It’s normal to compare yourself to others.
Noticing someone else’s success, beauty, accomplishments, and personality isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, comparison can be used as a tool for increasing self-appreciation.
However, if comparison is currently leaving you feeling like you’re not enough, the solution isn’t to stop comparing.
It’s to examine your brain to understand what you’re making someone else’s value mean about your own.
Because when you can appreciate the value others create, you can also appreciate your own value.
This week, learn why comparing yourself to others doesn’t have to leave you feeling bad, and how to use comparison to bring more love, value, and magnificence into the world.
Join the best course on money I’ve ever created, How to Use Your Beautiful Mind to Get Rich, inside Get Coached!
What you will discover
- Why comparison might feel bad.
- What to do when you find yourself comparing.
- How to know if a thought is serving you.
- Why the solution to comparing yourself unfavorably isn’t to stop comparing.
- How to create more of what you want for yourself.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 456.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hello, my beautiful friends. I am in Hawaii. My son has just pre-qualified for a PGA tournament. He’s about to play tomorrow to see if he gets in to it. If he does, I’m going to be here a whole ‘nother week. It’s so beautiful and so hot here. We’re all getting sunburnt from sitting by the beach and by the pool, and playing pickleball, which is my new obsession.
I am obsessed with this sport, you guys. It is so fun. And I’m talking everyone into playing with me and everyone is getting obsessed with it. It’s so exciting to have kind of a new sport to get good at. We just actually took a lesson with - we’re at the hotel. We took a lesson with the tennis pro here and we ended up all just laughing and playing, which was super fun.
But one of the questions that I got asked in a class that I taught yesterday - I’m teaching a course inside of Get Coached Scholars called How to Use Your Beautiful Mind to Get Rich. So if you haven’t accessed that course, you can access it within that program, inside our membership program.
It is very good. I think it’s one of the best courses that I’ve taught on money. So all the recordings are there if you want to join and get access to that. We have one more live class in that series.
I wanted to address a question that somebody asked me in the class. They were asking, “How do you access your own brain for value?” Because I’m always teaching this idea that we create value with our brains, we create value with our minds, the combination of inputs and our own thinking creates something new in the world.
And that’s a really important concept to understand because if you think about every single creation, all the ingenuity, the human ingenuity, did not come from something external. It came from experience, knowledge, and the thinking power of your own brain.
And that’s true for every single one of us. How we create something unique in the world is by combining it with our own brain. Nobody else has a brain like ours. Nobody can add the value that we specifically can offer. And when we don’t acknowledge that we have power within our own brain, we have something to contribute within our own brain, I think the world misses out on something it’s supposed to experience, which is you.
And unfortunately, our brain also generates a lot of self-doubt and self-criticism and worry that often prevents this from happening. So as we think about accessing our own brain for knowledge, as we think about accessing ourselves for the contribution that we’re supposed to make to the world, we have to trust that we have something within us worth offering.
So one of my students was asking me, “How do we access that? And how do we access our own wisdom and our own knowledge?” So I gave her an example of how I do it. And I was here in Hawaii and I was walking down the beach. There’s a beach path here and I was walking down, and I saw this beautiful woman in a bathing suit walking and I watched another girl watch her walking.
And it was fascinating. The whole thing was fascinating. I could tell that the woman watching this other woman was literally using her beauty against herself. I actually visibly saw this woman feel shame in her comparison to this other woman.
Now, from my perspective, both women were gorgeous. Different body types, different looks completely, but both gorgeous in my opinion. And I wanted to grab her and just be like, “Girl, don’t do that to yourself. Do not. That is not a good use of your brain’s energy to compare yourself to somebody else.”
So as I was walking and evaluating this and thinking about it, I got an idea for this podcast and I said, “Ooh, I should do a podcast on this.” And as I’m doing this podcast, I’m really talking to that woman. Because so many of us are that woman in specific ways.
Some of us compare ourselves to other women’s beauty, to other women’s bodies, to other people’s success, to other people’s lives, to other people’s personalities, sense of humor, accomplishments, all of it. And in that comparing, we can end up feeling bad and we can end up really using the magnificence of other people against ourselves.
And it’s something I want to warn you about, something I want to teach you about because I do think that when you think that someone else is better than you in some way, and you use that against yourself, you block your own magnificence.
This is really important. When you appreciate other people’s magnificence and you see their humanness and you appreciate the beauty and the accomplishment and the success and the humor and the personality in other people, it makes it so much easier for you to acknowledge it and see it within yourself.
When you look at other people and you resent them, or you are mad at them because of their success or beauty or magnificence, you diminish your own. And one of the ways that we can approach this topic and we can approach this way of life is by understanding some concepts.
