Handle the Comparison Trap With This One Question

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” This quote by Theodore Roosevelt is one of my go-to reminders because I, probably like many of you, fall victim to the comparison trap somewhat often.

Here’s my scenario from this morning: I was in a good mood, going about my routine, checking social media…when photos of a gorgeous fitness model popped up in my feed as I scrolled through. You know, pictures that make you want to throw on a large parka and hat, stay hidden in the shadows, and never post a picture of yourself again? Well maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point.

So in a matter of minutes, I realized I had a choice to make. Referring back to one of my takeaways from Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop, I asked myself, “Am I willing?” Because if we are going to compare ourselves to someone else, we will either be sad about it or DO something about it. If we are not willing to do what it takes, then be ok with it and move on. Stop comparing and go back to the happy mood you were in before the comparison trap snagged you! (In my case, I decided that no, I am not willing to drastically cut my calories and workout like it’s my full-time job. And let’s face it, there’s also metabolism, heredity, and other characteristics I can’t control.)

So I am NOT willing to go all in and change my life as a result of a few sad moments of comparison. But what I AM willing to do is be honest that my workouts have been more “going through the motions” than really going for my goals. And I AM willing to cut out that late night snacking habit that crept back in with college football season…the habit that would otherwise continue all the way through March Madness.

To summarize, when you find yourself on the sad end of the comparison trap…because at some point we all do…ask yourself what, if anything, you are willing to do about it. Don’t let that trap hold you! Either decide, “nah, I’m good,” and go on with your happy self, or decide what actions you are really willing to take to achieve YOUR realistic version of what you’re comparing yourself to.

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Get Out of Your Own Way

I hesitate to post this book recommendation. Not because I’m unsure of its content and not because I didn’t like the direct writing style. It’s because my last post was about How to Be a Badass at Making Money and this next recommendation is for Unfu*k Yourself: Get out of your head and into your life by Gary John Bishop. I’m a mother for goodness sake! And I keep reading and writing about these books with profanity in the titles!

Seriously though, I am recommending this book. I like that it’s straightforward; it’s an easy read; and it’s content delivers one light bulb moment after another. Here are my four favorites…

  1. Chapter 2: “I am willing.” Be honest with yourself about what you’re willing/unwilling to do (instead of saying what you want/don’t want). Example: You say you want to buy a house, but you’re unwilling to sacrifice and save money. Be honest about what you are willing to do and adjust the view of your life from there. Stop feeling negatively about not having the house and start enjoying your apartment.
  2. Chapter 5: “I embrace the uncertainty.” Get out of your comfort zone. Life is supposed to be an adventure. Live life; don’t just survive it. “…what causes most of your worry is trying to predict the future and then refusing to accept things when they don’t or aren’t going to go your way” (p. 112).
  3. Chapter 7: “I am relentless.” Some people may tell you that your dream is silly or your goals can’t be attained. That’s only true if you believe them. You may fail and be discouraged, but the dream is only over if you quit. Keep moving forward, even if it’s “failing forward.” Keep your head down and work toward your goals and when you look up later, recognize your progress. “Even when you don’t see anything happening, it is. Even when you’re not quite hitting the mark, you’re making progress” (p. 158).
  4. Chapter 8: “I expect nothing and accept everything.” (This chapter contained the MOST light bulb moments for me!) Basically, we are unhappy when our expectations do not match our reality. Simple example: you had to work late and you expect to walk in the door to your children greeting you happily and your spouse having dinner ready for you. Instead, the family is annoyed that you are late and waiting for you to make dinner. Instead of being unhappy in that gap between what you expected and what was reality, just accept the situation. Don’t waste time on an expectation; take action to achieve your desired result. “Don’t expect victory or defeat. Plan for victory, learn from defeat…Free yourself from the burden and melodrama of expectation; let the chips fall where they may. Love the life you have, not the one you expected to have” p. 183.

