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Comparison is the thief of joy – Teddy Roosevelt
Because I believe in “doing well” in my life and in my career, I recently joined a prosperity mindset group, thinking that I could use some support as I incline my mind toward abundance. Every day I read about other people’s positive evidences, the tangible proof as the group members begin to grow and expand and manifest.
Some of these positive evidences have been mind-boggling big, such as one woman’s attendance at a networking event and walking away with three new clients. I mean, WOW.
Yet I’ve been noticing something that’s been happening frequently these days. Every time I read other people’s positive evidence, I began to fall into an age-old trap –The Comparison Trap. Every time I read their statements, I started to think: What’s wrong with me? How is it that they are experiencing such rapid manifestation? … and I then would sink into dismay.
We ALL fall into this trap – I often hear this from many of my clients as well as friends and peers. For instance, a friend of mine was recounting the time when he was invited to a party at a big warehouse in Brooklyn, along the waterfront in Williamsburg. He was having a great time enjoying the smooth jazz, box wine and delicious hors d’oeuvres, all while talking with people who were dynamic and intelligent and worldly – just the kind of people he loves talking with. Later in the evening he noticed a steady parade of well-heeled people slide past and disappear into another room. He peeked and saw a large party with beautiful revelers dancing and carrying on like Bacchus. Suddenly he was seized by despair, thinking that his gig wasn’t as fun as it had been all because it didn’t appear to measure up to the party next door- a party he didn’t even know existed until just moments before.
I think single people are more prone to this trap because we have the added pressure of thinking that there’s something wrong with us that we’re not in a relationship. We’re already dealing with feelings of “less-than”.
And our consumer culture is built on this comparison trap and our feelings of dismay and envy. It’s like a cultural institution because that is the prime motivation for selling lots and lots of “stuff”.
The thing is, comparing ourselves to others in anything, whether spiritual growth, business, weight, finances, relationships, appearance, and bling, isn’t useful. Every time you look at something and feel less than, your energy becomes lower and you cut off your ability to attract the very thing you want to achieve. Comparison doesn’t do anything of value. So therefore, the most transformational changes that we hope to make really HAVE to start on the inner level, working with our subconscious limiting beliefs and inner critic, learning to trust ourselves and feel good about our lives.
Also, remember to not always believe what you see. In the cases where people are talking about the great things that are happening in their lives, we need to recognize that people aren’t often open to sharing their challenges. You only know what people present as a persona. I always explain to people when they are comparing themselves to others, that you don’t really know what’s going on for them.
SO the next time you find yourself saying things like “Mary has a bigger car,” or “Sarah gets all the lucky breaks”, or “Tom has more money,” or “Jeff is better looking”… just remember to Snap Out of It! Focus on the things that are going well in your life and if you want MORE, allow yourself to do the necessary work to achieve it.