We are more stressed out, discontent and unsatisfied than ever. An entire market segment has grown around helping us relax and find true meaning through meditation, mindfulness, massages as we continue to acquire new ailments born out of our chronic stress and over-commitment. Like the Rolling Stones song says, we just “can’t get no satisfaction.” Why is that?
Comparison. We get so caught up in creating a picture-perfect life. We compare ourselves to others in every area of life: money, career, social status, parenting, marriage, homes and even our spiritual lives such as prayer and service. Part of our decision-making process includes what others may think or say in reaction to what we are about to do or buy or change.
“If you want to instantly increase inner peace in your life, stop comparing!”
Here are 5 way to instantly increase your inner peace:
- Comparison is the thief of happiness. Be on guard against it by having your gratitude list handy,. You can’t maintain discontent while you’re in a state of gratitude. Don’t believe me? Name 5 things you’re thankful for and notice what happens to any discontent you thought you had!
- Fitting in or being better should not be the basis for any decision. Resist making any decision solely related to trying to fit in or being better than. Sometimes it is better to delay a decision if you can’t honestly say people-pleasing or proving yourself are not motivating factors.
- A little bit of fitting is good and allows you to establish a connection with others. The key is to both fit in and stand out by offering what you uniquely bring into any situation or relationship.
- Comparison is a killer of creativity. If you find yourself in a stuck place creatively or with new idea generation, try disconnecting from technology and remove the source of 90% of comparison traps.
- We are driven by a culture telling us that to be happy is to accomplish and acquire more and more. It’s just not true. The longer I live the more convinced I am the ONLY path to true happiness is looking inward first. No one but you can define what success looks like for you. It’s different for each of us and the first step to finding it is knowing what IT is.
I have come to realize that the source of much, if not all of my stress related to comparison resides in my own head, in my over-active thought-life. The thoughts causing me so much anxiety and discontent are all based in comparison to an outside standard for what my life is supposed to be. I am also aware that thought-patterns of comparison are nothing more than a bad habit. As such, it can be changed or rewired.
Through a process of simply becoming aware and intentional about replacing toxic, comparison thoughts with healthy ones based on the truth. This is not woo-woo or positive affirmation stuff. This is simply leveraging the neuroplasticity of your brain to rewire toxic thought patterns with new, healthy ones.
Take action: Make list of your most common areas of comparison (e.g. fitting in, people-pleasing, proving yourself). Next to each one, write down what is true. When the comparison thought-process starts, notice it and then replace each lie of comparison with a healthy thought based in truth.
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