Recently, I have been doing work with clients around judgement and comparison.This has increased my curiosity on the subjects due to the vast reaches these have in our lives, and recognise the impact it has on my own.
We are persistently bombarded with messages that create potholes and triggers for us to fall prey to when it comes to judgment and comparison. The potentially harmful behaviours of these can take us away from who we are as individuals and can diminish our capacity for empathy and compassion. It stops us from working with ourselves and instead causes us to work against ourselves and others. It is toxic and causes damage in so many areas of our lives and has far reaching consequences. It can take away our personal freedom and sometimes our ability to make positive decisions and choices.
The interesting thing about this for me is that we fear being judged and compared. We turn this inwards and end up judging others according to how we judge ourselves. We set expectations and standards according to what we think is expected of us, and so the standards and ideals we have of others are also high and often predictably geared for disappointment. However, we lose so much of ourselves in the process, and this is because we are no longer working towards our own values. It can impact our self-esteem and over time corrodes our confidence.
Confidence that has corroded over time can be hard to recover. It takes courage and the ability to be vulnerable, which historically are our triggers for judgment and comparison. “Am I as capable or strong as…?” “Am I brave or good enough?” “Am I clever or educated enough?” “Am I thin or attractive enough?” You get the idea. When we compare ourselves to others we lose sight of what is important to us and what our values are. We are judging ourselves in ways that are not healthy or productive. It is much better to look at what we already have going for us and to identify our strengths and work from there – not from where someone else is. We lose sight of our journey and can often disregard our identities in the process. We also lose the compassion and empathy required to build our confidence. Not only that we tend not to consider the person we are comparing or judging and their journey. How can we know their struggles and how they have walked through life to get to where they are? We lose perspective.
We must fight the good fight – our fight for personal freedom and move away from what has or is holding us back. In doing so we are able to reconnect with our own values and what is important to us. This enables us to strive and achieve in our own arenas and not someone else’s. This way we will know and understand that whatever we set our minds to do we are doing it because it is right for us and aligned with who we are as individuals. This in turn gives us the capacity for self-compassion and empathy, which go a long way in rebuilding our confidence and self-worth. We are working toward our own ideals and no longer judge others for how they walk through life and therefor there can be no comparison, because the two are markedly different and cannot be compared at all.
One way to start working towards our own personal freedom is to become aware of when these triggers occur. Once we are aware of these we can acknowledge that it is happening and begin to use new tools to change the pattern of behaviour that we have found ourselves in. These tools are based on changing the communication and language that we default to in such circumstances. This takes practice and time, just like it would learning anything new. However, once you are on the road to mastering this, the differences in feelings, behaviours and outcomes are enormous.
When we identify what our values are and what is important to us as individuals, combined with our new tools, we are able to practice so much more compassion and empathy. This in itself is a gateway to increased confidence, self-esteem and worth, because we are able to acknowledge our own strengths and truly recognise our own worth.
Personal freedom is so important. When we have this, its influence is far reaching and enriching to not only ourselves, but also those we share our lives with.
If this has resonated with you and would like to do work around this topic or any other, contact me and find out how coaching can help you.
Tel: 07835 282442