How to Cure a Case of Comparavitis

enviousSometimes, I notice patterns in my clients that spark my interest. Lately, for example, a lot of my clients have been depressed.

Sure, the horrible winter weather across much of the US probably has something to do with it. But in the bigger picture, for many of them, there’s something else going on.

At this moment, many of my clients are suffering from something I like to call comparavitis.

Sounds like a bad eye infection, right? And in some sense it is, because it has everything to do with your VISION: your vision for yourself, your vision of your future, and your vision of your role in the world.

What does comparavitis look like? Here’s a few examples:

“I graduated from business school the same year as all of these people, and they’re all SVPs now, and I’m not. How did this happen? There’s something wrong with me.”

“All my friends are getting married and settling down. Some are even having kids. Why am I not in that place yet? There must be something wrong with me.”

“I got laid off but that jackass down the hall in my department did not. What the hell is wrong with me?”

I want to let you in on a little secret: THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.

Comparavitis is a dangerous disease. Here’s why:

When you compare yourself to others, you cut off your access to gratitude.

You diminish the power of your achievements and the beauty of your spirit.

And you negate one very important truth: there is no one like you, anywhere.

In other words:

The reason why you are where you are is because THIS IS YOUR PATH.

YOURS, not anyone else’s.

That means that you are learning everything, experiencing everything, getting everything in your life at exactly the right time for YOU.

And that’s a GOOD thing, because (trust me on this one), your path is leading you somewhere grand.

A quick story: about ten years ago, at a moment where I was suffering from a serious bout of comparavitis myself, a very good friend and mentor told me something really smart. I was on the phone with her, and I was really upset. She interrupted my latest rant about why I wasn’t married, settled down, having kids or in a job I loved, and said the following:

“There are no wrong paths and there are no wrong choices. You are exactly where YOU are supposed to be.” (Tweet it out, yo!)

And here’s the thing: she was right.

Had I not hated my career as much as I did, I wouldn’t have learned all that I know about career development and progression, which led me to the job I do today– a job I LOVE.

Had I settled for less than what I wanted in a mate, I wouldn’t have met my husband.

Had I married someone else, I wouldn’t have my two AMAZING kids.

NONE of those things would have been possible had I been walking someone else’s path, or constantly doubting whether I should be doing what others were doing instead of following my own intuitive sense of what was right for me.

So the next time you feel yourself coming down with a case of comparavitis, do this.

Remind yourself that your path is yours– your successes, your choices, your victories. You, and only you, get to live your one wild and precious life (thanks, Mary Oliver).

Know that there are very good reasons why you are where you are right now, even if you can’t see them at this moment.

And feel this in your bones: You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Say it again with me: I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Doesn’t that bring a smile to your face?

Wishing you a beautiful, powerful week of honoring your own path. Believe in it. It’s right there waiting for you.

XOXO E

PS. The Ultimate Job Seeker’s Toolkit drops April 2nd. Are you on the list? If not, join here.

 

 

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