When the Green-Eyed Monster Came to Call

My mouth went dry.

My heart started pounding.

And I suddenly felt VERY, VERY uncomfortable.

It was as if someone had punched me in the solar plexus – and the strength of it, in that moment, completely knocked the wind out of my sails.

What exactly happened to cause this strong, physical reaction?

Green-Eyed MonsterWell, I was happily scrolling around on facebook, (as you do) when I came across a promotion being offered by a fellow entrepreneur. Nothing unusual about that you might think…. except what happened next was totally unexpected and it definitely wasn’t pretty!

Before I knew it, I found myself experiencing the full force of an insidious bout of ‘comparison-itis’ which quickly triggered feelings of dejection, defeat and downright despair!

Arghh!

The green-eyed monster had come a-calling!

They say that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and sure enough, in that moment, some VERY joyless thoughts were racing through my head along the lines of…. Oh my god, she’s so much BETTER than me…..so much MORE than me – maybe I should just give up! As I said, it WASN’T pretty!

Thankfully, I eventually recognised that this was green-eyed monster at work and managed to regain control before I disappeared further down this destructive spiral, never to be seen again! The thing about comparison-itis is, KNOWING about it doesn’t make us any less immune to its effects… it can still catch us unawares and it STILL has the power to:

  • Completely undermined our confidence
  • Make us feel downright inadequate
  • Distract us from what we should be focussed on
  • Send us into a panic of self-doubt
  • Erode our expertise and self-worth in a matter of minutes (…..or less!)

 

Once I’d calmed down and composed myself, (I think wine might have been involved!) I tried to unpick exactly WHY I’d had such a visceral, gut reaction to this woman and her business – something this strong HAD to be telling me something!

So what was it?

Was it something about the person herself… her image….. her message… her programme or offering….or was it something else? What was it she was doing that I could recognise and appreciate? What was it that I was actually jealous of?

And then the penny dropped.

I realised that what this whole experience was actually telling me was something very valuable – I was envious of the clarity of her message and the way she conveyed what she did in her copy – it was clear, concise and compelling.

And it was something that deep-down, I knew I needed to work on – I needed to have a clearer message. The light I saw in her was mirroring something back to me. So, in a round about way I’ve come to realise that there IS a positive side to comparison-itis! 

Comparisonitis!Yes I needed to be MORE…. but more like ME – not more like HER!

I was so busy comparing myself that I had completely bypassed my greatest asset – MY uniqueness. This whole experience has actually done me a favour by reminding me to own MY value, understand MY uniqueness and importantly, make this clear to the world.

We may know on an intellectual level that the “grass is always greener” on the other side, but that DOESN’T always stop us from making negative comparisons with others. And let’s face it, Social Media can play a huge part in exacerbating this by presenting us with shiny ‘impressions of success’ but I realise that ALL of this was the result of MY interpretation, based on nothing more than words and pictures on a page!

What all this has taught me is that there will always be someone out there doing something similar, in a different way, and there’s plenty of room for all of us. We have absolutely no idea if they are ‘better’ or more ‘successful’ than we are – whatever that actually means – but nor is it important. But I’ve also learned that when the green-eyed monster appears (as it surely will) it’s ALWAYS worth digging into the discomfort it triggers because it can tell you such a lot about what you want for yourself.

Comparison is indeed the thief of joy BUT finding inspiration and learning from others is an entirely different proposition! We just need to make sure we recognise the difference.

Over to you…

Top tips for dealing with the green-eyed monster most gratefully received – please leave your comments in the box below!


Comments

When the Green-Eyed Monster Came to Call — 8 Comments

  1. Wonderful blog, Karen, and what a brilliant gift for you in your insight, reminding you that you’re a one-of-a-kind and true comparison with anyone else is impossible – like comparing apples to oranges.

    When I feel a bout coming on myself, I remember a saying from Krishnamurti, the spiritual teacher, who said ‘Comparison of any kind is a form of violence’. So true!

    Then I head off to do some tapping and get curious about the part of me that’s feeling ‘less than’, so I can give it some reassurance and remind it that comparisons are futile.

    • Thank you Linda…. and I LOVE that quote! It is SO very true and it’s one I will remember! Comparisons are indeed futile, although this time, I feel I learned a huge amount from the episode!

  2. What a moving post. Thank you for sharing. I am sure this post was a difficult one to write. We all need to recognise our own unique skills and I think it takes a while, and quite a bit of comparison, before we create a better version of ourselves having learned from the things others did that we liked, and the things they did which we did not like. It’s an ongoing journey too. Which is exciting most of the time, but not when things get us down. I hope you are feeling better about things now. You Rock! Remember that.

    • Thank you Jenni – I actually found it quite cathartic to write this post! As you say, it’s an ongoing journey and we are all a work in progress! The thing is, I know on an intellectual level that comparison is a bad idea but my reaction was totally emotional (and irrational!) and a reminder that those gremlins are never far below the surface! Back on an even keel now!

  3. Yes karen, it happens to us all. I find that there are two things that help me. One is the very strong belief in the fact that no-one can do what I do the way that I do it because no-one else is me. I speak this to myself looking in the mirror, hard at first but I have got more comfortable with it and I look myself in the eye and speak from my heart.

    Secondly I keep a list of testimonials, positive comments etc handy so that I can pull them out and read them and remind me what my clients and colleagues have said.

    • Wise words, Heather. It was an unexpected ‘in the moment’ reaction and I gave myself a positive talking too after the event which got me back on an even keel! Good to know I’m not the only one too!

    • Thank you Judy…. why is it we tend NOT to make comparisons that boost our self-esteem! I think a little self-love can go a long way when we find ourselves in this situation!

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