How To Use Comparison And Jealousy To Your Benefit
Ep. 196
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This week I want to talk to you about the compare and despair cycle so many of us find ourselves in, myself included. We scroll through Instagram, envious of what we see others post, forgetting that social media is a highlight reel. However, comparison and jealousy aren’t always bad. If you learn to harness it correctly, it can lead you to the life you want. In this podcast, I detail how to stop the endless comparison and how to utilize your jealousy to figure out what you actually want.

Show Transcript
I believe that jealousy is actually a really beautiful gift. And I use comparison and jealousy kind of intertwined because I really do feel that underlying comparison is that jealousy, right? It's that envy. It's like ugh, I wish I had this thing that this person has. That's the only reason we're comparing.

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Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited you are here. If you didn't get into the last round of Pave Your Path, which we start this week and I am so freakin jazzed, but this happens every time. I feel like I do a lot of promotion and I tell you guys all about it because I want you to be in because I really do think that it will help you shave off years of frustration and help you get on the path that you want to be on. And yet every time I close those doors, I get people that tell me that they just missed it or that they forgot or that is it really closed. Uh and so I want you to be ready for the next round. Okay. I want this not to happen to you. Don't wait, plan ahead. I'm gonna open doors again in June I believe. So get on the wait list Join our wait list and make sure you are in the know so that when those doors open, you can get in and not send me an email about the fact that you missed it again. Alright? Okay. I'm excited for today's episode because every one of us suffers from this at some point or another in the day, actually like every day. And I think with social media it's more prevalent. So it's time we talked about it. I wanna talk about kind of compare and despair that we all engage in. Jealousy, looking at other people and romanticizing what their life looks like versus yours, using other people against yourself and feeling bad about your life. All of the wonderful things that we tend to do especially with social media now. Right? I want you to know that first it's very natural. Okay. So one of the things that I've talked a lot about on this podcast is kind of the difference between clean and dirty pain and really like how to not add suffering to your life. And part of what I see people do a lot is feel a normal human emotion and then add on a lot of shame and guilt. And this happens a lot with comparison. So we already have the icky feeling, like the negative feeling of jealousy maybe when we're comparing ourself to other people or when we're looking at where other people are if it's, you know, where we want to be. And then on top of that, we start judging ourselves for comparing. We think thoughts like I'm being so petty or I shouldn't judge them or why do I feel like this? Why do I care what other people are doing? Whatever the thoughts are. And I want you to know that that part of it is just unnecessary. It's a very natural human emotion as like we go through it. It's actually can be a very helpful emotion. It could be a really beautiful message from your brain. And we'll talk about what what the message means. But in order to access any of the messages that your brain is sending you, in order to really understand what you are, who you are, what you want, all of those things, you have to stop judging your own thoughts. Because you don't gain access to them when you shame yourself, when you start guilting yourself, it immediately like puts up a wall between you and those thoughts, right? Your brain is like we shouldn't be thinking these things so we're not gonna explore it as opposed to just getting curious of like why am I constantly comparing myself to other people? Why do I think it would be better where that person is? Whatever. Then you can uncover a lot of data. Then you can start figuring out a lot of things about yourself. But when you're constantly should-ing like I shouldn't be doing this, I shouldn't be thinking about this stuff, you lose all of that and you still engage in the behavior and then you just feel icky about engaging in the behavior. So I really wanna like start off by just being like this is super normal. And again, we'll talk about how jealousy is really, I don't know, not a positive thing but like a tool that you can use and something that obviously comes up a lot now with social media, right? So here's three things I want you to think about when the next time you are, you know, going down that rabbit hole on social media for an hour and you're feeling icky about yourself and your life. And you're, you know, kind of trapped in this kind of compare and despair cycle. I want you to know, we obviously have all heard this, but first obviously what you're looking at for other people is their highlight reel, right? We've all heard the like the don't compare your real life to their highlight reel. And we hear it because it's the truth. And we all know it because, you know, our social media is also our highlight reel. And I don't think that people are doing it intentionally to mislead. Some people are. But I think that for the most part, social media is not the place to go and air all of your grievances. Right? Nobody wants to go on Instagram and watch reels of other people's