There is probably not one thing that kills joy fast than measuring yourself against other people, and yet we all do it. It's almost always a losing game because it's rarely neutral.
It's not like you just passively notice that other people are different than you are. Most people, women, in particular, spend more time seeing how much better other women are.
She's smarter than I am.
She's doing way better in life than I am.
That's called critical comparison. The problem is critical comparison is it's hard-wired into our survival system. You don't want to do it because it sucks, but you can't help yourself.
We've all heard of reptilian brain, but very few people understand it. A very over-simplified explanation of reptilian brain is that it is a set of impulses that are fixed in human conditioning that is intended for preservation of the species. The key thing to note about that explanation is that they are impulses, not behaviors. You can and should override most of them.
When humans were wild and our lives were in legitimate survival mode most of the time those impulses were a matter of life and death. Now, most of those impulses are a remnant of past conditioning that doesn't apply to how we live.
The thing about comparison, or even critical comparison is that it's a part of that reptilian programming. In a life and death situation, all animals instinctively check out each other to see who's more fit for survival.
At our core we are animals. However, in our lives we are human. Sometimes those two parts of ourselves don't play nicely together.
The point is this: don't be hard on yourself for noticing you are doing the comparison thing. It's an instinct. However, that instinct is an impulse and you don't have to give into it.
Here are four ways to opt out of the critical comparison mind f*ck loop.
1. Every time you notice something about someone else you think is better, force yourself bring to your conscious awareness something you love about yourself.
If you look at another woman and you think, "OMG, look at her amazing hair. God damn, she's gorgeous. My hair never has and never will look like that.", immediately force yourself to put points on the board in your column.
"She's got amazing hair, but I have really beautiful eyes. I love the color of them. I get compliments on my eyes all the time."
By doing that you are consciously over-riding the primal instinct to make others more valuable because you are intentionally making sure the mental score is even.
2. Often times critical comparison creeps up on us. It sneaks in the back door when we didn't really invite it in. A great way to override that is to do the comparison intentionally.
Look for things you love in other women. Compliment them regularly. When you doing it with an intention on purpose you can control the emotional tone of that impulse. You can choose to be loving vs. threatened or self-deprecating.
Make it a mission to uplift other women. You'll find the energy of negative comparisons starts to evolve naturally without much effort.
3. Watch your self-talk in general. If the tone of yourself talk is more negative than positive you're going to be way more susceptible to critical comparison.
The challenge with that is most people are not fully aware of their self-talk. Those looping thoughts in your head that you're so used to that you don't notice them anymore have a lot of impact on how you see yourself and other people.
Commit to deconstructing your self-talk.
Decide what you want to hear from other people and say it to yourself all the time, religiously.
The commitment to managing your self-talk is the most empowered commitment you will ever make.
4. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Being and looking your best is a powerful antidote for critical comparison.
I know for sure I am less susceptible when I'm rocking a new hair cut, my nails are done, and I'm dressed like a person who's going somewhere. I am far less likely to feel that snarl in the pit of my stomach when I see a very fit woman if I've been eating right and moving my body regularly.
For the record, that isn't petty. It's biology.
Part of that reptilian instinct is about motivating you to be your best so you can compete. Although none of us is really competing anymore, that motivation to be my best is not a bad thing.
Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Posted on 04/12/2017 at 01:03:00 PM