Comparison kills confidence, callings, clarity... what other "c" words can we come up with... courage, calm, and creativity... It's been taking me out of my power my whole life. And I'm done giving it my power. God didn't make me to be compared. He didn't make you that way either.
Comparison is what drives imposter syndrome, it's what keeps us small, and it's time for us to fight back.
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Welcome to becoming ourselves, the podcast, where we help you answer the questions Who Am I? And why am I here. And then we help you get out of your own way because the world is waiting for you to show up and own your power. You have been placed on this earth for purpose, with purpose and on purpose by a God who loves you fiercely. And he has called you to something that has been specifically created for you right now. I'm Juli Wenger, I'm a coach and author, speaker and Enneagram teacher, a Jesus lover and an entrepreneur that rocks ADHD, I am passionate about helping you step into the life you've called to, that something you know is possible, but haven't been able to reach. So buckle up, because it's not always an easy ride. But on the other side, is a life that is fired up to filled. Let's go. We are back with the fan favorite summer. And as I continue to rest and refuel and plan and dream about season five that is coming this fall, which is going to be fire. By the way. I wanted to spend a little time today circling back to the topic of comparison. Why? Well, because it's the thing that I see take people out more than pretty much any other thing. And this week we are jumping into overcoming because that's Yep, you can over commit. It's an ongoing process, though. And it's something that is going to take, changing the way that you think, changing the way that you see the world changing the way that you perceive. And that's what I love so much about the coaching space. That's what I love so much about the empowerment space. And that's what I love so much about God because there's this promise that we can step out of it. Romans 12 two, which is one of my Keystone verses, says do not conform to the patterns of this world, aka comparison and what everyone else expects of you. But instead, Be transformed by allowing God to change the way you think. And when we change the way we think we change the way we perceive we change the way that we interact, we change everything, fundamentally. And then all of a sudden, things become less relevant, like what everyone else expects, or what everyone else thinks. Because it doesn't reflect the call that's on your life. It doesn't align with your new perspective. And that verse continues on to talk about how when you change the way that you think when you change the way you perceive the world and you change the way that you process and you move through the world, then you can learn God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Then you can learn what you're called to, then you can get clarity on your purpose, then there's the freedom. That's the path through to fired up, fulfilled and free, is letting him change the way that you think change the way that your thoughts which then turn into stories, which then trigger feelings, which then lead to behaviors. Everything shifts. So let's jump into overcoming the comparison trap. Today on the podcast, we are talking about comparison, I wanted to go here because it's been one of my biggest triggers or my biggest struggles in my own growth journey. It's something that has always shown up as long as I can remember. And it's interesting because it's so pervasive. Among all of the people that I talk to all the conversations I have, it comes up consistently. So it's important for us to have some conversations about it and start to understand it. To where I want to start today is with a bit of a story with going back to when I was little. I was that kid that was awkward, tried too hard. That was inherently sweet and likeable and didn't know that she was enough. And so I went through life looking at the popular kids, the quote unquote likable kids and saying Hang on, what are they doing that I need to do to be enough? What are they doing that I need to emulate, to be likable to be not awkward to be someone that belongs and is worthy of belonging. As a really specific example, when I was in grade school, we were in that phase where Nike was a big deal. Nike sneakers, Nike sweaters, you know, the name brand was like Nikes, and Adidas era, Coke versus Pepsi. And our family wasn't in a space where spending our money on Nike sneakers as an example was a priority. It didn't align with my parents values on where the money would go. And so I found myself feeling like and attaching to, you know, in this one space, oh, wall. I don't have that. So that's why. And I bring this up, because it highlighted for me as I was thinking about this whole concept, some of the things that show up, when we get into comparison, sometimes it's shame. It's that sense of, I'm not enough. That sense of I don't belong, that something's wrong with me that I'm doing something wrong. Sometimes it's these questions of what's wrong with me? What about me? What did I do wrong? And other times what shows up is jealousy. And I could be jealous of the kids who had the sneakers I wanted. I could resent them for, you know, their life circumstances as far as I could perceive them at, you know, eight or nine years old being different than mine. I couldn't celebrate the