You guys, if I’m honest with you, I’m struggling a bit lately. Not with anything major, just dealing with a decent amount of “Why can’t I be her” and “OMG look at their gorgeous house” and “UGH, Look at my messy house”. It can get pretty damaging if you let it simmer and frankly, my brain is on boil.
It’s not that I’m not totally grateful for what I have. Frankly, I know I have way more than most and Adam and I have been discussing a lot about how we can get more involved with our community. Up to now, we were the “donation” type of people and that’s great. We love being able to support good causes financially – even though our donations are likely a drop in the bucket – (SEE! There I go again! Comparison…) but we want to be actively participating too.
I’ve heard other bloggers say things like “Comparison steals your joy” and while true, and while a pretty sentiment, it’s never really hit home for me. Yes, I know that comparing what I have to what others have only allows me to make myself feel bad, but honestly, comparison happens. So what do you do about it? Knowing it steals your joy is one thing, preventing it from stealing your joy is more my speed. I’m a fixer. I need solutions; not platitudes and flowery sentiments.
It was in the midst of one of these bouts of comparison and joy stealing that I approached my Small Business Women and Wine group about it. Do they too compare their lives and their small businesses up against their contemporaries? The answer was a resounding yes, but one answer stuck out to me.
Lauree Ostrofsky, one of those amazing SBWW women, said when she feels the comparisons start to kick in she reminds herself “Eyes on my own paper”.
Whoa. OK, I haven’t heard that since I was teaching elementary school, and never really considered that it would apply outside of a classroom, but wow. Mind opening moment here.
This, this is what I’ve been waiting for – the solution, the “fix” for my comparison spirals. She hit the nail on the head. I need to keep my eyes on my own amazing life. Because it is pretty amazing.
I’m not going to lie, in the week since she dropped that truth bomb on me I’ve still found myself comparing. Even this morning as I sat in bed catching up on my blog reading I found myself ogling a friend’s new house and sighing wistfully about what I could have instead of what I do have. This time I had a tool at the ready though. I reminded myself – eyes on my own paper! – and as I drove to grab a coffee I found myself smiling over the early years living with Adam and how far we’ve come and it refilled my joy.
Yes, comparison will come, but if I can just remember to swing my eyes back on to my own paper then I can get through it, joy retained, happy for friends, other bloggers and other small business women, refocused on what I have and what I’m creating with my own two hands. Because it’s what’s on my paper that should count. It’s what does count.
So to remind myself of this, I created a 5×7 printable (seen above) that I could pin up or frame in my office and I thought I would share one with you. You can grab it below:
Eyes On Your Own Paper Printable – Google Docs (No log in required)
Lauree is an amazing life coach, small business entrepreneur, and author. She’s also an amazing friend and ally. She also gives great hugs. She didn’t ask me to write this post or to promote her at all, but I’m happy to do it. You can find out more about Lauree at her website Simply Leap and you should really pick up her book I’m Scared and Doing it Anyway