Podcast Show Notes
Gratitude seems to be more top of mind at the end of the year and rather than doing the basic … I’m grateful for (fill in the blank), today I’m going to dig into why we have such a hard time with being grateful and then tune in next episode where I’ll give you ten caption starters to share your gratefulness on social media.
I was recently reading an article written by Dr. Robin Cohen where she mentioned her thoughts on the comparison trap and how it evolves.….
Because let’s face it… the reason we can’t be grateful for what we have is that we are constantly comparing it to what someone else has.
So why is this? Why can’t we just be grateful for the blessings in front of us right now? Instead of going that step further with the comparison.
Go back to your childhood
Dr. Robin Cohen said:
“Thinking about what we are grateful for is associated with a multitude of positive emotional and physical effects. In order for us to act in a world so filled with sensory and emotional information, our minds constantly organize our experience into packets of meaning.”
So think of when you were a child you did this with objects… this slide is bigger than that slide or that dog is taller than this dog… we learned to organize through comparison.
Ok makes sense, right? Then soon thereafter these comparisons included us… that boy is older than ME… I have more toys than that girl.
Then you started saying this to yourself
And you can see where this is leading… From factually meaningful to emotionally meaningful.
You started saying things to yourself like…
- “My thighs are bigger than that other woman’s thighs.”
- “He makes more money than me.”
- “I have a better house than she does.”
- “He has a better job than me.”
- “She is in better shape than me.”
- “My kids are doing so much better than hers are.”
Further thoughts you had about people and situations
But no… we can’t just stop there… we have to go a step further with our thoughts about people and situations.
- Her child is so bossy! (My child is much better behaved than hers).
- She looks really great for her age (Why don’t I look that good? Maybe I should get botox!).
- What a great house they have (Their house is so much nicer than ours).
We not only compare but now make self assumptions… “Look at her success” becomes equated with “What did I do wrong? I’m a failure! I’ll never amount to anything”.
This year Instagram removed the like count due to comparison.. because her likes mean nothing to your content… or how many followers she has doesn’t mean your content sucks…
If we have positive thoughts about someone else it instantly turns into a negative one about ourselves and just as we have negative thoughts about someone else it instantly turns into to positive one about ourselves.
What crap!! What happens in this cycle is that we rely so much on comparison to feeling good about ourselves that we wonder what could WE possibly be grateful for. What we have isn’t enough as theirs, or hers, or his.
I totally thought this – what crap
But STOP!! I know you’ve thought all these destroying things because I have to. Just this morning… I saw one of my friends was asked to be a guest on a webinar (about a topic I know a lot about) and I instantly thought to myself “oh that’s great for her, but wait, why wasn’t I asked to be on it? Am I not smart enough on that subject? Can I not present as good as her?”
But dang you guys that bullshit and I know it… I immediately caught myself, switched my mindset to gratefulness and said to myself “I am grateful to be a guest on their podcast this year.”
And I left it at that and moved on.
So so silly… and afterwards I was so upset at myself for even for a few seconds thinking those thoughts…. why do we put ourselves down like that? It’s so wrong.
Just because she’s good at something doesn’t mean I’m bad at it.
The comparison trap that many of us live in is not healthy. We place ourselves in a hierarchy, and no matter how high we are in it, it can never lead to long-term feelings of self-confidence and happiness.
I can be a guest speaker in a room of business owners talking about social media strategy yet will find a reason to not feel worthy of speaking at the podium because I know other people could deliver the content better than me.
What happens in this hierarchy
What happens in this hierarchy is we are driven to move up the ladder or to desperately maintain our place toward the top, always terrified of falling or failing.
We’ve all been at this place… thinking about where we are on the ladder of success in business, education, health, or wealth.
But this only happens when we don’t develop a sense of who we are and what our values are. If we get caught up in what others are doing that we aren’t… this means we aren’t living how WE are meant to live.
how I changed this year
This year since I’ve been head down staying in my lane… I’ve had so many fewer times of being in this comparison trap. Because when you are doing what feels so right and following your heart, passion and purpose, there’s no time for comparison!
When you have so much clarity on your own life and purpose, you have no interest to compare your lane to theirs.
So when you see a confident person who seems to really understand themselves know that these people can experience gratitude much easier than someone who’s still questioning their own needs and values.
And this goes back to what I talk about ALL the time… you must discover who you are before ever stepping into personal brand marketing. It’s the foundation for everything even gratitude.
Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it is the thief of everything.
When you keep your eyes on your own lane and what you are here to do and who you are here to serve you’ll much more easily be able to celebrate others.
When we can cultivate gratitude over comparison gratitude turns what we have into more than enough.
How to Confront the comparison trap
So in order to confront the ‘comparison trap’ with a gratitude state of mind, check your HEART. Are you stuck in a pattern of comparison? If so, set aside 15 minutes a day to practice gratitude to help kick the COMPARISON TRAP to the curb.
So many positive things happen during our day and you often ignore them while letting one negative comment or event ruin your mood. It can help to keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things you are grateful for each night or during the day.
Research shows that expressing gratitude can increase joy, which in turn can increase gratitude.
One way you can do this during your 15 minutes journal on the following sentences:
- Today, I’m thankful for … (fill in your response)
- I really appreciate … (fill in your response)
- I felt joyful today when … (fill in your response)
- My favorite part was … (fill in your response)
- Today I will show my gratitude by … (fill in your response)
Or if that’s too much, begin by simply jotting down three things you are thankful for each day.
But I want you to focus on things that are worth praising.
This small daily commitment will make a HUGE difference … I know it seems silly but TRY IT … then decide if it is worthwhile or not.
Another episode you may enjoy is “EP 5: HOW TO DETERMINE THE BULLET POINT BELIEFS OF YOUR BRAND – PART 1″
Looking for other related content?
Search by the current stage of your brand + business in order to find more relative content to help you along with your journey.