How to Stop the Comparison Trap

What’s the old phrase – Jealousy is a green eyed monster? This guy’s eyes are more yellow than green and he’s clearly not a monster, but he definitely looks like he’s checkin’ out the competition!

Whether you’re working in a company or working for yourself, getting caught in the comparison trap is a sure fire way to derail progress. It’s human nature to look at the people around us and see what they’re up to. There’s no danger in being curious or looking for inspiration. When it gets tricky is when that curiosity or desire for inspiration morphs into jealousy, or as I like to call it – comparison-itis!

When you feel yourself getting sucked into the comparison trap there’s 1 sure-fire way to bring yourself back: Values.

I define values as the things that are true for you, no matter what the situation. Whether you’re at work, at home, with friends or with strangers; values are the consistent things that are always with you. You can find some great values assessment tools online if you want to do a full exercise, or you might even come up with 3-5 things just by considering my definition.

Once you’re clear on your values, they become your touchstone and a guide for making big decisions. They also help ground you back in your unique abilities and capabilities when the comparison-itis kicks in. Sure, you may desire the promotion a colleague received or the business model of another entrepreneur. That can be absolutely fine, as long as it doesn’t turn into derailing jealousy. When you ground yourself in your values, you come back to you. You return to the touchstone that is part of your foundation and which informs your decisions.

Jealousy happens. Comparison-itis gets its claws in the best of us. Values are the tool that bring you back to yourself; back to your unique gifts, and back into a grounded place of knowing who you are and seeing the others as inspiration…not competition.

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