Episode 75: It’s Not a Competition

 In Blog

It used to be that you only had your small circle to compare to. Fast forward to now in our digital age where we see people and homes from all over; what they’re wearing, eating, doing, how they spend their time and money, what they’re listening to, watching or reading and we compare ourselves to this endless stream of information. And feel the need to COMPETE and it feels miserable. We can’t stop the media but we CAN learn a healthier mindset with LDS Life Coach Hannah Coles

I’m Hannah Coles and you are listening to The Confidence Catalyst Podcast Episode 75: It’s Not a Competition

Welcome back to the podcast. I just smile when I think of all of you. I see the crazy amount of downloads and I’m just in awe and gratitude to all of you for hanging out with me and hopefully learning and growing and becoming more confidence with each and every episode. It’s so fun to see back and the journey along the way. I’m just filled with love and gratitude for each and every one of you. Thank you all!

So let’s talk about what’s new! After much discussion and many requests I’ve got a separate podcast just for my mid-singles called, The Mid-singles meetup. It’s supposed to air next week – all tech willing, knock on wood! I’ve got the first three episodes that I’ll air starting next week so here’s the deal with that one. It’s on a trial basis because it’s a lot more work and I’m totally willing to do that for you because of how much I love you but there is a catch. I’ll keep it up and running if I’m able to get enough ratings and reviews. So if that’s something you’re interested in and wanting – then tell your friends and family and make sure you subscribe, rate, and leave a review – pretty please! 

I’m super jazzed about it. It’s going to be an amazing place so make sure to keep your eyes peeled – if you’re subscribed to my weekly newsletter that comes out each Thursday, you’ll see the announcement in there so make sure to subscribe on the website: www.thecatalystcoaching.com under Confidence Challenge to be included in the know!

Okay, community spotlight! Speaking of amazing reviews, I’m bringing you a review from Jacschl – I’m sorry, I don’t know how to pronounce that but they write: So much good stuff in here!

5 stars: Fabulous podcast! I love the perspective Hannah brings to each topic. She takes relevant topics we all struggle with and share real life examples and how we can get past it. Good Job, Hannah!

Awe, thanks Jacschl. You’re amazing and I’m grateful for you! Thanks for that stunning review. I love it.

Okay, if you want to be spotlighted on the podcast you know what to do! Go to iTunes and leave a 5 star rating and a review and I’ll be coming for you! Okay, today’s topic. Today’s topic started as a short email that I was sending to my catalyst subscribers. My newsletters are generally pretty short, it’s called, Think about it Thursday and it’s just short, concise gold to think about and to strengthen your confidence each week and I just couldn’t stop. I had so much to say about this because it is a huge hindrance towards self-confidence so I just kept writing and 8 pages later I decided it would be a better podcast than a mini novel to my email list. 

I’m talking about comparing today and that it’s not a competition despite what your brain tries to tell you and sell you on. 

So many of us are in a “hurry”.

We have a to-do list a mile long, a list of wants 10x longer, and a constant nagging sense that we “should” be doing, having, or being more.

But have you paused long enough to ask yourself why?

Where did this need come from?

Why do we put ourselves on a specific time frame only to beat ourselves up if we don’t meet that benchmark?

Now, I’m all for setting and tracking personal measurements but it’s important to be honest with ourselves and see if we’re doing it because we’re inspired to and we WANT to or if we’re COMPARING and thinking it’s what we “should” be.

Comparison has been around as long as we can think back and it’s evolved and changed over time.

It used to be that comparison would flare up only occasionally in the time before television. You only had your small circle to compare to, your community, your family even. 

But then it became more readily available and all with the turn of a button. 

Television offered an easy, delivered straight to your living room opportunity to compare and despair. You might see people wearing the “latest fashions”, going on exotic trips, looking brilliantly radiant and you’d question your own status.

Fast forward to now in our digital age when visual information never sleeps. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night, the constant stream of what other people from all over the globe are doing is there. 

We see homes from every area of the world, how people live, how they organize and decorate their living space, what they’re wearing, how they style their hair, what they’re eating, how they prepare and present their food, how they spend their time and money, what they’re listening to, watching or reading. We see what people are accomplishing or have accomplished and not just from NOW but we have access to so much history so we compare ourselves to this endless stream of information.

It’s no wonder why so many of us struggle feeling insecure and struggle to create confidence.

All this comparing has lead us to feel excluded and separate – different from others and inside wondering, if maybe that’s a “bad” thing – maybe I “shouldn’t” be different…

Tom Chatfield once wrote, “In an age of constant live connections, the central question of self-examination is drifting from ‘Who are you?’ towards ‘What are you doing?” 

Now it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom or only, “Compare and despair”. There’s another option that I want to encourage you to practice and it WILL be a practice at first as we work to re-wire decades of previous biases and limiting thought practices.

Here it is, when you find yourself looking at something and you are tempted to compare and despair – to EXCLUDE yourself from connection –  USE IT as a means to create INCLUSION. 

Practice this thought: “It’s not a competition, it’s a celebration”

I saw that last year and immediately fell in love with it. Seeing what other people have, do, are is a means to inspire, ignite creativity and what’s possible, and to practice LOVE for them. 

I know you’ve experienced the pure love and joy that comes from seeing someone you love accomplishing something amazing. Whether that’s seeing a baby’s first steps or winning a game or whatever they’ve been working towards and you’re just so proud of them. You’re so happy to see them happy and there’s a bond that’s formed in that moment. Connection is either born or the current bonds are strengthened. It feels abundant and whole.

