Think about a time when you felt really proud of yourself. A time when you loved and accepted yourself and were aware of your own growth and worth. Perhaps a time when you finally managed to get into the groove of practicing a healthy habit on a daily basis, or a time when you met a fear head-on and proved to yourself that you can do anything. It is times like these that we feel aligned, purposeful and confident. We can take a deep breath, sigh and just be in awe of our lives.
And then….. when we least expect it…. it happens…. we do it….. we compare ourselves! We compare ourselves to the person at the gym, on the street, in our class, at our work, in our community, in our family or to a teacher. We conclude that this person is better than us because they are thinner, taller, smarter, more successful, more vocal, wittier, classier, more stylish, more spiritual, more grounded, wiser, richer, in a relationship, married, courageously divorced, healthier, stronger, more experienced, more fearless, quirkier, the list goes on and on.
What happens to us in these moments of comparison? They can last as long as 5 seconds and yet they allow our inner critic to have a field day. We go from feeling proud of ourselves, loving ourselves, confident, faithful and inspired to feeling worthless, judgmental, not good enough or unlovable in some way. It is the perpetual dangling carrot that never goes away. It feels like no matter how much progress we make, by comparison, somehow we come up short.
Now stop right here. Because this isn’t really true. Don’t read it as true. Don’t convince yourself that you aren’t of value because you spotted “more” value in someone else. You are perfect and exactly where you need to be in this very moment of your life. You are of worth, you have innate gifts and beauty that you contribute to this world. In fact, I would bet that someone is comparing themself to you right now.
Ask yourself: What part of me is trying to convince me that I am not good enough? Most likely it is a part of you that is trying to gain evidence to strengthen some false beliefs that you’ve created about yourself. Most likely it is a part of you that has been wounded in the past. Most likely it is a part of you that is so afraid to shine your light so fully bright because you might not recognize yourself anymore if you do. Most likely, it is one of your saboteurs.
Usually our saboteurs arise when we are growing in some way. Or when we are about to really go for it or make a bold, exciting decision in our lives. It is because we have pushed ourselves outside our usual box of comfort and are gaining the confidence to live more fully or accomplish our goals that the saboteur will raise it’s hand and try to convince us otherwise. While this is very natural, it is something we must practice overcoming on our journey of self-growth and healing.
We address saboteurs with both my Holistic Health and Co-Active Life Coaching clients because whether you are becoming healthy or growing yourself in some way, it is fair to expect your saboteurs to arise. Contact me to learn more about this.
A Helpful Trick - The Comparison “Redo”
A quick shift in perspective can help keep a saboteur at bay and remind you how much you have to be proud of. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone and coming up short, take a moment and find a different comparison with that person that will have you love some aspect about yourself. For example, if you see a woman who is thinner on the street and your recent efforts at weight loss suddenly feel deflated, do a Comparison “Redo”.
Fill in this sentence with a positive quality about yourself: Compared to her, I am __________ or I have ___________. I.e., compared to her, I have luscious, curly hair or a powerful voice. This exercise is not to create judgment around another person or to feel better about ourselves by putting others down. This is simply to be used to remind yourself of your worth in that moment and to stop yourself from criticizing yourself. The goal is simply to find qualities about yourself that are worth acknowledging.
You can also practice finding evidence of how the quality that you admire in another also exists in you. For example, if you compare yourself to someone who is more successful than you, pause and remind yourself all the ways that you are successful as well.
We have the power to choose which consciousness we reside in. One of false belief or one of the deeper truth about who we really are and what is possible in our lives. I invite you to start noticing how often you compare yourself to others in a way that reinforces your own limiting beliefs about yourself and instead practice choosing to love and acknowledge yourself. You’re worth it!
"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition; they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
- Steve Jobs
With the untimely passing of a great legend, this video came my way today and I am inspired to share it with you. Growing up in the Bay Area, coming from a high-tech family and working in a creative field for many years, Steve Jobs has long served as a familiar image of innovation, creativity and possibility to me. However watching this speech today with the ears of a coach for the first time, I heard some poignant reminders about the power of surrender, living in alignment with one's truth and the perspective that compromised health can bring. This video touches on some imperative fundamentals to living a healthy, happy life that we often take for granted or bypass when we get caught up in the day-to-day grind. My key take-a-ways are below. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments about it too!
* We live life FORWARD and understand it BACKWARDSEven if you do not yet see the fruits of your labor, trust that the choices you make from a place of heart and curiosity will lead you to fulfillment and success. How can you trust the process of life more today? What if you took a risk that you long to take and just trusted that the safety net would arrive after you jumped?
* Do what you LOVE
What if every choice we made was based upon the things that truly lit us up? Who would you spend time with? What would you put your energy towards? What ideas would come to life?
* Follow your HEART and INTUITION; LIVE EACH DAY like it was your last
More often than not, we already have the answers inside of us. Sometimes we are too scared to listen because it might rock the boat or create change for us or the people around us. Our heart and intuition whisper reminders of our greatness to us and encourage us to rise up and meet our full potential.
I hope you found this video as inspirational as I did.
To kick-off my blog, I am inspired to share one of my favorite poems titled “The Invitation”. This poem calls on us to be our greatest selves. It calls upon us to be true, courageous, vulnerable, willing, stead-fast and fully alive.
My intention for this blog is to provide information and inspiration that will help you choose to be fully alive – physically, emotionally and energetically. My dream is to share my story and my experience so that you and others may remember that we can create the health and life of our dreams by choosing over and over and over again to do so. This poem invites us to choose. This poem invites us to be bold, to look deep within and express our juiciest, most authentic, vibrant, human selves with our world.
I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Canadian Teacher and Author
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets
are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched
the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.