Viewing entries tagged
Comparison

Why Comparison Matters - and How You Can Transform It

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Since launching Beyond Compare, Lauren and I have been talking to a lot of people about comparison – why it matters, and how we go about transforming it.

Maybe all this comparison talk resonates immediately with you, or maybe it all seems a little abstract. So today, we want to share a little more about why we think compulsive comparison is a stumbling block for so many – as well as the framework we’ve developed for considering how comparison works.


Why Comparison Matters

In our extensive (professional AND – ahem – personal) research, we have come to understand that comparison tops pretty much any other Big Bad Beastie that gets in the way of our progress (again... professional AND personal).

Google “quotes about comparison” the next time you have a spare hour to kill to see just how ubiquitous it is.

When we are invited to do interviews about comparison, the invites are typically framed as “the #1 issue my listeners are grappling with.” It affects SO MANY OF US. (And while it affects each of us differently, if we’re being honest, most of us have been brought to our knees by its force on occasion.)

If you allow it to, Beyond Compare will help you to see where comparison may be...

  • stopping you from creating what you want
  • preventing you from activating your calling
  • making you feel (and play) small for fear of projections
  • keeping you from expressing yourself fully
  • causing you to disown your power (and hand it over to others).

It matters. Oh, how it matters. Only YOU can say for yourself just how much it matters –  personally and professionally.

How You Can Transform It

In our research, we have also come to understand comparison as a three-dimensional structure. On the one plane, we compare up (looking up to others in a way that “others” us from them) and we compare down (judging and disdaining others in a way that, you guessed it, “others” us from them).

On the other plane, we compare ourselves to others AND we experience others comparing themselves to us. Up or down. Whether we’ve been put on a pedestal or are judged harshly, the impact of “othering” once again endures.

So that’s the framework. It looks like this:

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The big idea behind the work we’ve poured into the program is to offer real and substantive tools that move us from Disdain to Evaluation and from Hero-Worship to Celebration.


Here’s a nibble to whet your appetite for the delicious feast that is Beyond Compare:

Moving From Disdain to Evaluation

Evaluation emerges when we choose to engage critically with someone’s work or behaviour without making them, as a person, wrong. Respectful debate, thoughtful performance assessments, engaging a beloved friend in a difficult conversation: all of these exist in evaluation territory.

If you catch yourself stuck in Disdain territory, try this reflection to shift you into Evaluation:

  • Who do I judge for doing what I’m embarrassed to admit I do too? What’s the behaviour I’m ashamed of?
  • Who do I judge for behaving in ways I secretly wish I could “get away with?" What do I fear would happen if I behaved that way, too?
  • Where are the qualities that I disdain holding me back?
  • What could I do if I gave myself permission to embody those qualities?

Of course, this work has many more layers, but this is a place to start.

Moving from Hero-Worship to Celebration

To understand Celebration, think of a beloved teacher, close ally, or dear friend – anyone who inspires us to say, “I am better because of you.” They help us face and overcome challenges, by showing us our own strengths.

The energy here is a kind of curious equanimity: We notice difference and similarity, and make the most of both. We don’t value a person more or less because they possess a particular trait; we simply appreciate it, and ask how we can celebrate it, while also celebrating our selves.

To shift from Hero-Worship to Celebration, consider the following questions:

  • Who do I admire?
  • What do I admire about them?
  • When I consider these people, do I notice any common threads? If so, what are they?
  • Now, experiment with looking at those strengths and gifts, and telling yourself that you have the full potential to embody them. What would it look like if you allowed those parts of yourself more room?

What did you discover through these two exercises?

You may have noticed that the “fix,” in each case, is to quit focusing your energy on the other person and direct it squarely towards yourself. While it may feel like it’s the other person evoking a response in you, the reality is that your response is entirely within your control. You can choose Hero-Worship or Celebration, Disdain or Evaluation.

The freedom that comes from choice is the reason we created Beyond Compare. The freedom to create. The freedom to follow your own calling. The freedom to own your authority and succeed on your own terms.

Because we can taste that freedom. And we want it for you.

You too? Grab your copy of Beyond Compare here.

The real work BEYOND Beyond Compare.

In advance of the launch of the free 5-day Beyond Compare Intro Course (TODAY!), and on the heels of my judgment-free experiment, I decided I wanted to take a run at a full-on comparison-free day. I wanted to really test my mettle and see if I have fully integrated the deep learnings from the work the wondrous Lauren Bacon and I have been devoted to and developing for over TWO years with Beyond Compare. To see how often I found myself comparing myself to people who seem to have it all together. And/or? Comparing myself to the people I believed are doing it alllll wrong and need to get it together.

