Yep, I can be pretty rebellious.
Case in point: I do one of the biggest things people tell you not to do, pretty darn regularly. "Out with it!" you say? Okay, if you must know.
I compare myself. All the time.
Here's the thing though, I only compare myself to myself, which is a very important distinction to make when playing the comparison game. The only time you should ever compare yourself is when you're taking a look at how far you've progressed or not progressed over the years. Only if the purpose is to celebrate your growth, change and progress, or to take an objective look at what's not working for you.
The opportunity to compare myself crops up on me unexpectedly all the time.
I remember a few years ago, when I had the startling realization I really wasn't getting anywhere near where I wanted to be in my life. Three separate events reminded me that a whole year had passed... a casual comment by a friend about when we met, a boy's second birthday party coming up, and some other random events.
I was immediately transported back to those days, just a year earlier, only to be hit hard with the realization that I hadn't made much progress at all. I was still battling with my weight and body image issues, my relationship was still not fulfilling me in all the same ways, I was still complaining that I wasn't very creative anymore and I was just generally "meh" about life. I felt pretty crappy about my lack of progress.
Looking back, however, with kinder and wiser eyes, I can see that I really had begun to make progress. I had some great friends in my life that weren't there a year earlier. I was making healthier food choices, the start of a passionate affair with health and wellness. I was learning to speak up for what I wanted and needed in my relationship. I was moving, albeit very slowly, down the path to finding my passion and building a life and business around it. I was moving, and that's worth acknowledging and celebrating.
How to play the comparison game in your life...
1) Recognize the clear distinctions between then and now.
This should be a judgement-free visualization. Simply note the differences between the time you're remembering and where you're at now. What were you feeling and experiencing? What goals were you working towards? Who was in your life? Then, shift your focus to today. What are you feeling and experiencing now? What goals are you working towards, have accomplished, or are new? Who do you have in your life?
2) Celebrate your progress.
No matter how small or little your progress is, you absolutely must acknowledge all of it. Celebrating the little wins, accomplishments, shifts and gains is so important to building a life you love. If you don't take the time to express gratitude and appreciation for what you've done in your life, you'll never be satisfied. Take a moment to write out a list of all the things you've accomplished, created, shifted, changed, gained, removed or attracted in your life since you started out. Find a way to celebrate the wins!
3) Take an objective look at any lack of progress.
Again, no judgement! This is a constructive look at where things still aren't working, haven't changed or just aren't going as well as you'd like. What's no working? Why do you think these changes haven't happened yet? Is this still something that you want and desire? If so, what can you shift in your life, schedule, routine, relationships or self to start course correcting today? What support do you need?
Sometimes as we work towards goals, we realize they're not for us. That's okay! If you take a hard look at what you wanted to create and it hasn't manifesting yet, you might find that you really don't want it that badly, or maybe it's not a priority. Free yourself from the obligation to work towards something you no longer desire. It's okay to change your mind. Decide what you'd rather have instead and move forward!
4) Bring yourself back to the present moment.
Taking time to compare yourself is beneficial and necessary, but don't spend too much time there. Once you celebrate what you've accomplished and have a sense of what needs to happen now, come back to the present moment and get back to living your life! Take action where you can, set up the routines, support or plans where needed, but keep on living your life, right now. Living in the present moment is the best way to start building a life you love. Take a deep breath, engage in your body and move forward.
Take action now!
What's one area of your life you can compare yourself in, right now? Think of an important goal, life area or other and take an honest look at what you've accomplished and what isn't where you want it to be yet. Work through the steps and questions and see what you can shift or change to start making the progress you want to make.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com;, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."
For more by Stephenie Zamora, click here.