Summary: Comparisonitis By Melissa Ambrosini
Summary: Comparisonitis By Melissa Ambrosini

Summary: Comparisonitis By Melissa Ambrosini

Anatomy of an Illness

  • Comparing ourselves to others is not an inherently “bad” thing. It’s actually an important characteristic of human social life. We look to other people for information. We look to see how they’re behaving, what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, and we compare that information to how we ourselves are behaving, thinking and feeling. Then, if needed, we make adjustments.
  • Comparison turns toxic when we start to attribute meaning to the differences we observe. This phenomenon is described by social comparison theory.
  • According to the dictionary, comparisonitis is the compulsion to compare our accomplishments to another’s to determine relative importance. It’s not actually a disease, of course, but it sure feels like one sometimes!
  • According to social comparison theory, there are two main kinds of social comparison:

1.Upward social comparison: When we compare ourselves to others who we perceive are better than us in some way.

2.Downward social comparison: When we compare ourselves to others who we perceive as being worse off than us, which can often make us feel better about our own situation

 

The Comparisonitis Cure

THE FOUR-STEP ACES TECHNIQUE WILL HELP YOU:

  • feel so much better day to day
  • free up mental bandwidth
  • gain back time
  • get unstuck
  • enjoy richer and deeper friendships
  • be able to live your life for you . . . no one else

USE THE ACES TECHNIQUE WHENEVER YOU FEEL YOURSELF START TO SLIDE INTO COMPARISON MODE:

  • Awareness — become aware that you’re comparing.
  • Choose a different path — what do you want to feel instead?
  • Eliminate the trigger (or Exit the situation or Exhale).
  • Shift your state — take action to change your energy (e.g., by dancing, jumping, listening to upbeat music, or whatever activity lifts your spirits).

 

Mindset Medicine

FOUR TYPES OF HEADSPACE HEALERS CAN TRANSFORM YOUR MINDSET INTO A PLACE WHERE SELF-WORTH CAN FLOURISH AND COMPARISONITIS CAN’T GAIN A FOOTHOLD:

1.Live vibrationally.

2.Switch from the pie perspective to candle consciousness.

3.Dial up your self-worth.

4.CAST aside your inner critic.

THE BEST WAY TO MASTER YOUR INNER CRITIC IS WITH THE FOUR-STEP CAST PROCESS:

1.Character — create your own character for your inner critic.

2.Awareness — become aware of when your inner critic is popping up.

3.Shut the door — shut the door when your inner critic starts talking.

4.Truth — choose the truth instead; it’s way more fun

 

Building Immunity

  • Keep your eyes on your own lane. Stop looking to other people to decide what’s important to you.
  • You don’t need to keep up with the Joneses, the Kardashians, or anyone else. Quit wasting your precious time and energy worrying about what your life looks like from the outside.
  • Engage your own internal GPS system. It’s the best way to steer your life in the direction that feels truest for you.
  • Values are what help you map your way forward in life. Values are the things in your life that are important to you. It’s crucial that you know your values, because once you know what’s important to you, you can stop looking over your shoulder to see what other people are doing and focus on charting your own course. Use your values as a compass to make decisions, so that you never need to look outside yourself ever again.
  • Forget about your speedometer and go at your own speed. Everyone is traveling at their own pace (remember the tale of the wolf and the walrus).
  • Life is precious, sacred, and unpredictable. Our time left here on Planet Earth is finite. Why would you waste even one more moment of it looking over your shoulder, letting other people’s values dictate your life? Eyes on your own lane, beautiful!

 

Body Blues

  • Ending body comparisonitis starts with appreciating what you have. The fact that your body is letting you read a book while your heart is pumping and your lungs are breathing is nothing short of miraculous! Revel in the sheer joy of having a living, breathing body.
  • You are more than your body. See yourself as a whole human being, not a sack of skin and parts to be picked at and critiqued. Zoom out and choose to see yourself as a whole being.
  • We are all flowers. You might be a red rose. You might be a Peruvian lily. You might be a Sturt’s desert pea. Whatever physical form you take, you are a miracle of nature, you have a beauty all of your own, and it’s time you fully owned that.
  • Practicing radical self-acceptance will liberate your soul. (And if you’re persistent, one day, your acceptance of your body will turn into full-blown love.)
  • You can retrain your brain so that it stops looking for “flaws” in your body and starts looking for strengths. Every time you walk past a mirror, consciously say out loud all the amazing aspects of your body and what it can do for you. (Wow, check out my strong legs — they helped me run for an hour today!)
  • Stay vitally connected to your life purpose. Your purpose in life is so much bigger than your appearance. You are here on this planet to create, to love, to experience joy, to feel all the feelings, to sense all the senses, and to activate your full potential. So when body comparisonitis is threatening to take you down, when all else fails, when you’re feeling on the brink, think about the impact you want to make on this earth and the legacy you want to leave.

