There’s a great quote which says “Don’t compare your back stage to someone else’s highlight reel”
It’s often very easy to forget that whilst you’re full of admiration or perhaps even secretly envious of those people who seem fearless in the face of challenges, who are awarded promotions, or who are able to confidently present themselves well and seem self assured in both their personal lives, relationships and careers, what you may often see and compare is their shining highlight reel to your backstage clutter. So if you’re comparing two different sides of a coin, what is there to compare and why do we do it?
The truth is that everyone (and I mean everyone!) has a shining highlight reel and a backstage shadow to their lives and it depends on the circumstances and relationship dynamics as to which side of your life you choose to show. Yet what if you were to compare your backstage stories, shadows, experiences, self doubt, vulnerability and fears with theirs? Often people who have been hypnotised by the highlight reel are surprised to find that others who seem to have it ‘all together’, also have a backstage life and they also experience these human emotions and vulnerabilities. The highlight reel on the other hand, shines a light on the very best parts of a person and their life. Rarely does the highlight reel (just like a photo album) show the uneasy and challenging moments, but it does showcase everything in the best light possible.
So how can you stop comparing your backstage to someone else’s highlight reel?
1. Remember everyone has a backstage life and a highlight reel
No one has a perfect life or career so it’s important to be aware of what you’re hearing, seeing, what your triggers are and how you’re responding.
2. “I’m too busy watering my own grass to notice if yours is greener”
Try to focus on your life, career, values, qualities, skills and gratitude rather than focusing on someone else’s life. When we begin to focus on our own goals we begin to gain clarity, focus and work towards our goals!
3. Remind yourself of what you have rather than what you don’t have
All too often we can focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. This leads us to search for what’s missing in our lives and can tempt us to compare our lives and careers with other people’s situations. Therefore, every time you find yourself searching for what’s missing, replace it with a reminder of something that you already have and you’re grateful for.
4. Re-focus your energy and use your time more effectively
When you start searching for things that are missing in your career or life and you focus on someone else’s life it’s easy to pour all your energy into either wanting to have a little slice of what they have, feeling jealous resentful or bitter, or feeling your own life or career is always incpmplete and missing something. Yet the truth is when energy is depleted negativity thrives and you can end up feeling low, stressed, burnt out and not good enough. This type of energy is then lost and it doesn’t give back! Yet when you re-focus your time and energy on yourself, you will be able to pour kindness, attention, love, support and motivation into your own life and career. The best bit is- this type of energy just keeps giving!
5. Focus on what is real and stop imagining what might be!
It’s easy to think that what you’re hearing and seeing about someone else’s situation is completely truthful and real, but how do you really know it is? Pretence is a great form of protection and defence. If it is truthful then it shouldn’t be a benchmark for your achievements and perhaps congratulating the other person may be a way to create space in your own life for your own gratitude and achievements. If it is a pretence then why are you comparing in the first place? People may seemingly have wonderful careers yet their personal life or relationships are non-existent. Alternatively others may seem to have wonderful relationships but their careers need a positive injection of clarity, motivation and confidence. What’s important to remember is no one has it all!
6. Create your own benchmarks
Healthy competition often emphasises the need to stretch and encourage your own potential rather than focusing on other people. Resilient people have all had experiences of feeling compared or comparing themselves to others, yet what sets them apart is they practice flexing, stretching and toning their own emotonal resilent muscles, re-focusing on their own abilities and potential, becoming their best (not worst) cheerleaders and healthy competition and setting and working towards their own goals. They might also choose to collaborate with the competition with curiosity, motivation, and an openness to develop and learn, rather than responding with defensiveness and fear. Setting your own benchmarks with a positive healthy and motivational mindset will help to propel you forwards rather than sideways or backwards.