In my previous post, I talked about the dangers of the Comparison Trap. Comparing yourself, your circumstances or your accomplishments to other people robs you of gratitude, diminishes your perceived value and that of your actions, and places you in a victim mindset. I didn’t want to leave you hanging after delivering such a cautionary message. So here are a few strategies that we can use to combat this trap and continue taking powerful action from a sound mindset.
Celebrate your own victories
Take the time to celebrate your victories, however large or small. No, I may not accomplish the same feats this week as Tim Ferriss does, but I’ll still have things to celebrate if I’ll allow myself to see their value, and so will you. If you’re on a path toward a goal that is worthy and of great importance to you, then every step along the way—however glamorous it may or may not be—carries its own value. Allow yourself to celebrate these victories along the way. (Hint: one great way to do this is to reward yourself. i.e. “When I get down to 17% body fat I’m going to buy myself a new pair of running shoes.”)
Celebrate the victories of others
As I discussed with great vulnerability when I wrote, “Are You Anti-Success?”, it is very important to be able to celebrate the victories of others. The abundance mindset gives you the freedom to do that. Success is not a finite resource that you have to scrape and claw for, making sure you get yours before there’s none left. You don’t have to feel threatened by the successes of others. Don’t fall into this trap. Your journey to greatness is personal, and is not relative to what others around you are or are not doing.
Focus on your vision
If you have fixed your eyes single-mindedly on a worthwhile vision—be it starting an organic farm, building a blog, selling software, raising wonderful children—that vision can carry you swiftly past the distraction that is comparison. In other words, if you are expending your time and energy passionately pursuing this vision, you won’t have the time (or the desire) to spend time needlessly comparing yourself to others.
Seek enriching relationships
We know that the Comparison Trap can cut us off from potentially meaningful relationships. Conversely, if we are actively seeking these enriching relationships with others, we will be in a headspace that places value on that person and the unique perspective, talent and experience that they bring. Again, if your focus is on the intention to seek and build rich relationships, there will be no room left to compare yourself to those same people. You will see them as valuable and exciting people, as relationships well worth investing in, not as threats to what you want.
As an added bonus, the better you get to know people, the clearer it becomes that they are imperfect human beings, just like you are—with struggles, fears, frustrations and weaknesses—and not all-perfect, fail-proof cyborgs who have everything dropped in their lap (which is typically how we imagine those against whom we compare ourselves–everything goes right for them and wrong for me!).
Take the proactive approach. Don’t simply avoid the trap of comparison—adjust and improve your mindset in these ways long before the Comparison Trap sets in.