Let’s get real on comparing our financial life to others and the resulting negative self talk. “Look at that. Look at them go. Wow, they are doing so well. Everything always goes right for them. How did they do it? Geez. I could never do that. I’m so far behind. They just got lucky. I’m not good enough. I’ll never make it. I don’t deserve it. I give up. I’m just going to sit here. Maybe another time.”
Have you ever heard self talk like that before? Who was saying that? Ummm…ahem. Did you put your hand up?
Yeah. We’ve all been there at some point. It’s tough on ourselves when we do that. And hopefully we are not permanently dwelling in comparison land.
This is a great and so true quote.
“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” Regina Brett
What’s Behind the Curtain?
Do you really know what’s behind the financial curtain of others? You get a snippet as you work together in the office, see someone getting into their fancy car at the shopping mall, or drive by the neighbor putting in new landscaping at their home.
That’s just a glimpse into a slice of their full financial story and it’s too easy to compare ourselves to the negative side. What happens then? Our minds start the bad self talk that slows us, diverts us, distracts us, and even stops us. Basically we fall into inaction because the self talk “reality” is that we are behind, will never make it, and maybe we just shouldn’t even want that anymore. Importantly we lose the wind in our sails for our financial practice and the path towards financial independence.
How Does Comparison Apply to our Financial Lives?
Each of us are where we are right now for our financial health and goals. All the past actions and activities have served to get us to right where we are. Nothing can change that reality in the moment. We can be envious of others and how they “appear” in their financial lives. Unless we ask them it’s just our impressions, thoughts, and projections. They may “appear” to have all in order, but they also might not have much saved for their financial goals. Or maybe they carry a lot of debt. Or are just scraping by because of living beyond their means.
They are they. You are you. Comparison to others does little to nothing to benefit your financial path. It distracts, disconnects, disenchants, discharges, disempowers, and whatever other disses you want to add. No good!
You are unique. Check out your fingerprints. See we are all unique. Here’s another great quote to put on the bathroom mirror.
“Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde.
Let’s Change the Negative Self Talk Conversation
Instead of downward spiraling and negative self talk how about replacing that with upward spiraling self talk about curiosity, questions, and learning. What are they doing? How did they get there? What can I learn from them? How can I apply that into my world?
Even better. Let’s have a self reflection conversation for ourselves and about ourselves. Forget everybody else! What do I want? What does success look like? Feel like? What’s my path? What’s my first step? How can I do the best I can starting from right where I am today? How can I learn from the past and let it go? What shifts can I make? What do I need to stop doing? How do I align with my true self?
“Comparison with myself brings improvement. Comparison with others brings discontent.” Betty Jamie Chung
Get out and find YOUR journey, then enjoy YOUR journey!
Community Conversation Questions:
- Who do you find yourself regularly comparing yourself? What is that you “see” in them? What could you learn from them? Could you talk to them about that and get their tips?
- What is that you have that others wish they had? Think beyond “stuff”. What about your family, health, friendships, experiences, skills, and activities? Take a moment regularly to reflect on the “wealth” that you enjoy beyond the “stuff”.