And the first concept that’s so important to remember is that everyone’s life is 50:50. Everyone’s. It’s a balance of the positive and the negative. When I was young, I talk about this a lot, but when I was young, I was obsessed with Whitney Houston. And I believed that she had the perfect life and she had the perfect body and she had the perfect voice, the perfect success, all of it.
I remember obsessing about how horrible my life was because I couldn’t be like her. This is when I was filled with self-loathing. And of course now, to have the perspective that I do on her life and on my life, I see what a waste of time that was for me, and how painful those moments were when I did that.
And if I was able to understand at that time that of course, Whitney Houston’s life was amazing but it was also awful, just like all of our lives. We have great part of our lives and we have a terrible part of our lives. And when people tell me that they don’t feel like their life is 50:50, I often say, “It’s probably because you’re not evolving or setting big goals for yourself because you’re not experiencing that challenge of finding and accessing who you really could be, in my opinion.”
And that’s not to say that you have to do that, or that you should do that. I’m just saying that if you’re pretty much maintaining a level of what you think is more than 50:50, you aren’t as engaged with the world and the experiences that are amazing and also the experiences that are terrible in the world in my opinion.
So I like to live a life that’s very out loud and very challenged and I put myself in harm’s way. So the 50:50 may be more subtle for many of us, or it may be more extreme. So here’s how I want to present the idea of comparing to other people, and how we can do it in a way that serves us, instead of in a way that hurts us.
So when we’re going to compare ourselves to other people, let’s say for example, you’re the woman walking down the beach and you see another woman and she has a magnificent body, and you appreciate her beauty, and you appreciate the way she carries herself.
And you immediately want to think, “Oh, I’m not like that.” That may be true. You may not be like her. She may be very different than you. So what I want to invite you to do in those moments is appreciate the beauty of it and neutralize it in that way and be inspired, and maybe even motivated by it if it’s success or accomplishment or something that you think you can have.
If there is something that you see in someone else that is available to you, that’s an opportunity for you, that is something that maybe is there to inspire you or motivate you to create in your own life, you can utilize the comparison as energy to get that for yourself.
But oftentimes, you’re going to compare yourself to somebody who maybe you can’t have that. Maybe you’re comparing yourself to someone who is much taller than you, or much younger than you, or has red hair and you have blonde hair in a way that is natural or whatever.
Are there things that other people have that you can admire and appreciate, but know that you can’t have? And one of the ways that you can practice doing this is when you look at something that isn’t human that is beautiful in the world, like right now I’m sitting in my hotel room looking out at the ocean. It’s gorgeous. I’m looking at flowers, I’m looking at palm trees.
Everything I look at is beautiful, but I’m not comparing it to me. I’m not like, “Oh gosh, well, I’m never going to be as beautiful as the ocean. People aren’t going to pay as much attention to me as they do to the ocean.” I’m not putting myself down because of the extraordinariness and the beauty of something else.
And we can do that with people too. We can appreciate their beauty, we can appreciate their success, we can appreciate their magnificence without using it against ourselves, especially if it’s something that we can’t use to be motivated or inspired by.
If you can compare yourself to other people in ways or compare your life to other people’s in ways that you can appreciate, be inspired or motivated by, I highly encourage that you do it. There’s nothing wrong with it. You can look at other people and be like, “Ooh, that’s amazing, I want some of that too. Ooh, I like the way they do that, I like the way they look, I like the way they take care of themselves, I like the way they create success, I would like some of that for myself.”
I believe the reason that maybe we’re interested in other people in that way is because we’re meant to have it as well. But there are other times where we may try to use other people to criticize ourselves, or to be jealous. And I’ve done a podcast on this before but it’s important to understand that when you have feelings of jealousy that turn into you wanting the other person to have less, that is the opposite of creating abundance in your own life.
So if I look at someone that makes more money than me and I wish that they made less instead of wishing that I made more, I’m creating more scarcity in my own life. Not in their life. So if you’re using other people to discourage yourself, to hate on other people, to resent other people, to beat yourself up over other people, there’s an invitation there for you to consider three things.
First consider, is this something that I could be inspired by? Is this something that I could feel good appreciating? Or is this something that could motivate me? And if the answer is no, it’s an opportunity for you to understand your own mind and to coach yourself.
Because sometimes, we will have thoughts that we think are positive because they have positive words in them, but really, they’re actually what I call poison. So some of your thoughts may sound like, “I wish I was,” “I wish I could,” “They are better than me in some way,” “They are lucky,” “They are winning and I am losing.”
And when you look at it that way, the way that you’ll know if your thought is serving you or not is by how you feel. And will that feeling drive you to create something beautiful and amazing in your life, or will it drive you to hurt yourself really?
