Comparing ourselves to everyone else is usually a recipe for disaster. And it’s also something you can choose NOT to do.
But we do it anyway. Yet we don’t pay attention to how others look up to us. Instead we use these comparisons to highlight our own shortcomings. What’s the cure to comparisonitis?
Here are 3 ways to combat that nasty habit. Remember that:
- What everyone is showing you is mostly bullshit
- You have plenty of time to reach your goals
- You ARE a badass even if you don’t feel it 100% of the time
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In this episode
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[00:00] Paulette: Buen día y welcome to the Maker Muse Podcast, the place where child free Spanglish speaking, mujeres fuertes are inspired to find their confidence, su confianza, through creativity. I’m Paulette Erato, the Maker Muse.
[00:18] Hey mi amigue! Welcome to the last episode of 2022. The podcast is going to be on hiatus for a little bit longer, but you will still get two episodes a month until season three is ready, okay?
[00:29] This recording was made in the summer of 2022 in my now defunct Facebook group. And available for you here today, thanks to a poll from my Instagram followers. If you wanna vote on future topics, give me a follow through the link in the show notes. Also get on the mailing list. The link for that is there too.
[00:47] So you’ve heard the phrase comparison is the thief of joy. And it’s a hundred percent true. Because we’re never comparing apples to apples when we’re looking at another person and we’re a little jealous and we’re a little angry that that’s not us, right? What you’re looking at is their highlight reel.
[01:06] You’ve heard this too, that you know, Instagram is just everybody’s highlight reel, but inst and take out Instagram and insert any real life scenario. It could be social media, it could be what you see on the news. It could be what you’re hearing at the office. You’re only ever seeing one tiny kernel of a person’s reality.
[01:23] And you may have also seen those behind the scenes shoot of someone’s like beautiful setup. And then what’s really happening behind the scenes is a total shit show. I’m here to tell you, it is always a shit show. Stuff that looks perfect, never is. First of all, perfect is subjective, right? Like it might look perfect in one light and then you turn slightly and oh, I see all of the dimples on my ass.
[01:47] But my ass is perfect the way it is, right? If it’s perfect in one light, it’s perfect in all lights. My point being that you are who you are. You perf you are perfect as you are, and as long as you continue to grow, then you’re doing it right. So I, I actually gave myself a gift of realization earlier this week, and I wanna pass this on to you.
[02:09] I am in conversation with a woman who is very well educated. We are both first Gen Latinas, I believe. I mean, I am. I think she is too. And she speaks around the same topics that I do. Right? And it’s very important that on the podcast, I am representing Latinas specifically, even though the stuff I talk about is, is universal.
[02:34] Anybody can listen to it and get something out of it. But I’m here for the Latinas anyway. This woman has an astounding resume. And has a great following, she’s doing a lot of the things that I want to do as well. And I was like, fuck man, uh, why, why aren’t I there? And then I realized, her entire career has been around this thing. Her entire career.
[02:57] She’s been doing this for at least 15 years. I’ve been doing it since March. Since March. How, how am I even gonna accomplish a fraction of what she has accomplished in her entire career in six months? I mean, the truth of the matter is it probably won’t take me 15 years. It might, it might take two to five.
[03:16] So my timeline’s a little bit more compressed, and the reason for that is because I’m starting later in life. That’s actually an advantage in situations that we don’t give ourselves enough credit for. Because I have all of the life experience now at this age to see where some mistakes might happen and I can avoid them.
[03:37] So that is a benefit nobody talks about. So let’s talk about it. So my timeline won’t take as long because I won’t have to make as many of the same, not mistakes, but I won’t have to go down certain paths. One, because I can use her as an example, and two, because my own life experience will come into play here. And we are not going to have the same careers.
[04:00] We, again, we speak in different circles. There’s just, you know, if there’s a Venn diagram, there’s a little sliver where we overlap. So we’re not gonna do the same thing. But either way, where she is in her life now, she has earned, she’s earned that. And she probably had a mentor who it took them longer to achieve the same thing, the same level. So she got her own compressed timeline.
[04:20] The relief I felt in that moment when I had the realization was like this huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and you know who put that there? Me. I only have myself to blame for that specific situation. It’s like I feel like I’m running up against a deadline, but who made the deadline?
[04:41] You can change your deadlines that are yours. You know, if you made a deadline for yourself, I recommend sticking to it. But if it’s overwhelming you and it’s just, and it’s unreasonable, fix that. Stop making yourself worry over things, that in the end, only bring you anxiety and all of these negative feelings instead of joy.
[05:04] Like there should be joy in the work that you do. Now other situations, sometimes we sit there and compare ourselves to people who are our same age. And you’re thinking they’ve gotten so much further in their life than I have at the same time, but they didn’t have your circumstances. I know a lot of you know about my book Benchmarks are Bullshit, and I’ll leave a link in the sh in the show notes like I’m doing a podcast.
