Picture this – It’s a beautiful day and you are heading to the beach to get some sunshine. You’ve got your bathers on (togs, swimmers or cosi for those playing interstate!), you’ve found a great patch of sand and you are about to get your kit off for some well-deserved Vitamin D. Then, right next to you rocks up a “perfect” looking woman (in your opinion), with a “perfect” bikini body and off she goes into the water. All of a sudden you have lost your appetite for the sun and for a swim. You now choose to sit there in your dress watching everybody else swim because, oooppps, you’ve done it again and compared yourself to someone else.
Perhaps you’ve done this in your workplace. Someone else speaks seemingly confidently and like they really know what the F they are talking about, therefore you must be wrong. So, what do you do? You decide to just not say anything at all because you’ve compared yourself to someone else and convinced yourself that they must be better than you.
Why do we do this? Compare ourselves to others. Act as if there is only a set amount of awesomeness to go around and if someone else has got “it” then that means there mustn’t be anymore left for us.
We do this every day and often unconsciously. “I could never wear those jeans because I’m not that skinny”, “I could never do that job because I’m not as smart as her”. We even compare ourselves to celebrities for looking amazing, and then we almost take pride when magazines show the photos of them with cellulite because it makes us feel a little better about ourselves. If we didn’t compare ourselves to others to start with, we wouldn’t need to worry about this!
Here is a list of the things that you lose when you choose to compare yourself to others:
You invest energy on something you cannot control: You can only control one life — yours. But when you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you are wasting precious energy focusing on other’s lives rather than your own and what you can do for yourself.
When you compare yourself to others you get resentful: You focus on the things you don’t have instead of all the amazing things you do have, and you get resentful towards others or towards yourself.
You miss out on the opportunity to be happy: when you constantly compare what you have with others you aren’t being appreciative or grateful for what you do have. Instead, you are busy looking at what others have therefore not allowing yourself to be happy.
If you are constantly feeling like you aren’t as good as others or you are worried that other people might think that of you, you could be suffering from Imposter Syndrome (learn more about it, here).
But, guess what – you can manage Imposter Syndrome and “Comparititis” – Here’s how:
1) Accept that there is no cap on how many people can be awesome, and STOP comparing yourself to others – YOU are also awesome.
2) Acknowledge that you had to play some part in your current success – it doesn’t all come down to luck, or whatever other B/S you have been kidding yourself that it is.
3) Keep notes of the positive compliments that you receive and read them back when you need reassurance that you aren’t a fraud or when you feel you aren’t as good as someone else.
4) Realise that at the end of the day we are all just trying to make sense of everything together. If you think you are an imposter, then so is everyone around you!
5) Call yourself out – when you experience these feelings, call it Imposter Syndrome or Comparititis. Once you put a name on it, it almost makes it easier to accept. Now squash the self-deprecating thoughts and move the F on!
6) Get a wing-woman (or wing-man!) – whether you have someone in your life you can do this with, or you need to consider seeking out a coach, get someone to help call you out on these feelings and put the actions in place that you need to (in addition to the above) to get you past it.
One final reminder – Be OK with imperfection and STOP comparing yourself to Beyoncé. Comparing yourself does nothing for your confidence and it just makes you think about all the things you think you don’t have instead of all of the things that you do have. You allow yourself to miss out on great opportunities professionally and personally through thinking you need to be perfect to succeed at them.
Remember this – Every time you look at something someone else has and wish you had it/where it/could wear it consider that there is someone doing the exact same thing towards you.
I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. Need help? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how I can help you. Our first phone consultation is completely obligation free.
Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!