Watch out for the comparison competition

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The Comparison Competition

How often do you find yourself getting caught up in those thoughts of...
"I'm more tired than he is"...
"I'm working harder than she is"...
"They got more rain than us"....
"Everyone else has it easier than us"...
"He gets a break more often than me"....
"She gets to sleep in more than me"...

Yeah.... Me too...

This article is a little reminder that we all get caught in the comparison competition at times, but it's not always the most helpful thing that we can do.

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Here are four simple steps that we can practice to look out for that comparison competition and step out of it.

Four Steps to Practice:

Notice it.

 Just notice when your mind comes up with it, name it and recognize it. So it might be a comparison competition, or you might call it the comparison monster or mighty comparison, whatever you like. Name it and notice it.

Hold it lightly.

See what happens once you notice those stories of comparison showing up and what happens if you hold it lightly. Rather than grabbing hold of it with two hands.

Voice it.

Speak it out. Whether you can share with a friend or share with your partner and say, "Look, this is what happens when I get caught up in the comparison competition," try voicing it to yourself. This can be a really good place for journaling, writing it out when it's happening, to be able to get a little bit of space and a bit of perspective on it.

Go gently.

Go gently with yourself when the comparison competition shows up. Show yourself some kindness. Check in with yourself and ask yourself why is this showing up for me right now? What is this trying to tell me? What do I need right now?

It might be these thoughts of comparison around "who is more tired" is actually your mind telling you that you need to get some rest.

Or it might be that those thoughts around "everyone else gets more rain than us" might be your mind voicing the anxiety for the season ahead. And that it's important for you to take some time to care for yourself. 


Take 5 minutes to practice

What might it look like practising looking out for "The Comparison Competition."

Try it now with yourself. Pause, take a few breaths, and think back over the last couple of days. Has there been any situations when the comparison competition has shown up for you? Just notice it, become aware of it, and then go gently for yourself. Notice how workable it was. When the comparison competition showed up, did it help you move towards what mattered to you, or did it take you away? 

What might this look like in the moment?

What might it look like in the moment, practicing recognising the comparison competition

  • Next time those tricky thoughts show up in your mind - practice noticing, "ah, here is the comparison competition showing up"
  • Notice what your "pet" comparisons are. Are they comparing to your partner, comparing your kids to others, comparing to how everyone else's season is going? Notice and name them.
  • Start a conversation with your partner about the comparison competition - you might even share this article with them, and then have a conversation about how the comparison competition shows up in your relationship.
  • Try journalling about the comparison competition - notice how it shows up in your life, hold it lightly, and go gently with yourself.

So, try it out - notice what happens when you start noticing when the comparison competition shows up - and what happens when you hold it lightly with gentleness and awareness.

I'd love to hear how you go. We all benefit from accountability, so feel free to comment below about how you are finding these practices.

Take care of you,

Steph xx

 At the moment life is pretty tough for a lot of people - so here are some numbers that are always available if you need extra help

If you do need extra support contact:
Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636 (24/7) or for online chat
Lifeline - 13 11 14 (24/7) or for online chat (7pm-12am) or Lifeline Text 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight)
Regional Access (SA Residents) - 1300 032 186

Good luck - I'd love to hear how you go!

Take care of you,

Steph xx


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