So I have a friend and she says, “I never like to go to the beach because I don’t want to be sitting out there with my body comparing myself to all these other bodies of women that are skinnier than me, and it just makes me feel bad so I just don’t want to do it. And I don’t like feeling like other people are judging me.”
And of course that’s her prerogative, don’t go to the beach if you don’t want to go to the beach. But I also see it as an opportunity for us to notice our own judgments. Are we looking at other people’s bodies and judging them as this is a good body, this is a bad body, this is a body that is acceptable and deserves attention and this one isn’t?
Because if you are thinking that way, you want to question if you want to be thinking that way. Is that how you want to consciously be thinking about yourself? Is that how you consciously want to be thinking about your body?
And what is the point of going to the beach for you? Is it because you want to sit in the sun and play in the water and talk to your friends, or is it because you’re the one who’s body obsessed, you’re the one who’s judging yourself and other people and being focused on that?
And if that’s not what you want to do, you maybe don’t have to avoid the beach. You may just have to go with the intention of looking for beauty and looking to appreciate and looking to be inspired. But most importantly, we want to love ourselves and others because that feeling of love is so amazing and so powerful.
So if you see someone that has an outfit that you want maybe, or a look that you want, or hair that you love or whatever, and you feel that kind of catch of jealousy or pain or self-discouragement or self-doubt or whatever, you don’t have to be upset about it. You don’t have to be mad about it. You can just be like, “Oh, that’s my brain’s patterning. That’s what my brain has been taught to do.”
I think that there is a tremendous amount of comparison, painful comparison that is happening on social media. And everyone looking at everyone else, and everyone being judged by everyone else with their likes and their comments and that sort of thing.
It’s like we have put ourselves in a position where other people’s attention and other people’s commentary about us seems to matter more than our own likes and our own commentary about ourselves.
And I think this has to be a conscious choice that we make. I do not think the solution is avoiding everything and avoiding comparing. I think comparing is fine if we do it in a way that creates a sense of appreciation, inspiration, and motivation for the world.
There are beautiful things in the world. There are crazy successful people in the world. And if we can approach success and acknowledgment and other people’s attention and other people’s beauty, other people’s magnificence in a way of appreciation, we will actually create more of that for ourselves.
The way that I have really helped myself with doing this in the world is by understanding that we need every single one of us. There is no one more worthy and there is no one better than anyone else. And we’re all dealing with 50:50.
So if I was meant to look like Whitney Houston, if I was meant to be the size of Whitney Houston, if I was meant to have the voice of Whitney Houston, if I was meant to travel the world like she did, when she did, that would have been my life.
But I could never have been Whitney Houston better than she was. I was meant to be Brooke Castillo. I was meant to be who I am. And she needed to make her contribution and I need to make mine, and they’re very different. And me trying to be an imitation of her or compare myself to her in a way that discourages me from being truly who I am meant to be, the world misses out completely.
And so instead of looking outside into the world to see what’s great and to try to be like it, I want to recommend that you look inside and you bring something new to the world. You bring some magnificence that maybe we’ve never seen before, a way of appreciating you in a way that we can learn to do that has nothing to do with the traditional, socialized idea of what beauty is, of what success is, of what it means to be winning.
And I think the more most of us do that, the more interesting the world becomes. When we’re all trying to be like someone else, we’re all trying to follow a certain influencer and be influenced by them, I think we miss out on our own influence for ourselves.
So if it’s true that everyone is magnificent in their way, and maybe some people are more magnificent playing basketball than you, maybe some people are more magnificent at being taller than you, or making money than you, or creating art than you. That’s perfect. Use it to inspire. And if it doesn’t inspire you, at least use it to appreciate.
I want to call an end to comparing yourself in a way that hurts you. I can’t see one single upside. Not one to looking at other people and feeling badly because of their life. That makes no sense to me. We’re all here doing this. Someone else is having a great, fantastic, happy, amazing life. They’re bringing more happiness and amazingness to this world. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s a great thing.
And you’re meant to bring your beautifulness to the world. And maybe you don’t have the same opportunity, and maybe you’ve had some real genuine traumatic experience, and maybe you don’t have what you think are natural talent, or natural beauty or whatever. Why might that be?
Why might your magnificence be meant to be different than someone that has those things? How can you shine as bright as you possibly can for yourself? For your own evolvement, for your own life?
I don’t want to compare myself to anyone else and make myself feel bad ever again. I want to only compare myself to other people and make myself feel good about the world, about them, and about myself. And I invite you all to do the same.
Have a beautiful week everyone. I’ll give you an update next week on how the golf goes. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.
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