Kill comparisonitis with these words of wisdom from coach Lucy Sheridan
Lucy Sheridan, comparison coach, appears on episode 008 of the Big Juicy Creative podcast. She describes herself as the world’s only comparison coach; she helps people go from 'compare and despair' to comparison free in their life and business. She’s also just published a book called the Comparison Cure.
One of those lucky people was me: I worked with her on a freelance journalism piece, on improving self worth, for the brilliant Psychologies magazine. Lucy quickly identified that I’d become overly concerned with other people’s opinions – ie crippled by comparisonitis - and in the process lost touch with who I really was.
The key to getting me out of this crippling comparisonitis was expressing myself. This conversation goes in deep on why creativity, and finding your unique voice, is such a powerful way to avoid comparing and despairing when you look at others' lives; which we can't avoid today with social media.
Lucy talks about how, instead of letting comparisonitis kill our creativity as it so often can, we can use creativity as a tool to kill comparisonitis and shows us how. If you ever suffer from comparing yourself unfavourably to others, please listen to this as her words are so helpful!
Top quotes from Lucy Sheridan podcast
"When I have a 'bum clencher moment' [when I feel nervous about putting creativity out there] I know that is a signpost that I’ve gone further than gone before. My sabotager might start to come in. The panel in our mind starts to come together."
A bum clencher moment could be seeing someone else already doing what you want to do - but... says Lucy:
"If someone else is doing what you want to do it, it tells you there’s a demand. And every Coca Cola needs a Pepsi."
Also... don't feel, because someone else is doing something that you want to do, you can only do it if you do it really differently....
"The way that you are similar to someone can be as much as a reason that someone connects to you as much as you are different."
"Sometimes people pursue the being different and unique but they are not relatable and then things don’t work out."
"No one can take your go. You can’t take anyone else’s."
"Creativity is one of the main tools that all of us have available to be able to get closer or to return and remember who we are. Finding ourselves isn't about new discoveries Indianna Jones style – it’s about remembering and resonating and feeling familiar with those parts of who we are. Creativity is really key."
"Creativity is completely available to each of us in someway too"
"For some it’s composing something – to some it’s finishing another chapter of a manuscript – ultimately creativity is an expression of yourself in any given moment, whether it’s 'I'm going to put a bit more chilli in this soup on Saturday' to I’m going to get up early and look at the lyrics to this, or go to my journal. Creativity is something we all posess. By virtue of the fact we are born with that comes a big opportunity: how and what do I want to be creative in this moment so I can connect back to myself?"
"Whether you're seeing how much Mariah Carey you can cram in a playlist or sitting and painting, or looking at something in a different way - all are an act of creativity."
"Comparisonitis creates as an evil pal which can lead to negative judgment and gossiping"
Comparison kills creativity, can creativity kill comparison?
"Yes I think that would apply".
"Especially to business owners, you must be creating more than you consume. Focusing on yourself and what you want to say cuts off oxygen to comparisonitis and builds more to show for yourself, so you can’t give yourself a bashing."
"When you go into that mindless scrolling mode ask: how much am I creating vs consuming?"
"See the subject of your comparisionitis as inspiration to motivate yourself"
"Allow and acknowledge that you are in comparison. Don’t cancel your feelings. We all do it."
What you can do...
"Oh I’m comparing here we go...Take some big belly breathes... This takes away sting of adrenaline... Rub your chest say 'alright kid we’re having a moment. You’re going to be ok'. The fog will then go away."
"But [getting over comparisonitis is] not about a tyranny of positivity"
"Get to neutrality – just don’t care too much"
"My fear of regret, which is also climbing, motivates me. If I get to X and I haven't done Y. Then that's only on me. And I'm so uncomfortable with that."
"No one is me and done it my way"
"You don’t need alot of people [friends to support your creative journey]. One is enough. You don’t need a crowd of cheerleaders. You do need ones that make you feel safe and brave to be yourself. When I feel safe I have way more courage and I make better decisions. And I'm more consistent."
"All winter wants is you to go within and take all the cues that nature is screaming at us."
"Winter is a time of being underground, cocooned... what do you need to seed now, to think about, to check in, to plan, for when spring comes around?"
"Connect with your future self, that part of ourselves which connects with wisdom. We are so caught up in the chaos of today and over analysis that we allow our logical intellect to over-ride our inherence wisdom, which you might also call your intuition or higher self. We become disconnected from that. And that leads to the lost feeling. I didn't know what my own thoughts were at that state, let alone my feelings or own inner guidance. And that's why it's so important around comparison that you stay connected to your inner guidance, and are open to it. You can get guidance without meditation, but meditation quiets the mind."
"I trust my inner guidance above all. I’ve lived with the alternative and I can’t do it."
"I'm smart. I'm going to day that overtly because I don’t think enough of us that identify as women do that."
"Enough with the pushing and attachment – do what you can and step away."
"Not trusting our feelings is a dangerous way to live."
"Anyone that’s made any impact in their lives has had some 'feedback'"
"Natural to attract those sort of comments [like 'she's a bit much'] when you are shifting the status quo of who you should be"
"Who you run with is really important. Crowd out the other voices that might speak up as we’re making moves"
"My fear of regret and not having taken my turn, and seeing others doing what I want to do, is way more of a motivator than Gary from the chip shop that doesn’t approve of me getting into my wedding dress of doing a podcast launch"
"If that’s one of the taxes I pay on my dream then fine [some negative comments] I’ll have as many comments as you like"
"I’m not taking feedback from anyone who’s never tried to work on their dream I’m just not"
"I don’t agree with unsolicited feedback. I am just not available for it and people are really clear that I’m not available if they ever offer it. People that are critical have no idea what it takes to hold the stare with your fear pretty much every day... that is why I am so zero tolerant of ‘you’re a bit much’. I’m, like, well you’re a bit fucking boring! Excuse my language. That's my BSE - my big sister energy - coming through. I feel protective over people having a go. I've seen too many dreams die at that crossroads."