When Dr. Gupta asked me to write a blog a couple months ago, my ideas were endless. I had a flood of possible topics ranging from how-to guides for dealing with anxiety to analyzing secret messages in Britney Spears’ Instagram.
When Dr. Gupta asked me to write a blog due next week, my mind went blank. Almost instantly all the ideas that seemed so exciting a couple months ago were now dull and commonplace.
My mind was off to the races.
I started feeling dread, worry, and disgust.
My heart started beating a little faster and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I began wondering: How do I get out of this?
I could say no. ——-Setting your own boundaries is totally acceptable, right?
I could say I don’t have enough time? ——I mean, it is not a lie.
I could run away crying? ———What’s wrong with a little career sabotage.
Then I asked myself, “why?” Why did I want to get out of this? What was I fearing? Then, it started to surface:
“I can’t follow that act.”
“I can’t write after Gupta, who am I?”
“What if I sound boring…her blog was interesting”
“What if it does not make sense…her blog was clear”
I realized I was stuck in comparison mind. I had read Dr. Gupta’s blogs as she was posting them. At the time, I was excited and intrigued. She had it all…a medical doctor with imagination, relatability, and sincerity.
Comparison mind is when I get into this tug of war in my mind where I suddenly lose focus on what really matters to me and start picking out the reasons that I’m not good enough and why I can’t do something.
I make judgments. I see division. I measure. I lose sight of what matters, and it usually zaps my passion, creativity, and love.
I also know I’m not alone in this. It’s natural and has biological link. Our tendency to compare is how we are evolutionarily wired. The cavemen made comparisons as a way to survive. For example, this caveman is better at hunting large animals and the other caveman is better at discovering hiding places.
Sometimes, the way out of comparison mind is going through it rather than trying to stop it. When I recognized I was in comparison mind and remembered the natural and biological reason behind it, it led me to think about the reason I wanted to blog in the first place:
I wanted to blog to bring familiarity to certain stigmatized thinking that a lot of us keep stuffed down. I used my own understanding of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to initiate ways to get into action.
Here are the evidence-based, therapeutic techniques I have used and shared with my clients. These are a few of my favorite steps to help change the relationship to comparison mind and start living life!
When we can decrease activity in our emotional brain, we are better able to use other areas of the brain for reasoning and thinking.
2.) Acknowledge it with some self-compassion.
3.) Get curious and challenge.
4.) Get in touch with what matters and take action.
There will always be a million different reasons to not do something.
That’s why I like using these techniques that help you focus on different ways to handle the comparison thoughts rather than stopping them.
Instead of keeping them inside let’s talk about them together and get connected to what matters in your life.