When I hung up on Comparison.
The other day I was walking in a neighborhood I admire and found myself thinking things like “if I had that 3 season porch, I’d read lots of books out there and life would be so good.” and “If my garden was that beautiful and thriving, I’d be so much happier.” and “If I could hire that construction company, our house would be amazing.”
Oh hi comparison. You’re still hanging around?
I used to call Comparison up a lot. We’d have 4 hour conversations. Just gabbin’ away.. They loved to talk some shit. Sometimes we’d pull all nighters.
And then I worked on calling them less. It was h.a.r.d. I was like a telemarketer addicted to making myself feel like crap.
It was 4 years ago that I was finally able to hear why we needed to delete each other’s numbers.
Colin did a workshop called the Emotions of Entrepreneurship and I must have been ready, because all it took was for him to say:
Why would we SEEK to COMPARE, when we could SEEK to be INSPIRED?
He was riffing on a concept by speaker and author Jon Acuff, who writes often about the role of comparison has played in his business. He says:
“Inspiration fills you up. Comparison empties you.
Inspiration drives you forward. Comparison pulls you backward.
Inspiration tells you there’s still time to accomplish something amazing. Comparison tells you it’s too late.”
Um, yes, to all of that.
And ya know – I’m giving myself a good pat on the back. As we turned the corner on our walk, I was able to get inspired instead of jealous. Just last weekend we did light construction on our house. And it turned out beautiful. And I moved my office into our 3 season sunroom and read as the sun hit my face.
Truth is: the comparison monster can be a hard one to beat. Instead, I’ve been focusing less on beating it and more on learning to live with whenever it comes up. How am I going to respond? Be inspired or retreat from what I’m working to build? Some days I pick the latter, but more often I choose inspired. And I feel pretty great about that.