I had imagined that to have a “successful” comparison-free day, I may need to ask someone to hold me accountable (no problem there). Or lay off social media (a little more challenging). Or hold off on any non-essential conversations (near impossible for me).

In the end, I didn’t need to do any of those things. I set my intention to AWAKE and went about my day.

Refresher: Comparison isn’t bad. It’s a teacher. And can be an excellent one.

Transforming the comparison habit isn’t about turning comparison OFF. It’s about turning awareness ON. (Tweet this.)

Back to my comparison-free day. In all that I did, I sniffed around for places I might slip into Hero-Worship or Disdain. But what happened was pretty benign: "Oh look at what she’s up to. Cool. What a fantastic match for her. What (if anything) does this tell me about my own desires?"

I felt pretty virtuous when I came out squeaky clean on the other side of the day, truth be told. Turns out all of this work I’ve been doing about bringing consciousness to comparison…IS ACTUALLY WORKING!

And then, I did that thing we always do right after we’ve confronted and (almost) healed something. I mourned the time I’ve wasted. (I know, I know…talk about a waste of time.) I felt pissed off about all the energy and creativity I’ve allowed to stay locked ‘n blocked in comparison. All the opportunities I missed to fully show up. All the things I didn’t say or write when it needed to be said or written. All the times I hid ostrich-like beneath the weight of why bother or I can’t because she’ll do it better.

So yes, I’m mourning and pissed and annoyed. And RELIEVED. Relieved to feel the fullness of the freedom here and now. Feeling the full expanse of my outstretched arms, awakened to a fresh new day after a long and deep slumber.

Which means it’s time for me to get to work.

Meaning the only person I need to compare myself to is me. The me I know I am free to step into.

The me who is (becoming more and more and more) aligned and conscious. Who is done with being enraged by complacency, and is ready to face challenging truths, and to make decisions of meaning, and to say what needs to be said, (and oh yeah, following through with action), and to risk failing, and to be gobsmacked by grace, and to be brought to my knees by sorrow, and to be completely and messily undone by love, and to turf the metrics that don’t translate to heart, and to say yes rather than no when it’s right for me (and while we’re talking about this, when did it become so hot to say no?), and to turn my face back towards mother earth, and to know that I know what I know, and because of that? Demand more of myself. It’s in me.

It’s ON me.

Always has been. Comparing myself to others (in the manner that I was, that is to say, unconscious) was a handy distraction. Lolling around lotus-eater-like in somnolent apathy. Wasting time. Wasting gifts. Wasting self.

No more.

Now the real work begins.

Eyes on your own papers, Loves. We’ve got work to do.

+++++++

I want you to get to this place beyond compare, too. Beyond the stronghold that binds your creativity and limits your capacity.

If this resonates with you, check out our free 5-Day Beyond Compare Intro course. Massive change can happen in small increments.

 

The unconscious quality of judgment. And Mötley Crüe.

The overnight clerk at the grocery store apologized as she rang in the milk and cat food. Sorry to keep you waiting, she said. I was just over in floral wrapping the flowers. No problem, I answered. Are you often all over the store on the overnight shift?

Yeah…I just keep really busy to pass the time. If I sit, time drags on and I seriously just can’t wait to get out of here. I noticed her name.

I’LL BET. You must fall dead asleep the second you get home.

No way, she laughed. I have too many shows to watch on my PVR.

(I’m not proud of this. Not for a second. But it was in that moment that I felt the first unconscious stirring of judgment of the day. It tends to show up when I hear people rushing through life to get to their TV sets. How dare I? I know, I know.)

Oh yeah? What’s going to be waiting for you?

She scanned her memory for the schedule as she scanned my kale. Should be Dancing with the Stars and America’s Got Talent. I hope, she grinned.

Genuinely curious and thinking of my friends who are big dancers, I said: Sounds like you’re pretty keen on dancing. Do you ever get out and get your own boogie on?

She laughed again. Honey? I’m just not a ‘getting out’ gal any more. I used to go out and play darts almost every night. We’d even go to tournaments out of town twice a month. But now? I’m 52 and prefer to stay home.

Really? I asked as stirring judgment #2 had me feeling a pang of sympathy that she’d already started to “give up”.

Buuuuuuut. No.

Oh yeah. I love heavy metal and there’s no dancing to that, so I just crank it at home and rock out. I also have a dart board in my living room and if I have a six-pack and my man and some friends? It’s all I need. When I DO go out, it’s to a concert. Going to Mötley Crüe this weekend. And we just got tickets for Judas Priest in November.

(Her eyes were gleaming as she said that last part. It was...awesome.)

I am seriously in love how clear you are about what you want in your life, I said.

