Episode 93: Compare & Despair

 Here are 5 Tips for making comparison a positive force rather than a negative force in your life.

Welcome to Lovin My Daughter-in-law Podcast where my mother-in-law, relationship expert and master certified coach, LeAnn Austin, will help you create more love and connection with your daughter-in-law and everyone else you care about.

Hey y’all, you’re listening to Lovin My Daughter-in-law, Episode #93: Compare and Despair

I like to exercise, and in a variety of different ways. There’s a few classes at the gym that I enjoy doing; muscle challenge, step, and pilates are a few of my favorites. Now in the gym, there are mirrors everywhere, which can be helpful if I’m trying to figure out how to get the right step, or the correct form. But when I start comparing how I’m doing, or how I look with others, It’s not very helpful.

Comparison is when we look at two or more people or things, to see how they are the same or different. Brené Brown says that “comparison is trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out. Comparison says be like everyone else, but better. It’s not be yourself and respect others for being authentic. It’s fit in, but win. It’s I want to do the same thing as you and beat you at it.”

Comparison drives all sorts of big feelings that can affect our relationships and our self worth. Often, we don’t even realize we’re making these social comparisons. This lack of awareness can lead to us showing up in ways that are hurtful to ourselves and to others. Brené notes that “frequent social comparisons are not associated with life satisfaction or the positive emotions of love and joy, but are associated with the negative emotions of fear, anger, shame, and sadness.”

Now, why is this important to know LeAnn? Well, simply bringing awareness to when we are comparing ourselves with others and against ourself, can help us realize and tweak the unhealthy comparison and despair that is happening in our lives.

Comparison is a natural human instinct. It starts early in life, and as kids, we compare toys, abilities, and achievements with our peers. This continues into adulthood and can impact our self esteem, our motivation, and our decision making.

Why do we compare? It often stems from our need for validation and our desire to measure our progress. The problem arises when unhealthy comparison leads to jealousy, low self esteem, and unrealistic standards.

It’s essential to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy comparison. Healthy comparison can motivate you to improve, to learn, and grow, while unhealthy comparison can lead to frustration, anxiety, and a sense of inadequacy.

Here are 5 Tips for making comparison a positive force rather than a negative force in your life.

1: Acknowledge Your Feelings

When you catch yourself comparing, acknowledge your emotions. What are you feeling? After spending a minute or two feeling what is happening in your body, notice what you’re thinking. Awareness is the first step in managing comparison.

2: Set Realistic Goals

If you’re comparing yourself to others, remember that everyone’s journey is unique. Set achievable goals based on your abilities and aspirations, not on someone else’s.

3: Focus On Progress

Instead of comparing your current self to someone else’s end point, focus on your progress. The Gap and the Gain is a great book and reminder to always measure yourself backwards. When you’re measuring your own progress, measure from where you are right now, back to the point where you started, and observe and celebrate those gains and improvements all along the way.

4: Learn From Others

Instead of feeling threatened by someone’s success, learn from them. Ask for advice, mentorship, or guidance to improve your own skills. Be proud of who you are. Think about the things you’re good at and remember, it’s okay not to be good at everything. No one is.

And #5: Practice Gratitude

Remind yourself of the things you’re grateful for. This can help shift your focus away from what you lack, to what you have. That gratitude and celebration of you is huge in minimizing the compare and despair happening in your life.

There are your 5 Tips for healthy comparison and less despair. Remember, comparison can be a double edged sword. It can be a powerful motivator or a source of stress and anxiety. So try one of these 5 Tips and use comparison as a tool for growth, rather than despair.

This quote is an oldie but goodie. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And I’ll add, when I’m aware of my comparing, and accept and celebrate where I’m at, there certainly is much more joy. Hmm, something to think about.

Have a good one y’all, and here’s to compare, aware, less despair and more love.

The holiday season has begun, and you might be worried about the upcoming family gatherings. If you’re ready to stop walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around, and not being yourself, I have something that can help you today. Click HERE and you will instantly get the one question that will greatly improve your relationship with your daughter-in-law or anyone you care about RIGHT NOW.

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If you enjoyed this podcast, check out LeAnn’s Lovin My Daughter-in-law Program, where she coaches and teaches a variety of ways to have more fun and connection in our relationships. LeAnn also shares the five secrets she uses to create a beautiful relationship with me and her other daughter-in-law. She’s the real deal. I highly recommend you check this out.

And if you want one easy question you can keep in your back pocket and use to increase the love you feel for your daughter-in-law today, go to leannaustin.com and get the one question.

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