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Overcoming Comparison

Why are we so resistant to starting where we are?

Whether we’re starting a business, a family, or a simple blog post, it’s easy to compare our progress (or lack of it) to others. Author John Acuff calls this “comparing our beginning to someone else’s middle.”

Comparison makes our progress painful and skittish, but we can’t help it. Our ego convinces us we can cut corners, or catapult ourselves from the starting line to keeping pace with others who have been in this particular race for years.

This short-cutting marginalizes the road we say we’re determined to run on. It’s dismissive of the giants who cleared our path, and on who’s shoulders our work stands.

Our work will only eventually matter if stands up over the longterm. It takes commitment. 

When our eyes get stuck scanning our periphery,
we forget what we’re running toward. 

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We lose our determination to ride out what storms and famines may come. We only care how others made it.

This wouldn’t matter so much, if the rest of us weren’t counting on your contribution. Our body of work holds every bit of promise as the Jones’s we get so consumed in keeping up with.

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Today let’s try something different.

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Every time we find ourselves scanning our Social Comparison Feeds — I mean newsfeed — become conscious.

Remember you’re choosing to catch up all the people you once subscribed to, or followed. Send them each a blessing, because we’re all stuck in the same funhouse.

It doesn’t matter how fabulous their vacation looks, or how many books they’ve written, or how big their pool is. They have the same tension between their dreams, and where they are now.

Send each of them kindness, admiration, and respect. Our Comparison Gremlins couldn’t fathom what it would take to keep someone else’s train on the tracks. Wherever you are in relation to your living and working your purpose, just remember that 90% of the world would kill to have your problems.

Once nothing but your love is emanating, become conscious once more.

Remember how your only true sense of accomplishment comes from what you create. Return to your work. Show up fully in all the promise it holds.

There’s a quote from stoic philosophy: “If you want to count those who are envious of you, count your admirers.”

The tragedy of wasting time in comparison, is that it stalls out what could be effortlessly—gracefully—flowing through us.

In the marathon of our longterm commitments, it’s only natural that our eyes dart wildly to our sides. But the finish isn’t in that direction.

As someone who’s ran that particular race, I found the reward wasn’t even at the finish.

Our rewards are scattered across every heartbreak and breakthrough along the route. Every opportunity we push a little farther onward. Upward. Outward.

The aspects we admire in our heroes are the same others admire in us: how much we’ve been able to grow despite our own resistance.

When you’re stuck in your own pain, or feeling left behind, redirect your gaze.

We don’t need another whomever. We need you.

Your trajectory and pace will follow your gaze.

What works for you? How often do you get overly-focused on what others are doing?


We’re ramping up our Free, 30-Day Meditation Challenge. You can jump in at any time.

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2 Responses

  1. I remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy. Every time…and I am changing the tape from ‘God…aren’t the the lucky ones’ to ‘Good for them. If that can happen for them, imagine what’s coming my way!’ Game changer 😉

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