kids crying or like hearing you complain about your husband or whatever it is. Right? Like the reason we go on is to see fun, interesting like things that are gonna give us a little bit of an escape, I guess. So most of us typically post things that are maybe our real life but just like either the funny parts or the better parts or when we go on trips or whatnot. And so we all know that like we're not posting the real life moments, the real human moments that every one of us feels. It's the same thing with every other person on that app. Right? Like or any other app. One of the things when you start noticing yourself comparing to other people is really stopping to ask yourself like I wonder what negative emotion that person is feeling today, right? It's just like a good reframe like bringing yourself down. Not because you're wishing that onto someone but really for your own perspective that like they're not living in a land of rainbows and butterflies and daisies. They're not waking up every day like with no stress going through their day just loving life. That's just not the way any human brain works. And it's not the way that this person that you think has the thing that you want is either. And so part of that is understanding that is to remind your brain like out loud as you're scrolling that like this isn't real life, there's a lot behind the scenes that I'm not seeing. Right. And I think that's just like the minimum baseline is really knowing like what they're putting out there they're curating because they want people to see. So like how much is there that we're not seeing? But I will also say that when you're looking at that highlight reel, I always tell people that like make sure you're looking at the right things. And what I mean by that is I used to do this and I get people a lot of times who will, let's say they have a dream of being a baker. Let's just say, go with me. And they are comparing themselves like they've just started their Instagram account and they're comparing themselves to these other famous bakers on Instagram who have 50,000 followers or a hundred thousand followers or whatever. And they're using that as evidence of the fact that like they can't do it or, you know, these people are so much better than them or whatnot. They're comparing themselves to these people. And I always say like in that instance, okay, like don't tell me how many followers they have. I want you to go to their profile and I want you to tell me how many posts they have. And it's always a really interesting experiment because then you go and you see like oh, the person has 1,500 posts or 3,000 posts or, you know, 4,000 whatever like an insane number. If you think about it, like if this person was posting one time a day, how many years of posts they have on there? And the reason I say that is because like oftentimes we are mad that we don't have the results for the work that we're not willing to do. I’ll say that again. I'm sure you've seen this on Instagram. It's like you're mad that you don't have the results for the work you're not willing to do. That person who you think has the perfect life, let's say, they're putting a lot of work into that. Are you willing to do the same thing? It's not as though they were just handed this thing. Even if you, let's say you're looking at these lifestyle bloggers or you're looking let's say at a fitness model, I always like to think about like what is that person's life like, right? Let's say a fitness model. It's like how much do they have to be obsessed with what they eat and to work out however many times a day or whatever it is like would I be willing to do that? I mean, for me, you all know if you listen to this, that's a hard pass, but I'm just saying with anything I do, I look at, for myself, let's say as a comparison, podcasters or other coaches I look at. And like there are people who are just prolific on Instagram and other places and I see their businesses skyrocket. And I just look at like they are constantly pumping out valuable content for people, right? They're constantly showing up. They're constantly failing in a million different ways. They're trying everything. They're putting out Masterclasses, they're putting out, you know, different group programs. They're putting out uh live events. They're doing all these things and something is hitting. Something is taking off for them. And that's an amazing thing. Right. And yet, am I willing to do all of that? It just slows me down. Like I do this all the time when I look at someone, I find myself in compare despair. I look at how many posts they have. And I'm like okay, like they have four times the amount of posts I have. So it just means like I'm early in the process, right? Like how am I comparing my year three to their year ten? And this is with anything that you're comparing, again, like even if it's not social media, like oftentimes like we look at people who let's say might have an established business or are just doing the things that we want to do. And you have to really look at like what did they do to get that? Am I willing to do those things? Have I been willing to do those things, right? Are they maybe willing to sit with fear and discomfort more? Are they willing to risk things more? I don't know. It's just worth asking. Instead of just sitting there constantly looking about how unfair it is or like how great their life must be, really when you start investigating like okay, I'm feeling like very triggered by, let's say this person. I feel very much as though I have to compare my success to what they have but what am I not seeing? What is the work that they've put in that I haven't?

