Stepping away from corporate America and a set career path into paving my own opened me up to a lot of unknowns and constantly comparing myself with others.
Am I doing it as well as she is? Is my website as good as his? Do I have as many people on my email list?
Of course, comparison started long before I ever stepped out “on my own.” It just went from “why didn’t I get a promotion?” to “why is her opt-in better than mine?”
I spent a lot of time working through and looking to heal my comparison because, like the rest of you, I know it doesn’t serve anybody. We know by now that comparison sucks the life force right out of us. We know it keeps us from shining our own light brighter. We know it’s for the birds. We may even know that when we compare ourselves to others, we are actually seeing our own inner brilliance or sticky shadowy parts being reflected back to us.
Still, all of this has comparison as something we do “out there.” It’s something we do with others. And this got me thinking.
While in a yoga class, our instructor reminded us at the end of class how we are all enough, in this very moment. We are not lacking or in need of anything else. We are whole and complete.
But our ego sure as hell doesn’t like to believe or accept this. It wants for nothing else than to remind us of what else we could be doing, how much more we could have, what we are missing.
The only reason I compare myself with another is because I’m already comparing myself with myself. I’m comparing my present self with a past or future version. I think of how much I used to weigh and think that’s how much I should weigh now. I think of how much money I could make and think that’s how much I should make now.
It has nothing to do with other people.
So long as I believe that I am not already whole and complete in this very moment despite what I’ve done or not done in my past or what I might or might not accomplish in my future, I am in comparison.
That can be a little hard to wrap our minds around but it doesn’t make it any less true. The more often we lean into the fact that there is nothing we are lacking, the more often we can avoid comparison.
And remember, comparison doesn’t discriminate; it can have us feel better or less than, depending on our situation. Again, either one has us believing that we are not whole and perfect just the way we are (and so is everyone else). This stems from thinking our present self is “better” than our past self or perhaps “less than” our future self. But that’s impossible. Because our true self is completely unchanging.
This is how we heal our comparison.
By remembering who we truly are, over and over and over again. It need not involve anyone else. It’s an internal job. It starts with accepting who I am today no matter who I was yesterday and who I will be tomorrow. From the perspective of the true self, it’s all the same.
The next time you catch yourself thinking you ought to be able to bend further in your yoga pose or have a longer email list or have a website more like hers, remember this truth:
The person you were yesterday and will be tomorrow is the person you are today—perfectly whole and complete in every way.