Q & A Thursday

Q & A Thursday: How Do I Stop Comparing Myself to Others?

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Question:

Hi Amita,

"As unhealthy as it is, I can’t seem to stop comparing myself to others. Whether it’s how successful they are, what they look like, or even how many “likes” they get on Facebook. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t seem to help myself. How do I stop?"

 

Answer:

They often say "Comparison is the thief of joy." In actuality, it's an act of violence.  We choose to believe that we are in lack and that others are living these amazingly abundant, kick-ass lives. But the truth is that we have no clue what’s going on behind their trendy Facebook check-ins and perfectly put together outfits. All we see is what others show the world, which is rarely their truth. 

Generally, we put forward only the parts of us that we feel others will validate or think is best. (This is why you never see a Facebook picture of what people look like first thing in the morning!) We continue to propagate a vicious cycle where everyone fears vulnerability, comparing our real lives to the fake lives of others. We even go so far as to internalize “likes” as validation of our unreal life, telling us to “keep up the act.”

And it’s no different in our professional lives. We tend to feel that if one person gets an opportunity, it has removed that possibility for us. Our feelings of lack make us believe that there is only a finite amount of resources to be had. Looking at others who have what we want, we compare our works-in-progress to those who are further along.

But it’s time to stop all the emotional cutting.

 

Here are 3 tips to stop comparing:

1. Stay Present & Honor Your Journey.

There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Everyone had wins and losses that brought them to where they are right now. Make a list of your big wins that you never thought you could achieve (leaving a job you didn't like, creating a website, starting a business, etc.) Whenever you feel self-doubt, go back to that list and see all the amazing things you achieved that you never thought you could.

2. Dare To Be Vulnerable.

People want your authentic self, not your photo-shopped selfies.  What is one thing you can share with the world that is your unique and true self? Do it. Be known for being real, not perfect.

3. Use Comparison To Learn.

Realize that the comparison is not about the other person, but a tool to tell you what you want in life.  It isn't that you want that person's life, career, etc. Don’t confuse inspiration for jealousy. Why not reach out to the person and tell them you admire them? Ask them to tea and learn more about their journey. You'll be surprised at what you'll find.

 

How do you stay present and stop comparing? Share your story in the Comments section below!

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Morning

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Productivity isn’t about doing more. It’s about making the most of the time that you do have. And, if you missed my post on how much money you’re losing by not working to your potential, I urge you to check it out here.

Our morning routine sets the tone for the entire day. Make the most of your morning with these

5 simple tricks:

  1. 7 Minutes of movement. That’s less time than it takes for your iPhone to snooze. Why only 7? It’s short enough that you may actually do it, but long enough to wake you up and get shit moving. What do you do? Try yoga or check out the 7 Minute Workout App. (Extra credit if your cool down involves meditation!)
     
  2. Eat a Green Breakfast. I get it, you’re out the door and it’s easier to get coffee and a bagel than it is to make something. And while that’s fine once in a while, juicing or making a smoothie takes less time than toasting a bagel. It’s cheap & easy. So what’s your excuse? For some yummy recipes by Kris Carr, click here.
     
  3. Pick 3 big wins. While you’re waiting for that smoothie from Tip #2 to blend, you can easily think ahead to the question your significant other or mother will ask you that evening: “How was your day?” What are the 3 accomplishments you will want to share? Even if they are small, planning will help you to set yourself up for success. Why? Because without a plan you’re at the mercy of your inbox, doomed to let 8 hours pass without accomplishing what truly matters.
     
  4. Block out your calendar. For each of those 3 things. Block out the time it will take and add in at least 25% more time as a buffer. If it’s a multi-day project, break it into smaller tasks and block out time so that unexpected meetings don’t get in your way.
     
  5. Take a power break. Take 15 minutes after lunch to refocus by meditating, going for a walk, or anything else that gets you away from your computer. After that, decide how you want to use the rest of your day. Are you ahead of schedule with your 3 tasks? Behind? What needs to be done to ensure your success? These 15 minutes will allow you to see where you got derailed and learn from your mistakes.

Give this morning plan a try for one week. You’ll see a huge spike in your productivity, health, and happiness! 

What's your morning ritual? How does it impact your day?

Dedicated to Chrissie, a great friend and “cubie” who brightened my morning and made my office job more tolerable and significantly less productive.

The Silent Killer

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Picture this: After knowing a friend or partner for a while, you move in together.  Suddenly, her “cute quirks” turn into what feels like nails on a chalkboard. But rather than tell your roommate not to drink your almond milk, you just ignore it and talk shit to your friends.

Sound familiar?

Let me tell you, I’ve been there.

Many of us express ourselves in a myriad of unhealthy ways.

Some of my personal favorites include:

  • The "whoever shouts the loudest is right" disorder
  • The "bottle it up and blame myself" syndrome
  • The passive-aggressive "I don’t have any issue with what you’re doing" approach

Today, I want to focus on the Silent Killer AKA The Silent Treatment

The Easy Way Out is The Hard Way Out

While it may seem easier to be silent and avoid confrontation, it’s a lot like shooting yourself in the foot.  While a temporary cool off period is healthy if stated as such, extended silence can lead to resentment. It may also lead to an eruption where you’re unable to express yourself in a healthy way. When that happens, the expression isn’t directly linked to the issue you had in the first place so there’s little to no chance that you will be heard or validated. (Ex. “I want you to want to do the dishes!”)

Silence is manipulative

When we deploy the Silent Killer we create a storyline in our heads assuming how the other person would respond if we actually shared our feelings. We play out an entire script that locks them into a stalemate and gives neither party the chance to respond or evolve. You may believe that “They won’t listen” or “I know how they’ll respond,” but you’re invalidating yourself when you fail to communicate your authentic self.

If You’re the One Receiving the Silent Treatment:

We tend to blame the person who’s silent for his or her lack of communication, but it’s both parties who contribute to the issue. Not only do you allow it to continue, but if you don’t share your feelings, there’s a greater chance you’ll act on the underlying negative emotion in a number of unhealthy ways. And when you do this, you’re just supporting the storyline in the other person’s head. This creates a vicious cycle of silence, resentment, and acting out.

So What’s The Silent Killer Really About?

Silence is really about a lack of verbal, emotional, and/or physical intimacy.  While it not only impacts the relationship, the greater damage is that it robs us of our ability to express ourselves and our needs.

So what do you do?

Express yourself. Try stating your feelings calmly in the moment, even if it feels uncomfortable or you feel vulnerable. Expression or the lack thereof is a choice you make. Make the right one.

Have you deployed or received the Silent Killer? Share your experience in the Comments Section below!