So I feel like that's just the first step is really understanding like the highlight reel and the difference between the work that they're putting in and the work that you're putting in. And I'm not um this is no way attack. I'm telling you I do it for myself all the time. Just to really slow myself down. I was like well, I haven't done that amount of work. Right. The second thing that I recommend you doing is this thing called selective comparison. Okay. And what that means is when we compare ourselves to somebody, we're comparing ourselves to one aspect of their life. Okay. Like we are comparing one thing that they've done that we see kind of front-facing and we get jealous of that. Like maybe they have a better body or like the perfect relationship or they have a business that's making the money that you want. And I always ask myself, if it wasn't just this one thing, would I trade my whole life for their whole life? Because it's not just one thing. Like it's not fair to say like oh, it's so unfair that she has, you know, this business that I want but I'm like would I take her family or her trauma or, you know, her culture or the way she looks or whatever it is. It's like would I take the whole package? Because oftentimes like we wouldn't, we like a lot of aspects of our lives. The more I coach people and the more I see my friends, myself and I, an overanalyze everything, it's like I've noticed that most of us like there's certain areas of our lives where things come easy to us. Like we let them be easy. We get out of our own way. Right. And for each of us, it's different areas. for some people like their relationship maybe to their spouse is just super easy and their marriage works but they have a hard time with work or with kids or whatever. For somebody else, it's like the opposite like they are great at work. They're killing it but their relationships suffer. And they've always had a hard time kind of building whether it's friendships or having a romantic relationship, whatever you get the point. And so the reason I say that is that we typically look at what's hard for us. Like we ignore all the things that are easy and going great in our life. And we look at people who have it easier in certain areas that tend to be hard for us. And then we compare that, right. It's like oh, why is it so easy for that person? But I'm like yeah, but you don't know if it's harder for that person in the areas that's easier for you. So like if business is hard for you and you're looking at somebody that just has this like skyrocketing business but you have a fantastic relationship with your spouse, right? What if they have a terrible relationship with their spouse? Like would you trade that? Every one of us has our strengths and our weaknesses, right? Every one of us has a unique personality, capabilities that make us good at some things and bad at other things. It's just the nature of human beings. And so when you start looking at it as a whole, when you're like hey, this friend that I'm jealous of like because I'm jealous of her body, would I trade and have her relationships as well? That boss that I'm jealous of because of her position and the money that she makes, would I trade the work hours that she has or the family life that she has. Right. The guy that has a great relationship, would I trade for whatever, his intelligence, his family, whatever it is, right? Like it's a whole package. Would I take the whole thing? And every time I've asked myself this question, it's always a no, right. Because I love my life. Like I would never like trade my kids or my husband or whatever. But it instantly brings me down because like I'm cherry-picking one thing out of this person's life. And I have no idea A) what it took for them to get there and B) every other aspect of their life. And then I'm saying like oh, it's so unfair. Why is it so easy for this person? And it's like every one of us, as you all know for yourselves too, it's like all of your experiences, all of your traumas, all of your qualities, your intelligence, like your resilience, your ability to figure things out, all of these things all combined to get you where you've gotten, to have given you the experiences that you've had, to have created whatever relationships it is that you wanna relate. So like there is no taking one thing out and being like oh, this one thing was just like luck and I wish I could take that from that person. And so you can't take one part. And when you're doing that, I just want you to like reframe, would I take all their failures? Would I take all the judgment they've had from all the other people online? Would I take all the weight that they have on their shoulders on mine? Would I put in the work that they're doing? Would I do all of it to have the thing that they have? I just want you to ask yourself that. Maybe it's a yes. I'm not saying there's never a yes. Maybe you would. Maybe you'd be like in a heartbeat I trade my whole life. Okay, fine. At least we know that. But for the most part, the answer typically is no. And I think when you kind of zoom out a little bit, it helps you get perspective on your own life. Right. It helps you get perspective on this one thing that you're comparing yourself to somebody else for. It helps you like slow back down to like what's my journey? What's my path here? Okay. So that was number two. The third thing that I want you to think about and I said this at the top of the episode is that I believe that jealousy is actually a really beautiful gift. And I use comparison and jealousy kind of intertwined because I really do feel that underlying comparison is that jealousy, right? It's that envy. It's like ugh, I wish I had this thing that this person has. That's the only reason we're comparing. So when you feel that emotion, I want you to know that it's just a message