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Emily Williams


How to Curb Comparison Over the Holidays

Emily Williams

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We’re in the final stretch of the year, and while some people may be looking toward the holidays and the new year with gusto, there are also undoubtedly those of you who may be feeling a little glum. Perhaps the year is coming to an end and all the resolutions you set fell off the wayside early on? Maybe you’re experiencing loneliness, missing someone you can’t be with this year, or wishing you had a significant other to kiss when the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve? Or I wonder if your gloominess has to do with finances, as your bank balance isn’t where you thought it’d be by now? Or even lacking in body confidence, and comparing your body to that of other people?

Whatever it is that’s causing your discontent, I’ll bet that it’s magnified by social media, and that you compare yourself to people online as much as you do people in real life, wondering how they’re so much prettier/happier/wealthier/smarter/healthier… (insert desirable adjective here!). We’ve all been there; staring at someone else’s accomplishments or attributes and shaming ourselves for not hitting the mark. 

Here’s the deal with comparison: it can actually be helpful to show us more about what we desire for ourselves, but if we’re using it to beat ourselves up and shame ourselves, then we’re going to wind up staying locked into the same place we’ve always been… disempowered and circling the drain of victimhood. 

But there is another way. 

If you’re ready to move into a more empowering and expansive place, here are a few journaling exercises you can practice to get you out of the trap of comparison. 

1. Take a Comparison Inventory (Thirty Minutes)

1. Set a timer for ten minutes to brain dump. 

During this first stint, grab a pen and paper, and brain dump anything and everything that you have been judging yourself for; who are you envious of? Whose body would you kill for? Where would you like to be living? Who is there with you? Is your bank account where you’d like it to be – if not, where do you want it? 

2. Set a timer for ten minutes to categorize. 

Go back through your list and next to each item, put a category (examples of categories: health, relationships, wealth, wellbeing, mental health). For example, if you’re having thoughts about wanting to be thinner, write “Health” next to that, if you’re having thoughts about how Mary’s relationship is the kind you dream of, write “Relationships” next to that.

3. Set a timer for ten minutes to look for consistency. 

Take a look at the categories, is there one that is more consistent than the others? If you’re finding a theme, this can be helpful as it can show you what you value, meaning you can begin to create a conscientious strategy for how you want to grow or heal toward resolutions. For example, if the health category is coming up quite a bit, then perhaps it’s time to hire a coach who can help you stay accountable, or you could try a new program such as Noom, or perhaps it’s time to get that gym membership reinstated. Whatever it is, really imagine what kind of support you need in order to get you where you want to go.

Clock sitting on top of notebook.

2. Create a “To-Done” List.

If you’re driven, like so many of the women in our community, you’re probably often looking to the future for what you want to create/improve/grow. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the far-off land of the future, but what about the past? Have you truly stopped to look back on your life and celebrate what you’ve accomplished thus far? Take some time and list out everything that you’re proud of yourself for accomplishing. Start with this past year and continue looking back through time as far as you can remember—as we say in this blog post, you should be celebrating your wins big and small!

If you really try this exercise on for size, I bet you’re going to remember things that you forgot about, or find moments where you get teary thinking about that thing that you made happen. Really honor yourself for what you’ve already accomplished here in the time that you’ve had.

To-do list and pen.

3. Past, Past, Future Exercise

  1. Picture yourself at 95 years old. You’re sitting on your porch thinking about all that you’ve accomplished in your life; what did you accomplish? What are you most proud of? How do people know you? How did you invest the time that you had? 
  2. Picture yourself as a 7 year old. Who was that little girl? What did she love to do? What did she want to be? 
  3. Picture yourself one year from now. Where would you like to be in your health? In your relationships? In your finances? In your business/career? In your community? 
  4. Is there a common thread through any of these? Did anything surprise you about your past or your future?

4. Forgive and Strategize

Perhaps one of the reasons that you’re bummed that the year is coming to an end is because you broke promises to yourself, you didn’t accomplish the resolutions that you made, or you just think you should be further in life in some way. In order to truly move forward, it’s important that you forgive yourself and that you support your desires/resolutions with metrics to measure and a strategy to get you where you want to go.

If you broke promises to yourself, recognize that you have to rebuild integrity with yourself. That takes time. Just as if you are in a committed relationship and your partner lets you down or does something that shakes your trust, it takes time to rebuild, but first—forgiveness. Forgiving here doesn’t have to mean that you are forgetting, it just means that you’re going to let the past live in the past and you’re choosing a different way for your future. 

When we judge something or hold on to a grudge, those feelings lock us there in that emotive state and block the flow of the things we actually desire to cultivate in our lives.

Now comes the strategy. If you say that you want to create consistent $10/k months in your business, who do you need to be and what do you need to do to get there? Really go there in your heart and mind. Perhaps it’s time to hire a coach who has done that. Perhaps it means creating a client attraction strategy or mapping out the exact products/courses you want to offer that are going to get you to that mark each and every month. Create the plan for each of your resolutions and take action today. Put dates into your calendar and set check-ins for each thing you’re resolving to do/be/have in the year ahead. If you’re finding throughout the year that the goals or resolutions you set aren’t actually in alignment with what you want or they need to shift, change them! As Emily says, “You’re not getting a tattoo on your forehead”(as taken from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love), your life gets to shift with you as you learn and grow. 

5. Cultivate Gratitude 

Each day for two weeks, write out ten things that you’re grateful for (that you already have) and ten things you’re claiming for yourself (that don’t yet exist in your awareness just yet) as if they are already yours. When we are celebrating and honoring the goodness in our lives, and the things that we’re attracting to us in these moments, we are cultivating an internal state that will continuously grow in resilience. When we focus on gratitude it expels scarcity, negativity, and—you may have guessed it—comparison.

Following the clues of your comparison may show you more of what you want to work toward for your life, but recognize that time is a precious resource. Where we invest our time is where we are investing our lives. So, if you’re spending hours scrolling your socials breeding resentment toward yourself for not having what “they” have or being able to do what “they’re” doing—please understand that nothing will change if you don’t take inspired action. If you’re truly ready to make 2022 a year that you’re proud of, then start focusing inward, do the exercises above and tell us in the comments what you find! (You might also love this blog post on manifesting money right here.)

We truly believe that everything that you want is meant for you. The time to create the life that you truly desire is now. We’re so grateful that you’re here in our community and cannot wait to see what’s in store!

Evelyn Fuson Smiling
Written by our contributor Evelyn Fuson.
Evelyn is a Mindset and Life Coach.

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