So there you have it. Read Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop if you are ready to challenge some of your current thought patterns. What you discover might be the change that gets you out of your own way and clears the path to a happier life.

If you’ve read the book, please share your thoughts in the comments too!

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Another Badass Book

Back in October, I wrote Learning to be a Badass, a post about Jen Sincero’s book, You Are a Badass. Well today I have another badass Jen Sincero book to share with you: You Are a Badass at Making Money. I could make this a very short post and just say, “Trust me. Read this book. It’s awesome!” But that feels kind of lazy, and if you’re going to invest your time in reading a book I suggest, you probably want to know why I’m recommending it.

Similarly to You Are a Badass, You Are a Badass at Making Money is a book in which Sincero describes how she applied the Law of Attraction to improve her life, specifically, her financial life. But it’s not just about the Law of Attraction. Sincero explores how our thoughts and beliefs about having money impact our success.

After reading just the Introduction (I’m talkin’ only 10 pages in!), I noted the following:

We have been taught to work hard, even if we don’t want to be doing what we’re doing; basically, we’ve been taught to settle for a mediocre life. The real key to success is not to work harder at the jobs we’re settling for, but to…

  • “Listen to the hollerings of your heart instead of your doubts and fears” (p. 9).
  • “Not only admit to desiring, and commit to creating, wealth, but most important, you must allow yourself to do so” (p. 9).
  • Agree to getting “really really really really uncomfortable. Over and over again” (p. 9).

If we apply the Law of Attraction, then we believe the resources we need to create the lives of our dreams are already out there waiting on us to claim them. For some, beliefs about money are huge obstacles though. Sincero lists negative money beliefs such as we feel shallow if we want money, we feel undeserving or not special enough to make a lot of money, or that making money is hard. She then offers really insightful thoughts to counter those negative beliefs:

  • “You living your fullest life and making all the money required to do so doesn’t take anything away from anyone else any more than you refusing a ham sandwich because someone, somewhere, is starving helps them” (p. 19).
  • “Understand that your gifts, talents, and desires were given to you because you are meant to thrive and share your youness with the world as only you can” (p. 24).
  • If you believe making money is difficult, then it is. (Many, many sections on the Law of Attraction and being mindful of what thoughts you send out into the universe.)

One of the Law of Attraction concepts is that what you focus on, you create more of. Sincero explains how this applies to your financial situation. If you have a scarcity mindset, then you are always worrying that you don’t have enough. So guess what…you’ll never have enough. Instead, be grateful for what you have, give freely to help others, and focus on the abundance in your life. And then, what will you attract into your life? That’s right…abundance!

To wrap it up, if you are interested in improving your relationship with money and your financial situation, read You Are a Badass at Making Money. Jen Sincero offers tips and money thoughts/mantras at the end of each chapter, and she sprinkles in short quotable nuggets of insight throughout. There are few books that I want to read more than once, but this is one of them. There’s so much to absorb and practice!

If you’ve read the book, please share your thoughts in the comments too!

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How Do You Eat an Elephant?

You’ve probably heard this before: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This happens to be one of my favorite sayings. I use it often to calm down and remind myself that any large project is possible when broken down into smaller pieces.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you take on a big task. And then you may fall victim to thoughts like, “Why did I agree to do this?” or “This is impossible!” First of all, worrying and engaging in negative self-talk are huge wastes of time and energy. Instead, take a moment to acknowledge you’re feeling worried, then take control of the situation by creating a plan.

Write down your plan on paper so it is not running on a continual loop in your head. You can make a detailed list of numbered steps, create a process map, or any method that gets your thoughts organized on paper. From there, you can take each step and add details such as who can help and what resources are available. (This works for planning a wedding, building a house, work projects, everything.) Add a target completion date for each step to hold yourself accountable. Move forward by completing one step at a time.

Tackling a seemingly insurmountable task is really an opportunity to develop mental and emotional endurance. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, revisit your plan and remind yourself you’re going to eat this elephant…one bite at a time!

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