from your own brain and it is an arrow towards what you want. So when you start seeing that that's happening like if you can just pause and ask yourself, what about this life do I want, right? What am I jealous of here? Why do I want X, Y, and Z? Do I want a business that makes a certain amount of money? Do I want this relationship? Do I want the body? Whatever it is that I want. And it's just a really solid way to figure out what it is that you want. For the vast majority of people that come to me and tell me they don't know, they have no idea, this is how you start getting clear. Like so many of our desires are just buried deep within us. And we don't look at them because we have so much shame around it, right? Like as I talked about earlier, we start shaming our own thoughts thinking like I shouldn't think this. I'm being petty or I'm being childish or whatever. And it's like if you take that off and you start listening to that voice a little bit more, you start getting a little quiet and using that as a tool of like huh, I'm scrolling and I'm feeling really like bad right now about my life. Why? What is it that I think these people have that I don't have? What is it that I wish I had more of right now? What does this person have that I want? Like that is such gold data. It uncovers what you are after. Do I want a better, healthier marriage? Do I want, you know, to be more in shape and to be able to run a marathon? Do I want a business that makes more money? Okay, great. Now I know. And the only ever reason that we don't admit those things to ourselves is because we have this underlying belief that I can't have that, which is a lie. May not be able to have it right now, may not be like an instantaneous thing. But once you get clear on what it is that you want, you most definitely can go to work creating it for yourself. And I'm not saying once you admit it to yourself, you have to go after that goal, you don't, right. Like I'm gonna give you a second step to this. But like for me, when I really uncover like what is it that I'm thinking right now that's making me feel this jealousy? It's like what do I think this persons has? Even when I answer that question, it sounds ridiculous. And I'm like that's not true. Like I realize like I I'm onto my brain and I'll give you an example of what I mean. But when you ask that question, I want you to then answer like let's say, what do I think this person has? They have like a successful business that makes a lot of money. Okay. What do I think they feel by having that? Cause that's what you're after. That feeling. Okay. We're not after the body. We're not after the marriage. We're not after the business. We are only after all those things because we are seeking a feeling. We are always only doing things in order to obtain a feeling or avoid a feeling. So what do I think that person feels by having this business? Maybe they feel pride and they feel secure and they feel uh accomplished or whatever. Like I think they feel happy, right. And what I was saying earlier is part of the times when I go through this exercise and I'm like what is it that I want, what do I think this person feels right now? Oftentimes like I catch myself and I'm like this person's not like happy all the time. Right. Or as I know with business, like I know that at every level, you're not just like secure and, you know, I mean, you you can definitely have pride in your business and feel very proud of yourself but like I can feel that now exactly where I’m at. I don't need to achieve anything. And so it can help me quickly reassess like quickly bring myself kind of back to where I am or it can even show me where I'm mistaken. Again, like when I'm saying like when I think oh, this person who has this, you know, relationship, I feel like they feel loved all the time. Maybe that's not true. I don't know if that person feels like they're loved all the time but at least it gives me an indication of that's what I want. I would love to feel like loved or appreciated. That's what I'm after. That's why I'm feeling jealous about this other person that I don't know who has no bearing on my life. And when I know that, then I can go to work, right. Then I can say like okay, maybe I have been neglecting the fact that I don't feel as loved in my relationships or maybe I'm neglecting the fact that I want to feel more accomplished in my life or whatnot. And I started asking myself like how can I have more of that right now? I don't need to accomplish anything. I don't need to go out and make a million dollars. I don't need to go change all these things in my life to feel a feeling. Cuz like as we all know, our thoughts are what cause our feelings. And so what are the thoughts I'm thinking and that's like preventing me from feeling that? How could I feel that right now? And if I want more of that, okay at least I know now that that's my focus. That's something I wanna improve. It doesn't have to happen instantly. Like that's where my goals are. And like this is what I mean where it becomes like an arrow and it's such a beautiful gift. It's like a compass, right? It helps you figure out your own north star and that's gonna change over your life. Right. It's gonna change with your seasons of your life and what you’re craving but it helps show you like what do I feel like is missing right now? Okay, that's the thing like now I can get to work. Now I can go in that direction. What does that mean in the short term? What does that mean in the long term? Then I can like use this information instead of just sitting in my own little pity party and feeling sorry for myself because I don't have this result yet in my life. Right. And I will say lastly, the thing that I sort of round this out with, I I go through all these steps each time. Right? I like remind myself it's not a highlight