when I notice it. 

That right there is change for me—admitting that while yes I haven’t succeeded in eliminating the behavior–I have succeeded.  Because after all, all change is incremental.

Too often we set our goals too high and make them almost out of reach.  Basically we set ourselves up for failure.

Honestly, was I going to be able to go cold turkey from comparing myself to others?–no.  Is it a behavior I would like to change?–yes.  Is it something that is going to take time?–absolutely.

As I say to my clients, the way to make real change is awareness.  We need to notice the behavior, what triggers it, what the feelings are around it.  Sometimes we notice the behavior while we are doing it, sometimes within 5 minutes, sometimes within 30, sometimes it is days later we look back and say–wow I totally did {fill-in the blank} on Monday and I wish I hadn’t.  Gradually as we start bringing awareness, and through being intentional change occurs.  That is what is happening with my comparison free time.  It may not be all day every day but for larger chunks of the day I am comparison free which in itself is a victory!!
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