We love to compare ourselves and the things we have with others. Feelings that we don’t like what we have or what we achieved and we prefer what others have instead can be crippling. These thoughts can hold us back from fulfilling our purpose. We have to overcome this and it’s not at all easy. In our free Facebook group, Female Indie Musicians Community, Community Managers Beth Matthew and Cayla Brooke did a live about this. If you need a place where people understand you and will support you, go to woscommunity.com and join our group.
Comparing ourselves with others is a learned behavior that has been passed on from generation to generation. Everybody deals with comparison and is an unfortunate part of life. With the pandemic, it’s more difficult more than ever. It’s easier to compare ourselves with other women who we might think are doing better than us.
It all comes down to authenticity and the power that we have as women. We must understand our power as individuals. We all have our individual strengths and individual power. Mary Ann Williamson says that we serve no one by hiding our light. We need to start hearing our own voice and understanding our inner strength as women. Our thoughts that we are not good as others affect our actions and our lives. We should accept ourselves.
For Cayla, her trauma came from abuse and abandonment from her family. This translated to her comparing herself to those people who have families. She found herself looking longingly at other people with families and asking herself why nobody loves her. She felt abandoned and worthless. She was in that spiral of negative thoughts and emotions for ten years. She lost the prime of her life because of that. When she came out of it, she no longer chose to allow her circumstances to steal away her joy, her power, her life, her strength and her purpose. It is normal to feel those feelings but we should not allow ourselves to stay in them and be controlled by them. We cannot compare our beginnings with somebody else’s end game. Comparing should be something that propels us to become better. We should stop it whenever we have negative comparisons in our heads.
Becoming aware of our triggers help us avoid that inner critic. Beth grew up in a loving family but she also experienced some emotional and verbal abuse. It affected her in a way that she became more compassionate. However, it allowed her to put up with more than what she should have and did not allow her to have firm boundaries. When she pursued her music career, battling that inner critic showed its ugly head and gave her thoughts like, “Who do you think you are?, Why were you qualified?” There were a lot of hard things in her family and she learned to hide her authentic self. She remembers being bullied during childhood and that has really affected her. She also experienced infertility in her marriage and she battled with that before too. She compared herself with others but eventually realized that there was a different plan for her which is adoption. Social media also triggers that inner critic. We should set healthy boundaries in our lives and in our minds.
As you continue to grow, aim to be the best version of yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you sometimes fall back into that inner critic and into that spiral. Be aware that your happiness does not come from others but from yourself. Sometimes, we put too much pressure on our loved ones to give us happiness but that is not fair to them. We should accept that our happiness should come from ourselves. Even in social media, people can tell if we are authentic. They care less about what we look like than what we are truly about. We should learn to accept and love ourselves. Do not mind how others might react to you, shine your own light, feed your soul and continue to grow as a person.
When thoughts of the inner critic show up, remember the little light. What’s most important is you let your light shine, not the thoughts that get into your head. It’s our thoughts that hold us back. Circumstances happen and that brings thoughts and feelings that cause us to hide our true selves. If we could change and re-orient what we think the circumstance means, that can change the way we feel about it and what we end up doing. If we can be mindful of those things and make the choice to change those thoughts and actions, we can shine our light no matter what has happened in our past.
Link mentioned in this episode: woscommunity.com