Ever wonder how to stop comparing yourself to others? Then this Mindful Monday post is for you.
“The flower in the field is not comparing itself to the flower next to it. It’s just blooming.”
Are you blooming or are you too busy comparing yourself to others that you’re stifling your own growth and potential?
Over the weekend, I attended the inspiring Blog Brûlée conference in Vermont (attendance was partially funded by sponsors) and I look forward to sharing with you later this week what I learned! During one of our group discussions over the weekend, Gretchen Brown of Kumquat shared the above quote on comparisons with us, and well it got me to thinking.
Full disclosure: I totally struggle with comparisons. It’s hard not to compare in my field – a field of mostly women who are super hard-working, and love to share their successes on list servs, social media, and the like. But it’s not just other dietitians I find myself comparing myself to. It’s other bloggers – oh my stats don’t come anywhere close to hers. It’s yogis – damn, she can do a handstand away from the wall.
And all of these comparisons do absolutely nothing but make us feel crappy and inadequate at the end of the day. They don’t make us feel loved, they don’t make us feel supported, they certainly don’t make us feel accomplished or worthy.
But we ARE all of those things.
We ARE loved. We ARE supported. We ARE accomplished and worthy of SO much. So how about we start treating ourselves that way?
It’s time to ditch the negative self-comparison talk.
And time to start acknowledging and sharing our OWN successes and gratitude.
Here’s my challenge for you today. When you notice yourself slipping away into a comparison coma, imagine your ol’ friend Kara saying, “ditch the comparison talk”, and then walk away from whatever it is you’re doing or looking at that brought you to the place of negative self-talk in the first place.
Then, break out a notebook or journal and write down 5 things you’re currently grateful for in your life and 5 personal or professional accomplishments you’re proud of.
And then share them! Share them here with me. Share them with your family, your friends, your cat. And re-read them as many times as you need to.
I practiced this exercise early this morning and I’ll share with you what I came up with (in the hopes you’ll share your gratitude and accomplishments with others).
Things I’m grateful for:
- For early, quiet mornings filled with a run outside or yoga, meditation, and warm lemon water. And no social media.
- For Steve supporting me 110% in anything and everything I want to do and encouraging me to do the things I’m scared to do.
- For being a part of a supportive like-minded network of healthy food bloggers & for the co-founders of blog brûlée for bringing us all together.
- Living in very close proximity to lots of green space.
- For my yoga teacher training this summer helping me to deepen my practice and awareness.
- Launched a new website & re-branded.
- Got my yoga teaching certification and taught my first corporate class last month.
- Started my own consulting business and private practice.
- Asked to join the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Executive Committee.
- My dark chocolate almond cookies were featured on the Kitchn.
What are you grateful for today? What are your recent proud moments? Focus on how far you have come, your personal journey, and celebrate that. Then, begin to celebrate the accomplishments of others, without comparison, but with genuine joy, compassion, and admiration.
Do this and watch yourself begin to bloom.
Amazing post. Thank you for spreading this message – so important! <3
Well said! I’ve actually been writing a daily journal for around a year now – every night I list what I’m grateful for, as well as what went well that day, and something I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The next morning I reread them and keep those positive thoughts with me for the day!
Sounded a bit woo-woo to me at first, but now I really see the mental and emotional benefits.
Thanks for sharing that, Cat! That is truly amazing that you’ve been able to keep up your daily journal for a year now – kudos to you!! I can only imagine the profound effect that has had on your daily outlook. You’re an inspiration for me and our readers to keep at it for an extended period of time to reap all the benefits. xo
Can I be honest and tell you that the day I really embraced wanting to make my own path and not try to copy the “formula” for success as a traditional “Communications RD” was the day Healthy Aperture, ReDux, RDs4Disclosure & BB were born? I mean, of course, not all on that same day 🙂 But you get the point. If you recall, Marissa asked on-site what we all feel like has led to our success…. this is it for me, hands-down. I have friends whose careers sometimes seem crippled by their propensity to compare themselves to others, and to try and emulate a certain level of success. I decided years ago — around 2011 to be exact — that the world was a much bigger place than what I’d only seen/experienced as an RD spokesperson, and that I wanted to be a part of that world. This all sounds super mushy and in the clouds, but it’s true. I continually strive to aim higher, but I do believe letting go of the comparison conversation in your brain is the first step in achieving YOUR goals and not other people’s goals 🙂 Can’t wait to see where yours take you, Kara!
I couldn’t agree more, Regan. Thank you for sharing that! It’s funny how we (or I at least) always toss around “traditional” and “non-traditional” RD roles and I always think of communications as being non-traditional. But you’re so right, there is this “traditional communications RD” path as well and we can always strive to innovate within the nutrition communications space. & for the record, I love mushy and in the clouds, so bring it anytime :). THANK YOU!!
Kara! I loved reading this post as it made me realize how blessed I am. I had a difficult time jotting down my proud moments, but once I did, it served as a great reminder of how far I’ve come. Now, I must make some of your dark chocolate almond cookies so I can add it to my “grateful” list 😉
Aw, Min! I’m so happy that it helped inspire. It’s always challenging for me too to acknowledge my accomplishments but it’s so powerful once you push yourself to do so. You’ve come incredibly far, my friend! I’m so proud of all that you’re doing right now. Excited to continue to follow your journey 🙂
Look at all the comments, Kara – clearly you’ve hit upon something big, something we can all relate to. And to echo what Robin said – you’ve exceeded the expectation of what we wanted attendees to get out of Blog Brulee and to what Danielle said, you are absolutely an amazing you – can’t wait to see how much you bloom 🙂
Aw, thanks, Deanna!! I’m overwhelmed by the response. It’s beautiful to see everyone come together and support each other on a topic we can all relate to. Thank you for the inspiration for this post!
