Be Compare Aware
In our highly-connected, super visual world, we are often assaulted with images, stories and messages about the fabulous lives being led by others. It may be difficult to separate ourselves from this information ~ it is all around us!
We catch snippets of others’ lives and quickly create an entire narrative about their total life experience. The natural next step is to hold ourselves up against this fabricated story. Post-comparison we are either inflated or deflated with respect to our feelings about our own lives.
This type of comparison has become a bit of a reflex for the majority of people. As a parent, I see the impact of images posted on Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and Facebook and I cannot help but wonder if the people who are posting are more interested in creating an impression rather than enjoying the experience in real time. It can be difficult for viewers to hold any perspective.
It is so tempting to take this carefully curated slice of one person’s life and compare it to the totality of our entire life. Invariably, we judge ourselves as being ‘lesser than’.
So, I’d like to champion a new approach. What if, upon seeing/reading/receiving this external information, we simply smiled and wished the person well? What if we acknowledged that this is an image/story relating to a set moment in time? And, what if we understood that this time, too, shall pass?
What if we became compare aware? What if we were present in our thoughts when the comparison reflex took centre stage? What if (bold suggestion, here) we only used comparison in reference to ourselves about ourselves?
What could we learn from that? Well, for me, I think about really sinking into a feeling of gratitude about who I am and how I show up in the here and now. I can do that in present time ~ not in a few years when things have continued to shift and change and I only appreciate today in the rearview mirror. What would it be like to be happy with myself right now? It’s kind of a novel thought.
Curiosity Q: Why not try an experiment with your own comparison reflex? Today, take note of your inner voice when navigating your world. What stories are you telling yourself about yourself?
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This post was written by megan