Sweetie, I was in an abusive relationship for 19 years. Never again am I wasting time on anything that doesn’t feel good or right for me.

Boom.

I paid up, she wished me a fantastic day and we parted ways. I sat in the car, realized how schooled I’d just been. Wondering why I felt so low after I went in feeling so high.

Because here was my morning up until that 5:50 am conversation.

Woke up. Said a welcoming prayer to the day before my feet hit the floor.

Went downstairs to feed the cats (saw we were out of food), drank hot water + lemon as I made a pot of coffee (saw we were out of milk), hit the meditation mat in front of my crystals-adorned altar, then kissed my husband and headed out to the store, feeling all high vibe + holy.

Walked the aisles feeling immense gratitude for my life, for the day ahead (settling back at my desk after some fantastic time away), house renovations nearing completion, husband feeling in flow, happy daughter heading to day two of horseback riding camp, incredible new clients and invitations showing up and generally, feeling the fullness of it all.

So it was with that beaming joy that I met her. And in less than one minute, I tripped over the rug of my unconscious judgment. Replacing the feeling of joy with the feeling of shit.

Judgment and comparison is like that.

Whether we compare up. Or whether we compare down.

So, I sat in the car, recognizing it for what it was. Giving thanks for my Mötley Crüe-loving Teacher this morning.

Reminding me to continue to do my work in transforming my own judgment habits.

Reminding me to deepen into the content that Lauren Bacon and I have so lovingly, patiently and attentively created with Beyond Compare. (More to come...stay tuned.)

Reminding me to bring consciousness to the unconscious.

Reminding me just how far I still have yet to travel.

High vibe and holyReminding me that high vibe + holy requires consciousness off the mat. (Tweet this)

Reminding me all that I forget.

Saturday night, I’m gonna raise a metal salute to her. In the meantime, I intend to bring full attention to where I go unconscious and judge.

Whether it’s someone else’s shoes, decisions, choices, car, taste, content, perspective, ideas. I’ll be noticing it all.

 

I may not love what I find out, but it will move me closer to my centre. And that’s where high vibe and holy ACTUALLY sync up. And where real change can happen.

Join me?

Beyond Compare: It's ready for you.

If you allow it to, Beyond Compare will help you to see where comparison: may be stopping you from creating what you want; may be preventing you from activating your calling; may be making you feel (and play) small for fear of projections; may be keeping you from expressing yourself fully; and, may be allowing you to disown your power (and hand it over to others).

Blinded by jealousy?

It's not your fault. That’s what jealousy does.It blinds you. Or, more accurately, it only allows you a partial view of someone’s fortune, life, experience and obscures the rest. And because we humans just can't cope with uncertainty, we fill in the blanks with our imaginations.

A little something like this:

If someone you’re eyeing is enjoying the success you desire, then they must also be enjoying the intimacy you crave. If they have the friendships you dream of, they must also have the financial stability you yearn for. This AND that.

Jealousy deals in absolutes, with little room for nuance or space for discernment. AND? With little allowance for the capital “t” Truth.

We see what we choose to see and are blind to the rest. 

Maybe you know that the French word for jealousy is “jalousie”. But did you also know that a “jalousie” is also a window shutter with angled horizontal slats? Also know as a...(wait for it)...“blind”?

Funny thing about jalousies…they are designed to allow you to see outside without being seen yourself.

(You see where we're going here, right?)

Yeah…jealousy and blind go hand in hand.

But, of course, jealousy is also an on-point teacher. A snarling, frothing, lusting, hot-breathed swamp dog of a teacher, mind you, but an on-point teacher just the same. Within what you choose to see (and what you've made up that you see) lie your desires:  success, intimacy, relationships, and financialstability.

Knowing what you want, of course,  IS the first step in making what you want to happen, HAPPEN.

And here's what I want for you:

I want for you to come out from behind the blinds that offer such a limited view of others. And such a limited view of yourself and what's available. 

I want you to experience the fullness of the person you feel jealousy towards. And to experience the fullness of yourself. Just add curiosity.

I want for you to see how relative this all is.

I want you to bring some compassion into the fold. For you. For them. For the next time you feel jealous (and you will).

I want you to see, REALLY see, that the magnificence that you've projected onto them is but a prism caught in the light of your own magnificent potential

I want you to get out from behind the blinds of jealousy and into that light.

Because the light, the light...oh it's so very much warmer in the light.

+++++

Beyond Compare is coming soon. Tackling shadows, light, projections, jealousy, and judgment, so you can be free to do your good work. Breaking the comparison habit for good feels so...good.

Early notification, special offers and the Beyond Compare Starter kit...right this way.