Kara-. I’m tearing up over here. 🙂
If you take away nothing else from the weekend than this “nugget”, you will have exceeded our expectations for Blog Brulee!
You are a shining light in the sky. Never forget that.
Robin, I’m tearing up from all the comment love & support! 🙂
Thank you so much for your sweet words. Big hugs.
Fantastic post! I can’t wait to share this! What an important message and how true for so many of us in such a similar field. I agree that it is SO difficult not to compare ourselves to each other and when I do, I always end up bringing myself down. I can’t wait to start a gratitude journal and implement your ideas. Let’s catch up at FNCE! Hope all is well!
Thanks so much, Holley! It’s hard not to bring yourself down when comparing to others. I hope you find the gratitude journal helpful! I know I always feel so much better when I make the time for it in the morning. Would love to catch-up at FNCE! Looking forward to seeing you there 🙂
Well done, Kara! I succumb to “comparitis” from time to time but focusing instead on the many things I have to be grateful for brings me back. This is such a powerful reminder for us all!
Thanks, Marisa! I think we all succumb from comparitis from time to time and it’s nice to know that it’s somewhat just a part of human nature and that we can all relate and support each other through it! Yes, it always comes back to gratitude! Such a powerful tool to keep in our back pocket.
And this is why I LOVE YOU!! Thanks for brining this to the light… i am going to do some quite time tomorrow to reflect on this message.
Much love to you too, friend! How did the quiet time this morning go? I hope you got the perspective you were looking for! xo
Also- I have the Desiderate poem in my office and I especially love this part which I re-read to myself as needed 🙂
“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
Just read the whole poem – love, love, love! I’m going to print this one out and keep it on my desk for inspiration. Thank you SO much for sharing this!
Yay! For real I love this post! I think it’s natural to compare yourself to others- its a trap I find myself in from time to time (in all areas of life) and while I like to think it’s motivating to move forward… I don’t really think it does! Great post Kara! And congrats on all your accomplishments lately- you are killing it 🙂 Will you be at FNCE? Would love to meet!
Thanks, Alex! I too think it’s a part of human nature to compare. And I think when we can all share in the common experience of human nature, we relate to each other on a deeper level and become closer. One thing that I learned quickly during my yoga teacher training is that we are all so similar and connected on many different levels just by being human! & thank you for your sweet words!! I will be at FNCE and would absolutely LOVE to meet! Let’s make it happen.
Everyone has already said it, but it’s worth repeating – you’re not alone in the comparison trap and Gretchen’s quote stuck with me as well and is a good reminder for all of us. What I love about the group of women at Blog Brulee (and others like us who weren’t there as well), is that we support each other and help advance each other. This is really unlike many dietetic professionals who work in other realms outside of blogging and nutrition communications. I’m so glad we got to meet in person and I look forward to our continued interactions and building each other up as time goes on!
Kara, your post is spot on! I feel the exact same way, and it’s always so nice to find that others fall prey to the comparison trap. Making a gratitude list and an accomplishments list is such a fabulous idea. Off to write mine 🙂
It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend!! I feel sad it’s already over but excited to stay in touch with all my new friends!
I think so many of us suffer from the dreaded comparitis. But we’re so fortunate to have control over our mind and thoughts and all it takes is a quick shift to reframe our focus. I love that this inspired you to make your own list! How’d it feel? SO great meeting you this weekend, Meme! Looking forward to staying connected! xo
Such an inspiring post Kara – love this. The quote that Gretchen shared that has stayed in my mind too as a great one to keep at the forefront and to always remember when it seems we can’t keep up. There’s so much to be grateful for and proud of. Great to see you this weekend and I want to take that yoga class of yours soon!
Thanks, Jenny! Such a powerful reminder for us all. I love the idea of keeping a regular gratitude journal to ensure it stays top of mind. Always lovely to see you and as soon as I have a regular yoga class in Boston, you’ll be the first to know!
Love this post, Kara. As a budding dietitian entrepreneur superstar, it’s difficult not to compare yourself to the success of others. Sometimes it just takes a mindset shift out of that way of thinking. I love the wise words from the Tiny Buddha…when comparing ourselves to others, we often end up only judging ourselves. So, the mindset shift is to not stop comparing, but to only compare a past and present YOU. And by the looks of that list you made, you are evolving into an amazing you with so much to be proud of. #justsayin
Love YOU, Danielle! Making me tear up over hurr! 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words – it means more than you know! & thanks for sharing those words from Tiny Buddha – love the idea of only comparing to past and present YOU. I just signed up to follow Tiny Buddha on all the channels. SO wonderful to finally meet in-person this weekend!
LOVE this! That quote definitely stood out to me from this past weekend and has so much meaning on so many levels for me right now! Wonderful post – thank you! (and impressed you got it up so quickly!)
Thanks, Ann! Realizing that quote was powerful and relevant for all of us on some level. I think the comparisons can easily become elevated when embarking on a new venture, so I totally feel ya! So excited for you and your new biz. xo
Beautifully inspiring post, Kara and a great practice for each and every day. It was great meeting you this weekend & look forward to staying connected!
Thanks, Karman! Glad it inspired. It was wonderful meeting you too and I look forward to staying connected as well!
LOVE this! Another quote that I love is “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”.
Love that quote too, Lauren! Definitely resonates with me. Thanks for sharing!
yes, kara, YES! i love that you have shared this message. we have so much to be grateful for, don’t we!? let’s let joy come to the front.
Thank YOU, Gretchen!! It’s clear that your words of wisdom resonated with all of us bruleeers on some level and I’m just so grateful to be able to share this inspiration with others. xo