 

Fixing Fractured Friendships

  • It’s okay if you sometimes feel envious or jealous of one of your friends or a family member. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it means you’re human! And thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to shift how you feel and return to a place of love.
  • Feel all your feelings — even the uncomfortable ones. Don’t suppress anything, feel it all, then release it. (This one lesson alone can transform so much in your life.)
  • Sometimes our friends’ achievements can expand our sense of what’s truly possible for ourselves. If you’ve had a crater blasted in your sense of what’s possible and are suddenly seeing a whole new horizon in front of you, take that opportunity and run with it!
  • Turn envy into inspiration. Whenever you feel envy, dig beneath the surface to see what you find . . . you might just unlock some key insights that will lead you closer to your dream.
  • If you’re feeling a lot of pain, give yourself some breathing room. You’re allowed to set boundaries and create space for yourself. You’re worthy of that. (And you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone unless you choose to.)
  • Trust. Trust in divine timing. Trust your journey and trust in the process. Everything is always unfolding exactly the way it’s supposed to in perfect time.

 

Scroll Therapy

  • Social media platforms are not neutral tools. They have their own agenda, usually profit, which they achieve by demanding, capturing, and monopolizing your attention. Many techniques allow them to do this, so we, as users, have to get super strategic if we want to overcome these sneaky tricks and stay in control of our own usage.
  • The average person will spend six years on social media over their lifetime and a total of ten years looking at their phone. If you want something different for your own life, it’s important to take inspired action — now. (If not now, when?)
  • Start by knowing your numbers. Then set boundaries for your time online — set a limit on your devices, schedule your time, and take regular vacations from your devices.
  • Do more things that make you forget to look at your phone. What lights you up? What gets you into a state of flow? Prioritize and schedule more of those activities.
  • Turn off all notifications and keep your phone on silent and on airplane mode as much as you possibly can.
  • Get an old-school battery-operated alarm clock and remove all devices from your bedroom.
  • Poop in peace! Quit taking your phone to the loo and just allow yourself that time to sit and breathe.
  • Set an intention before you open your social media accounts. Only follow accounts that align with that intention. (If any accounts aren’t in alignment, simply unfollow them!)
  • Remember the highlights hypothesis: what you see on your newsfeed is a carefully curated highlights reel, not an accurate reflection of everyday life.
  • Instead of placing all your self-worth in likes, comments, and followers, focus on posting with intention and love. When you post from that place, it doesn’t matter how much attention or applause you get. All that matters is how you feel in the process of posting.

 

Influencer Influenza

  • Being an influencer is a job. This means that influencers are extra selective about what they share. For them, it’s like their résumé (and let’s face it: we all try to put our best foot forward on our résumés!).
  • Power Strategy One: Understand the tricks of the trade — From lighting tricks and professional hair and makeup, through to savvy camera angles, borrowed wardrobes, and airbrushing, influencers know how to optimize their images.
  • Power Strategy Two: Zoom out — No matter how “perfect” a picture may seem, there’s always real life beyond the frame. (It ain’t all rainbows, butterflies, and perfectly clean kitchens!) So zoom out, and try to contextualize the image among the realities of daily life.
  • Power Strategy Three: Revel in realness — When pictureperfect images trigger you to feel bad or down, ask yourself: What can I do right now to connect with the real, raw wonder of my real, raw life? Fill up your senses and revel in realness. And remember: nothing looks as good as the wonder of life feels.

 

CPR — Conscious Parenting Remedies

  • When it comes to parenting, nobody knows what they’re doing. We’re all just winging it, doing our best, and figuring it out as we go so don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Don’t compare your bananas to another parent’s blueberries!
  • We have to stop shaming other parents. Not only is it not nice, it’s fuelling our own comparisonitis. The next time you find yourself judging another parent, ask yourself: What might be going on behind the scenes that has led them to make that decision? (And remember, unless you’re witnessing an actual instance of abuse or neglect, another parent’s choices are none of your beeswax!)
  • It takes a village to raise a child. Unfortunately, comparisonitis builds walls, not bonds, which can leave us feeling isolated and alone. Another great question to ask yourself: What is my comparison creating?
  • We can eradicate “mom guilt” and “dad guilt” by refusing to compare ourselves to others and to society’s impossibly high standards and by accepting the fact that we’re all doing the best that we can with the tools and resources that we have.
  • Three more strategies to eradicate parenting guilt:

1.Count your blueberries! Pay attention to the positive moments and you’ll naturally start to see more of them.

2.Turn comparison into connection. The time we spend comparing ourselves to other moms or dads could be better spent connecting with our kids.

3.Choose not to buy into the guilt. Choose love (especially for yourself) instead.

  • The best way to inoculate your kids against comparisonitis is to be the living, breathing example of everything you’ve learned in this book. Your little ones watch and copy everything you do . . . so now you’ve got the best incentive in the world to take inspired action!