abundance that existed in their life. And sometimes what shows up with comparison is will start to shame people will do that. They don't deserve that. I've worked harder. Or maybe it's, I don't wish poorly for them. But what's wrong with me and we really can't celebrate. I saw this in the real estate industry all the time to have an I mean, that's a space that's curated for comparison, right? It's built around comparison and ego. So we'd have these moments of seeing what other people were doing and their outward projection of what they were doing and feeling like, Oh, what about me? That same feeling as little eight year old Julie, that's still showing up as 28 year old Julie 36 year old Julie going there having all of this quote unquote, success? What about me? What is it that I did wrong, that I'm not seeing the same kind of results that they are. So some of the things that show up when comparison comes into play. They might paralyze us. They might keep us from moving forward, they might have us in self sabotage mode. Comparison is by nature, self sabotaging. It's something that reinforces for us when we over attach to it or not. enoughness is something that reinforces are missing something or not being competent enough, or not being committed enough or not achieving enough or not insert the blank enough. And will often compare to things that aren't even real. Right? So when I sat down and I asked myself, okay, who am I comparing myself to? Here's a list of some stuff that came up other people in my field, other people outside my field, women who are prettier than me, women who are taller than me women who are smaller than me, my husband, better Christians, better helpers, imaginary people, like people in movies, ideals of people. Now these perceptions I have of who people are and how they present that probably aren't even real Instagram perfect people. People with bigger followings people who fill events faster are people who fill courses faster people with happier children, people with bigger houses, bigger wallets, smaller wallets, people who are better activists than me, people who are more resilient than me. And here's what came up for me is it's actually comparing who I tell myself I'm supposed to be with who I am Who I tell myself, I'm supposed to be the standard I'm setting for myself based on the perceptions I have of other people in my sphere. And the challenge with sphere right now is that it's not just people we know, it's people who we follow on Instagram, or LinkedIn or Facebook or clubhouse, or their podcasts or their TV shows, there's so much available. And we take that and we internalize pieces of it, that relate to who we tell ourselves were supposed to be. And it can be crushing. And here's the thing, ultimately, it's not about the outside world. Ultimately, it's about you and you, it's about me and me. It's about that part of us that innately knows we're capable of more, there's a part of us that knows that we're called to more. And when we get into the space of allowing the outside world to dictate what more looks like, when we let the outside world influence what success means, what drives us what we should value, how we should show up how we should look how we should act, how we should behave, what we should achieve what we should know, we give our power to that instead of to that little voice inside of us that quiet, still small voice that says, hey, there's something else. And that quiet, small voice turns into this distortion of what the world tells us and what we perceive that the world tells us. We're supposed to be. There is this louder voice, this inner critic voice this shutting, cutting can't shouldn't voice that gets in the way and it covers its mothers, that small voice that is our inner wisdom, that when we can move toward will help us know what's inherently possible. So let's go to some reality checks here quick. How often are we comparing our life to someone else's highlight reel? I know this comes up a lot with you know, social media and shoulds. And people saying, Hey, don't you know like all of these cliche sayings don't compare your life behind the scenes to someone else's highlight reel. And it sounds cliche, but it's true. Because their life is not your life. Their life does not reflect your life situation. It doesn't reflect your values, it doesn't reflect your story. It doesn't reflect your identity or your calling. But we oversimplify and we take those pieces that trigger us inside that trigger that knowing that we're called to something else. And we're not living our most powerful life, that we're not living our most purposeful life. And we compare these surface things. Here's what's real, the people we compare to have people they compare to, sometimes those people that they compare to R Us. And I've had that conversation with a really dear girlfriend. We were both in the real estate industry. And we're both in a space of transition. And she says, I compare to you all the time. I'm like, Girl, it's beautiful. Right? This is not just a, you know, one way street all the time. But it's those surface perceptions. It's the life circumstance differences. And there are pieces that because of our own insecurity, or our stories that are running in the background, trigger us and sometimes, you know, against each other. When in reality, we are our own competition, we are the person that we get to compare to comparison, in and of itself has a mirror it brings up in our face this stuff that makes us feel