When I can’t get to sleep at 3am in the morning I use the borrowbox app to read a random ebook. Reading distracts me from the fact I can’t sleep and therefore helps me fall to sleep. I don’t expect to actually read the whole book because it's just a catalyst for sleep but every now and then I get captivated and read till my alarm goes off at 6am!
This week I stumbled across Comparisonitis by Melissa Ambrosini. To be honest I wasn't expecting too much as my inner critic is normally quite cynical of successful, beautiful women telling me how tough their life is but I’m trying to be more open minded so I gave it a crack.
As the title suggests the book is about ‘Comparisonitis’ which is the compulsion to compare one’s accomplishments to anothers to determine relative importance. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others and most of the time it is a pretty healthy and natural thing to do. It becomes unhealthy when we use these comparisons to determine our own self worth.
Most weeks I consider myself to be a pretty level headed individual but when I got to the chapter on symptoms I found myself answering ‘yes’ to a surprising large amount of them:
I was quite surprised that I answered ‘yes’ to so many comparisonitis signs but should I be?
If I consider that I spend more time observing people through the lens of social media than I do in real life then it becomes easy to see how my view of the world can get warped. I consider myself to have a pretty healthy relationship with social media as well. I probably only check instagram 5-10 times a day, linkedIn the same and facebook 1-2 times - man, I hate facebook. That's pretty good though right?
My comparisonitis manifests as a scarcity mindset. While I’m mindlessly scrolling through insta I’m subconsciously comparing what others have to myself. I didn’t even realise I was doing it. But now that I’m aware of it that makes total sense. I often leave instagram feeling deflated, for no particular reason, just a sense of loss almost.
Matt and myself have spent the last few years investing everything we can into our businesses! Time, energy and money! While it's the path we have chosen it has required a strict budget that we must adhere to or we can’t pay rent! Years of living this way has left me with a pretty stubborn scarcity mindset that I will have to work on with my therapist (when I can afford to go see her again!).
It's so bad that Matt the other day was talking about how great it would be to go to Primavera Sound 2022 (massive music festival in Barcelona) next year and I blew up at him!
How are you going to afford that babe? We only just made rent this month!
All he really wanted to do was show me the amazing line up! I feel so threatened by our limited resources at the moment that I angrily killed the conversation and made both Matt and myself feel just a bit more shit about our situation. A scarcity mindset sucks and it is going to take some time to overcome but I’m optimistic.
There is a chapter in the book called ‘switch from ‘pie perspective’ to ‘candle consciousness’ that felt like it was written for just me. Pie perspective is how most people view life - as a finite pie. When some else does something amazing they are eating a slice of the universal pie, leaving less pie for everyone else, including me. With so many people doing so many amazing things it's hard to believe there will be any pie lift. This is what a scarcity mindset is. If someone is winning then someone has to lose! Boo!
Compare this to the ‘candle consciousness’ - Imagine a dark room if you will and you are holding a lite candle. A friend walks into the room and can see what's in front of him because of the light from your candle. He has a candle that he lights off yours and you both make the room brighter. A 100 people could come into that room and light their candle off yours. Everyone is winning and no one has to lose. This is an abundance mindset.
What I decided this week is you can have an abundance mindset and still have no money! I don’t need to link my overall wellbeing to my bank account. As I mentioned earlier this is a path that Matt and myself have chosen for ourselves, the entrepreneurial endurance course. We could both get jobs if we HAD to but we chose not to. We have chosen the struggle because we believe in what we do. For so many people around the world there isn’t a choice, we are lucky. I’ll finish my therapy session here by sharing a story from the book.
There was a wolf and a walrus who, rather strangely, decided to compete in a running and swimming race. First off was the running race along the beach, as you’d expect the wolf made it to the finish line first while the walrus lumbered away, crossing the finish line long after the wolf had. In the swimming race the walrus obviously beat the wolf, but the wolf still managed to doggy paddle to the finish line. Both animals crossed the finish line.
The pace we are traveling at is the best pace for us.