This is from the episode “How She Used her Story to Overcame Perfectionism and Comparison” on the Imperfection with Intention Podcast.
I’ve struggled with comparison-itis all of my life. I’d scroll Instagram and keep this running list in my head of things about me that weren’t good enough. Like my body, my job, my relationship, my house, and any other material possession I had.
It wasn’t until I started focusing on practicing gratitude and looking within to find things that really fulfilled me. Not to say that I’m perfect at it, but it’s something I work towards every day.
Have you spent a lot of time comparing yourself to other people on social media or in real life?
If you haven’t, please let me know who you are, because I’ve never met ANYONE who hasn’t gone through this. But if you’re like the rest of us, then keep on readin’ because this episode is for you. You can listen to the episode below or read the majority of it here!
Listen to the episode
How to Start getting Over comparison
Being in a grateful and abundant mindset is like Kryptonite to the comparison mindset. Most of us have comparison thoughts so deeply ingrained that they pop up without us thinking about it.
So, the first move is to be able to start to identify when you are in a comparison mindset. Now you just need to practice re-wiring your brain. I know, that sounds crazy complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
Ali recommends starting with a gratitude journal. She reminds us that we all have things to be grateful for AND things we lack. So it’s a choice. You can either choose to look at all the things you have to be grateful for. Or you can choose to look at all the things you don’t have. (If you’re familiar with Law of Attraction, this is an important part! You can listen to an episode about confidence and LOA here!)
Next up, Ali says to live your own story. Like Dr. Suess says, “No one is you-er than you”, right?
Because deep down, you don’t want to be a carbon copy of someone else. I think you know that. No one can be better at them than they are, so why? Just like no one can be better than being you. So own that!
Now take some time to look back at your life and at the milestones. Just like earlier, you can choose to look at this with gratitude or lack. When you look back, you can choose to focus on all the things that went right, or all the things that went wrong. Ali reminds us when we look for the good from our life, it’s a powerful reminder that there is still so much beauty to look forward to.
How to let go of perfectionism
Are you afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things because you’re scared you won’t get it right? Well, I’ve got good news and a little bad news. The good news is that you can loosen the grip of perfectionism. The bad news is that your growth and progress is going to be imperfect. And it’s going to take baby steps.
Try adding a little bit of imperfection into your life in small doses. Ali recommends trying something as small as not making your bed, or going to the store without any makeup on. Learn to sit for a while with that discomfort and see what you learn from it.
A new mantra you can adopt is “Progress not Perfection”.
Perfectionism is a sneaky form of procrastination. Ali shares a good example of this when she mentioned that she may wait weeks at a time to post on Instagram because she’s waiting for the perfect shot and caption.
But this is the truth about perfectionism, you can wait for it all you want, but it’ll never come. Nothing (and no one) in life is perfect, so don’t waste your life waiting for it, you’ve got too much to live for! ☺️
How to find the courage to try something new
Go back to owning your story. When you think about your own story, you should be able to see your unique gifts and strenghts. Every human has a unique set of ideas, views and gifts to share with this world.
Think about it in this way, if you decide not to share your gifts with the world, you’re taking away from someone that needs it. Wether you’re wanting to make art, start a business, or share your unique interests on Instagram, someone out there needs to see it.
Or even if you want to start a personal goal you’re terrified of doing, like running a 5k, think about the silent encouragement you’d give to someone else. They might think, “Well, if she’s trying it and she’s scared, then maybe I can do it, too”.
My point is, think about the greater good and the ripple effect you could create. When you think about things like that, your fear looks a lot less daunting.
Ask honestly, how many times do you judge other people for being Imperfect?
Ali mentions how we all crave to see authenticity in others, and I couldn’t agree more. Isn’t it so nice to see someone show up with messy hair sometimes and say, “You know what, this is me.”? It makes them more relatable.
So, if there’s something you’re trying that you’re not perfect at, then people will like you for it more! And honestly, if they’re the type of person that judges you for not being perfect, then you don’t need them in your life anyway!
Ali Wren is a teacher, foodie, and lover of Goldendoodles–especially the fluffy ones. Passionate about helping women discover a whole and healthy life, she chronicles her journey at AliWren.com. There she writes about overcoming the comparison trap, healthy eating with food allergies, and reclaiming authenticity, beauty and simplicity in each day. She is the author of #InstaEnvy and A Manifesto for Authentic Friendship and hosts the Call it Good podcast. Ali lives in the Midwest with her writer and runner husband, Adam, and their daughter, Adison.
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What about you?
How are you taking steps everyday to overcome comparison mindset and perfectionism? Let me know in the comments below or over on Instagram @MonicaChats.
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