smaller, insecure or not enough. When we look at someone else, we want to judge them or we want to shame them or it brings up that like, Ooh, what's wrong with me? It's just reflecting back that hey, I got some work to do. And that's okay. That is life. Life is not this perfection nonsense, but we're seeing on social welfare. Time, it doesn't exist. And anyone who tells you it's perfect, and they've got it all figured out is full of shit, frankly. Comparison is also an invitation for self responsibility. It's an invitation they get curious to say, Hmm, why do I care so much about this? What's behind this? What is it about this that's triggering me right now? Is there some shame coming up? Am I worried about my image? Am I worried about providing Am I worried about being irrelevant? On the shame research, those are three of the biggest shame triggers, image for women provision for men and a relevance at work. So we get curious, we say, what is it that I need to own and work on here? And not only need to, but get to? Because this is exciting, we can start to look at some of these defense mechanisms that come up in our life that are these subconscious things that don't make sense. on a logical level. Right? It's like, okay, yeah, but why would I self sabotage myself by comparing myself to someone else? What purpose does that serve? Well, when we're little, and we're trying to figure out how we fit and how we belong in the world, and where we sit and where we're safe, and we don't have context, it does serve. But then we get older. And we develop more context, and we take more power over our own life. And all of a sudden, it doesn't serve us anymore, but it's still running in the background. Our subconscious is still bringing that up, because we're like, I know how to operate here. I know how things go when we are in this space. But if you change that's different in that scary. Even if we're brave people, there is still that base instinct of stay the same, because the same is safe. Even if the same is suffering. There is a safety in knowing what the suffering experience looks like. So in a jump back to curiosity, and I want to talk about the toolkit, I want to talk about, how do we start to take our power back from comparison. And the first thing is really getting curious about why do I care? What is it that's driving this reaction? What is it that I have to do right now in terms of my own work, the second is starting to give ourselves permission to be ourselves. So it's part of why I love the Enneagram. So much as we start to see the strength and the light and the power in our different wiring, and how even at that level, we are created to be different from each other. I'm not supposed to be the same as my girlfriends, I'm not supposed to have the same results, I'm not supposed to have the same life calling. We're not supposed to live the same journey. And when I can see my own power and how that can serve in the world, that starts to shift the narrative for me, I start to be able to own that who I am is powerful and unique and special and that I really belong to me. And if not everybody likes that, then that's okay. One of the other things that's been super helpful for me is managing the inputs and environments that I'm in very intentionally. And what I mean by that is, I don't watch the news. I don't watch a lot of TV. I've been very cautious about who I follow on my Instagram and my Facebook feeds. I've been conscious of what conversations do I put myself in? Who do I spend time with? If there are people that, you know, I'm scrolling Instagram, and I see another coach, for example, and I feel triggered, and I feel frustrated, every time that I see their stuff come up. I'm going to unfollow that person. Because at this point in my growth journey, I need to work on maintaining my own energy and focusing on my growth, instead of going into this negative, over idealized space of comparison. That triggers me into fear or triggers me and to not enoughness and at some point, I'll grow enough that I'll be able to look at all of that and just be able to celebrate that person. But in the meantime, I'm going to give myself Grace, I'm going to give myself time I'm going to create healthy boundaries that help me show up for me, that helped me be strong that helped me learn to accept myself more. Because essentially what we're doing is we're rewiring pathways in our brain We are creating new responses, we are creating new habits, new patterns. And that takes energy for a while, that takes energy until that becomes a well worn new path. So I'm getting taken out, and my energy is going to try not to be triggered by said other coach or speaker or podcaster, then I'm not focusing my energy on really making sure that that new pathway is strong. Some other things that have really helped is writing it down. And this can be journaling. This can be bullet journals, where we just make a quick note of things this can be where we make a list and we burn it afterwards to let it go. This can be a permission slip to not feel so triggered by somebody, I give myself permission to unfollow this person, I give myself permission to see my own value in my own life. And I also encourage people, and I encourage clients to really evaluate your life and your values and your purpose. Do you even want what you're comparing to? Often we don't, often it's not quite aligned for us, or there might be pieces of it that are, but not all of it. The other thing that I really encourage