THE BLOG
10/23/2014 04:13 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2014

The Comparer's Prison

Typos are an interesting phenomenon, especially the ones we make over and over. I haven't done an empirical study, but my theory is we make the same typos as a way to talk to ourselves.

I make the same typo every time I type one specific word: Comaprison. This is actually Comparison. But aren't they the very same thing?

When I hear that chatter of "not good enough" going on in my head, it's a sure bet I'm comparing myself to someone. How else can I be "not enough"? When I get caught up in the story it's telling me, I'm in a kind of prison, a coma of wishing I were not me.

Have you ever felt this way? Of course you haven't, you're better than me. Why would you want to be anyone other than you? You have it all and are happy in every area of your life, at all times. If only I were as good as you, I'd be happy also.

That's the dance we comparers do to ourselves. First we compare ourselves to someone. Then we make up a story about them and their perfect life. Then we say, "See? I knew it. I'm not good enough."

The inner critic, or IC as I like to refer to my special friend, is what leads us down the comparison path. She is so creative! She finds endless ways to compare me to people who, were I in charge, I wouldn't care about. But since my IC is running the show, all of a sudden I care deeply about the fact that they're better at math, or Excel, or sucking up. Seriously, do I really care if someone else is better at sucking up? Apparently I do, at this moment. But only because I'm letting my IC lead me to the coma prison of comparison. My normally active and passionate brain settles into a drugged state of compliance. I'm a coma prison zombie doing the not-good-enough zombie dance.

Does the dance feed something? Is it easier to just beat ourselves up? I'm going with yes on this one because we all do it. (Except for perfect people.) It's hard to fight the mind; it doesn't work to tell our IC to shut up. So we interpret the endless chatter as the truth when it really isn't. I want to repeat that.

The endless chatter is not the truth. It is our IC demanding attention; that is all.

If we could just quiet the mind, we'd be golden. But that's so incredibly, outrageously unrealistic. No one can do that; not even the Dalai Lama. So what's our option? Yet again, we invite the inner critic to the table. "You want my attention? Fine then, come sit down. Let's chat."

I am, in fact, suggesting that you talk with yourself. Consider doing this in a private location so as not to disturb others. But do have a chat with your IC. Break down the accusations of lesser than, dissect the threats of pending doom she holds over your head, and contextualize these observations of betterness. Once you do this, you will organically diffuse the anger she makes you feel. When the anger evaporates, the Truth shows up all shiny and bright. You don't envy his ability to suck up, her ability to please the boss or that person's prowess with Excel. (Ok, maybe Excel. It would be awesome to master Excel.) It's like clouds parting from your drugged brain and suddenly you can see clearly now. Peace descends and you see your true value in the world, and at work.

The more aware we are of the coma prison effect, the faster we get at recognizing our IC at work, and the faster we get at cutting through her drama and zooming straight to our Truth.

What's your truth?

This blog post is part of a series for HuffPost Moments Not Milestones, entitled 'The Moment I Stopped Being Perfect.' To see all the other posts in the series, click here.