“Oh Wow! She’s going to be on Oprah!” I said under my breath while feeling the heavy sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I scrolled through my facebook feed.
I felt sick.
I felt insignificant.
Every day I followed this woman on Facebook, she was a mentor, someone I admired, someone I looked up to. Someone I compared myself to.
This woman is remarkable. She is the first in her family to get a college degree. She created a 100 million dollar company on her own from scratch, a company that serves and empowers women all around the world. It seems as if everything she touches turn to gold.
It made me feel small.
It made me feel like what I had to offer was a joke by comparison.
Whenever I saw her on my feed I began to feel bad, I had thoughts like…
“Who would listen to me and what I would have to say?”
“She started more than 10 years ago when internet marketing was new and that’s how she was able to build her list as large as she did.”
“How can I possibly reach as many people and be as successful as she is?”
“There isn’t room for me.”
Asking these questions made me feel bad because I was constantly comparing myself to her. But the thing is is that she didn’t make me feel any kind of way, that was my own doing, I just didn’t realize it at the time. As Eleanor Rosevelt says, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
We all do it.
When you compare yourself to others, it reinforces and magnifies any lurking feelings of lack of self-worth you may be harboring. What you can do is release any judgments you may have of where you are, it doesn’t make sense to compare where you are in your life to someone else because, at one point in their career, they were where you now are.
You are on your journey. They are on their journey. You were born with unique gifts and talents that only you can contribute to this world. The way you communicate, the way you express yourself, and the way you are in the world is unique to you and will resonate with the people you were born to serve. It really doesn’t make any sense to compare yourself to others does it?
If you are having a hard time comparing yourself with others there is a way to use brain science to prevent yourself from doing so. The way to create new neural pathways in the brain is through repetition and consistency. Don’t focus on trying to not compare yourself to others because that reinforces the old neural pathways, what you want to do is to focus on new behavior instead.
Below is a 3 step process to rewire your brain:
1. Practice self-compassion – Pause. Be gentle with yourself, don’t beat yourself up. Take a moment to forgive yourself.
You already feel bad and what makes things worse is when you beat yourself up on top of this.
2. Create an opportunity to honor yourself – Take a step back and notice how far you have come. Remind yourself of why you are doing what you’re doing. Remind yourself of your gifts. What are you good at? What lights you up? What’s unique to you? What are your strengths? Where were you a year ago? Celebrate yourself.
3. Find inspiration – Look for inspiration in the people you are comparing yourself to then make a list of all those inspiring qualities and then use them to inspire yourself and the direction that you are going in your life.
The way to use your brain to create new neural pathways that serve and support you is to practice the steps above whenever you are triggered, in fact, the brain is most plastic when it is triggered. Repeat the steps with consistency and you will find that you will no longer feel the need to compare yourself to others.
Stay focused in your own lane.
When you are driving a car it’s actually dangerous to take your eyes off the road ahead and look into the car next to you.