clients to focus in on is don't over attach to the outcomes. But get clear on where does your passion lie. Because when we can focus on the impact we want to create in the world, and we can focus on what drives us and fires us up. That helps push some of this comparison stuff out of the way. Because we see the potential we start living into and towards that life when you're capable of. And to even know what that is we need to create space for it. Which can come in the form of journaling and writing it down. But it can also come in the form of meditating of slowing down of breathing of sitting and stillness and saying, Okay, what's next for me? What do I feel called to? Our toolkit might involve some sort of a spirituality or a faith tradition. For me, that's been having patience and trusting that there's divine timing for my own growth and what's going to come next. Now, sometimes I'll see other coaches fill programs as soon as they launch them. I'm like, oh, what's wrong with me? And then I zoom out, and I saying and what? I'm on my own journey. I'm in my own season, I'm learning to honor myself more, I'm learning to lean into flow more. And it's okay, if it's different. I have some compassion for myself to say, okay, self, you see you. I know this is a struggle. I know this feels gross. I know this feels icky. But you've got this. You know what you're about, you know what impact you want to make. You know what the other side looks like? You've seen it? Hell, girl, you've done it. You've been co creating already. So let's just zoom out from all the comparison and focus on You. Which is kind of that stay in your own lane cliche, but it comes from a place of being kind and not beating ourselves up. We stay in our own lane by focusing in on who are we? What is our passion? What is our purpose? How are we going to live that and then we create guardrails around that my guard rails this year are fun faith and flow. These are the things that I'm surrounding myself with and the lens I'm looking through to evaluate what I want to do. Instead of evaluating what I do by looking at what other people are doing and how successful quote unquote they're being. Because I'm going to do it for me and I'm going to follow my own calling and my own path. The last thing I want to mention that's been super helpful for me in my own journey of starting to detach from comparison and starting to live my most powerful life and tune in and listen to that still small voice that tells me where to go next is outside support. Because this growth is not possible without a network of humans. And that might be a collection of really good friends that you can lean on. That might be to use shame resilience terminology a square squat a list of people that you know will support you and hold you up without judgment when you need it. That might also be outside support in terms of therapists and coaches. And even as a coach, this is something that continues to be important for me, because we can't always see our own blind spots, it gets easier as we do more of our work. But we don't always see them. They don't always show up right away, it depends how we get triggered depends how much time we're spending in observer space, zoomed out on our life. So having someone that can help us work through and unless there, what's showing up, is really valuable. making that investment in, do I have someone in my life who I know will call me out on that stuff, who I know will hold space for me who I know will help reflect back some of my own language, who will help me create some new awareness because it's from that space of being aware of all of this so we can actually create some change. So I hope you'll go on the journey with me to pay attention and watch for comparison showing up. Any Do you want to say quickly, there can be times when comparison can serve us. It's those moments when it's motivating, or it's empowering. And when you have a conversation with a friend, and they're talking about some kind of success or some kind of vision, and it makes you feel all fired up. Because there's something about what they're saying. That's not so much about them. As a person. It's not so much about an idealization. But there are some characteristic that we can inherently see in ourselves. There's some characteristic or something that aligns with what we value. And it's within reach. It's something that calls us to a higher version to be a better version of ourselves, calls us towards that purposeful, powerful and passionate life. And those moments where it does serve us are to be embraced. Not all comparison is bad. But when we over associate, and over idealize the comparison, when we give it too much power, that's when it becomes dangerous. That's when it takes us out. That's when it has us playing small. Instead of living into the life we know we're capable of living the life we know we're called to pay attention to both I hope this episode stirred something up in you or gave you some hope. Until next time, know that you are enough that everything in you that has been placed in you has been put there to help you carry out the calling that is on your life. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please please please hop into wherever you listen to podcasts and leave a positive review for us. And the links that we mentioned during the episode will be in your show notes. So make sure to check those out too. Until next time, be love. Be joy. Be strong and courageous and be too much. I dare you