[05:28] Uh, benchmarks are bullshit. I wrote it for my 18 year old niece when she was going off to college, and it was all the things that I wish I had known at that age. And here I was writing it at 40 something . I’m 23 years older than her, so 41. And it was such a cathartic release for me that I was like healing that part of myself, that 18 year old who was bewildered by the world. And up until that age I was the kid and that everybody was being compared to, you know, I graduated at the top of my class, everything came easy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[06:01] Right? I’m not that person anymore and I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to be the standard that everyone judges their kids against. Well, maybe I do. Maybe I do, but not in that way, you know? Not in that gross like, fighting for success kind of way. I am here to uplift everyone who wants success.
[06:21] Like you want it, let’s go get it. Not in, this is how I did it, this is how you’re supposed to do it. That isn’t true because my benchmarks are different. So anyway, in the book, I mean, the entire point of the book is, and it’s a tiny little like 10 page read, is that benchmarks are bullshit! You cannot compare your reaching certain milestones at a certain time against other people.
[06:43] My own life, let’s see after 18, how it turned out: I spiraled into a severe depression after my freshman year. So it took me six years to get out of college. I went in in 1996. I graduated three schools later cuz I had to jump around in 2002. So I was 24 years old. I was already two years behind my colleagues, my peers.
[07:04] I did not get married until I was in my late thirties. I do not own a house at 44. And all of these, if I was comparing myself, oops. If I was comparing myself to my peers who have established careers, oh, oh, that’s another thing. I didn’t start this podcasting career until I was 43 in March. I’ve had a birthday since then.
[07:26] I could really feel bad about myself if I sat there and compared myself to other kids I graduated from high school with who did not graduate at the top of their class, who did not have all the advantages of that at the age of 18. But why would I do that to myself? Why? Because that’s a choice you can make.
[07:44] You compare yourself to other people. That’s a choice you are making to give yourself grief. It’s like you are choosing to just stab yourself in the stomach over and over, and over…for no reason. You are not receiving any relief from that. I know sometimes I’m really bloated and I feel like if I stab myself in the stomach and just allow all of that air out, it would feel better.
[08:04] But that doesn’t happen and that isn’t true, and it doesn’t happen here either. And sometimes you just have to go through it yourself, right? Sometimes you just have to realize through your own experience that comparison is messed up. There are developmental milestones that are important when you’re raising children.
[08:23] Like, you know, if by nine to 12 months they haven’t achieved these milestones, maybe they’re a little behind. But we’re not babies. We are adults. We measure our time in years, not months. You’re not going around saying, I’m 432 months old. No. So give yourself the gift of realizing that you have plenty of time, you have plenty of time.
[08:43] The gift of the realization that what other people are showing you is just a tiny kernel of their real lives. What you are showing other people is probably just a tiny kernel of your life. Plenty of people are looking at you and saying, I wish I was that badass. And you’re not feeling badass at all, right sometimes?
[09:00] I feel badass most of the time, but not all the time. Like I really miss my husband right now. He’s not home and he’ll be home tomorrow, but this is the longest we’ve been separated in since 2018. When I was gone for 10 days, but I was always the one gone and I was busy like for 10 days. I was on a program in Canada, so I didn’t have time to miss him.
[09:18] He doesn’t have time to miss me, but I’m home alone and it’s lonely. But again, this is temporary. So I’m trying my best to feel badass. I went to the gym, I kicked ass. I’m like doing all this stuff, but I still miss my husband and that’s okay. It’s okay to still feel like I’m not a hundred percent badass today, because you are building a hundred percent badass every day. This is something you can build up to.
[09:41] So that’s my cure for comparisonitis. Realize that what everybody’s showing you is mostly bullshit. You have plenty of time. And you are actually a badass. You are. So if you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments. I’ll leave a link to that book. I’ll even give you a discount code if you don’t already have it.
[09:59] Okay? I hope you have a very nice day and I will see you later. That’s a burrito!
[10:06] Wanna talk about this week’s episode? Feel free to DM me on Instagram. My info is always in the show notes. And if you’re looking to be a guest in the future for the Maker Muse Podcast, check out the guest form on my website at themakermuse.co. Yes, themakermuse.co. It’s also linked in the show notes.
[10:24] And hey, muchisimas gracias for listening to another episode of the Maker Muse Podcast. Are you subscribed? If not now would be a great time to do it. New episodes come out every Tuesday. I’m on Apple, on Spotify, wherever you listen. And then can I ask you a favor?
[10:41] Could you please tell all of your friends and family about it? ¿Sus amigues, su familia? Because if you love it, they probably will too. And I’d really appreciate it if you could rate and review it wherever you’re listening right now.
[10:53] ¡Hasta la proxima!