reel. I remind myself that I'm selectively comparing and I'm not comparing to their whole life. I sit and I think about how this is a arrow to what I want. What is it that I want and what can I feel right now? Like what's the feeling that I want from this and how can I feel that right now? And then the last thing I do is I start looking at that person, I think like how can this person be an example of what's possible for me? Instead of feeling jealousy because jealousy obviously in comparison comes from like a scarcity mindset. It comes from like they have it so I can't somehow, right. Or they have it and I never will or whatever it like creates this false comparison. I dunno, there's scarcity that doesn't actually exist that like oh, they have it and it's too late for me or I can't have it. And I think that when I start asking myself like how is this person an example of what's possible to me it's so expansive. Right? It starts showing me like if somebody else is showing me this is possible then that means it's possible for me too. There's no reason why I can't have it. Right. If this person has this amazing loving relationship then that is possible for me. If this person is able to run a marathon then that is possible for me. If this person is able to build a million-dollar business then that is also possible for me. And when you can start realizing that, again, I think this goes back to, you know, the third step I think for me, I go back and forth like what is this person showing me that's possible? I can sit more with like is that really what I want? If this is an arrow into like what do I think I want in my life, is that something I wanna work for? I'll give you an example. I do this sometimes, I'll notice myself when I'm just blindly scrolling. I oftentimes find myself like get in compare and despair or feeling jealous of women entrepreneurs who are kind of the CEOs of startups and very big companies. Okay. So this new wave of women, which is incredible, who are like CEOs of these startups that go on to become unicorns. And I notice in that that, you know, there is some desire for me to accomplish a certain amount of things or to be able to create things in the world that I wanna create. But oftentimes like when I really ask myself like the question of um how is this person an example of what's possible? I really think about like I could start a startup if I wanted to. I could come up with an idea. I could go after funding. I could do all of these things. Is that really what I want? And the reality is is no. I mean like in no way fits with the type of lifestyle that I wanna have, that I wanna be with my kids and stuff. So are there parts of it that I think are appealing that appeal to a certain parts of my personality and ego? Yes. A hundred percent but it's just a choice that I don't really actually want in my life. And so it's good because it instantly kind of brings me again back to like that's what I want but what is it that I'm feeling jealous of? Right. What is it that I think they have? What is it that I think they feel and how do I get more of that in my life, realizing that it's not through the vehicle that they have, there's something else that I'm after. And when I can do this exercise, it allows so much clarity in my own life of like what I'm missing, what I want. It allows me to use social media in actually such a more positive way. Like I don't feel, I think a lot of times people feel like the dread or the feel bad about their lives as they're scrolling. And I, as I've learned to do this more and more of figuring out, you know, like how can I let the people that I see on social media be inspirations to me and how can I stop thinking that like there's not enough room for me or there's not enough space or possibility. It's so expansive. Right. It gets me excited. I look through things and I'm like oh my God, if this person can do that, do I wanna try doing that? I tell you guys, I have like a list of things that I wanna do. And I like have to put it in a journal because right now I'm focused on this business and I'm focused on growing the podcast. And I love this so much but I constantly look at other people and doing like cool things and I'm like maybe I wanna try that. That looks cool. Right? Because I've opened myself up to like the truth that there are just so many possibilities that I could go after it if I wanted to. It's just my choice. Whether I wanna put in the work, whether I wanna do what's required for it. And in this stage of my life, a lot of that is no. And maybe in other stages, it'll be yes but I want you to like go through these steps the next time you're finding yourself or if you have somebody right now that you constantly find yourself comparing to maybe it's like a family member or friend or somebody on Instagram that you're constantly doing this. I want you to go through these steps. Okay. I want you to like go through the highlight reel and really look at what they've done to be there. I want you to look at the selected comparison and then look at the whole picture and ask yourself if you would trade places with them. I want you to look at the jealousy as an arrow to what you really want and get clear on what it is that you want. How do you think that they feel and can you have access to that feeling now? And then I want you to see like how can that person be an example of what's possible to me? When you go through all that, I promise you you'll start having such a different relationship with comparison and jealousy and envy and all those emotions that so many of us are a little bit afraid of. They’re nothing to be afraid of. Just emotions you feel. Super normal and actually very helpful. Alright my friends, I hope this was helpful and I will see you next week for another episode.

Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.