You don’t have to deny yourself that ever. 

When we see people on Social media, TV, in the movies, in the paper, in magazines, in books, on podcasts and we’re tempted to look inward and compare and despair pause.

Remember, it’s not about me.

Their life isn’t about you at all. It doesn’t have to mean anything about you at all but it can mean that here is an opportunity to celebrate. 

Here is an opportunity to practice being really happy for another soul without diminishing your work, your character, your status, or who you are becoming.

As the world turns more to the focus of, “What are you doing” – turn your focus inward, “who am I becoming?”

Remember this truth, “God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were.” Or what we’re doing. 

 (-Elder Renlund)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “a person’s true value has little to do with what the world holds in high esteem…You could pile up the accumulated currency of the entire world and it could not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of heaven. …The Lord doesn’t care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls….God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example”

When we can use the opportunities given to us, when we can see what other people are doing and choose not to compare and despair but rather to see and celebrate our character changes. Who you are changes. 

Instead of seeing others and making it mean something about you – “gosh, why can’t I do that? I should be doing more. I’m not enough.” Not fun –  practice seeing them and celebrating. “Wow, that’s amazing! Good for them! Virtual high five!”

We can learn to be amidst all the humans and genuinely love them. We can learn to be in society and celebrate all the diversity that we have. We can learn to be inspired, uplifted, and have our own creative spark be ignited and create our own take, our own adventure, our own living space and remember to keep the two separate.

We are different people. We have different experiences. EVEN IF we have the same circumstances our perception of it will be vastly different so it’s time to drop the belief that we should be like others. 

I remember this really uncomfortable experience I had once a really long time ago. I was surrounded by a group of friends and we were doing a collective visiting teaching appointment. It was so fun and we didn’t do it too often but when we did, it really was fun until this one afternoon and to be honest, I genuinely don’t remember if we had anymore after this experience.

So we went to a park to let the littles run wild where we could watch them and talk without madness. And one friend brought this quote and message about parenting and being a mother and she was so adamant that her way was the only way. She was so passionate about it and even cited professional opinions.

Now as you already know this, parenting isn’t an area where one size fits all – as with most things that involve humans because humans are never the same, we don’t fit into a mold – there’s always variations and exceptions and it’s all okay except this one afternoon another friend began to be visibly distressed. 

She listened intently to the message and just sunk in her seat. She shared how she wasn’t that kind of mother and maybe she needed to be. Maybe she was ruining her kids because she wasn’t like this other friend. She was upset to the point of tears and it was so uncomfortable and sad because it wasn’t what any of us anticipated when we had set out that day.

We all left divided and with our own thoughts and opinions about what happened, what should and shouldn’t have happened and it created exclusion on all our parts. Like I mentioned, I don’t think we had another outing like that again with all those specific people.

I was so sad for my friend that was distressing herself and I’m sure by divine design I came across a quote from James E. Faust that offered light and love and permission to be who you are, to know what’s best for you and your immediately family despite what others might say or offer. It was such a relief to her and it created inclusion. 

Even this particular friend and I operated very differently it never created division or exclusion between us. We could be happy for one another and celebrate our differences because we chose not to make it mean anything negative about us. She was amazing at doing her thing and I felt pretty amazing doing my own.

Who are you currently comparing yourself to?

Strangers on the internet? Family members? Co-workers? Friends?

Why? How does it feel when you think that way? 

Does it include or exclude?

Does it create connection or division?

Do you feel like celebrating with them, for them? Or do you grumble and murmur inside or outside about them?

What do you really want?

And most important, who are you becoming when you think that way?

Celebrating feels so much better, I promise you. 

I remember learning about Golf pro, Michelle Wie. When she was just a teenager she decided to go up against some of the worlds best golfers. Everyone tried to dissuade her saying that, “It’s always negative when you don’t win” but she didn’t agree. She wasn’t going to there looking for validation, she was going to be inspired, to prepare for what could be possible for her in the future. After the event her confidence wasn’t shaken. She wasn’t paralyzed by comparison she celebrated in awe of what these pro’s could do and she commented, “I learned that I could play here”

Comparison isn’t a villain or at least, doesn’t have to be. It can easily be a spring board into abundance and seeing what’s possible for you.

In fact, for several years people running the mile under 4 mins was unheard of until someone did it. Roger Bannister in 1954. He said, “Doctors and scientists said that breaking the 4-min mile was impossible. That one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line I figured I was dead.” But he wasn’t and he had just shown the world what was once impossible was now possible and with that it shattered so many limited beliefs that other people collectively had about themselves and what they could do too. When they saw what was possible for someone else they questioned their own belief and thought, “What if it’s possible for me too?”

That’s inspiring. That connects them to the person who first showed them it was possible. It’s something to celebrate.

We operate best coming from a place of love and abundance. It’s when we shine our brightest and can uplift and inspire others.

It’s not a competition – it’s a celebration.

“Good for them! That’s amazing!”

When you remember that it’s not a race but a journey it changes the tone. You’re no longer in a hurry you can stop, pause, look around, smell the roses, and focus on who you are becoming and not solely what you are producing. 

What a rare gift it would be to genuinely compliment another person and celebrate with them. 

You can give this to others – you can give this especially to yourself. You do this by celebrating instead of competing. You do this when you choose to not make their success mean anything negative about you. You do this when you seek to include instead of exclude. You do this when you keep another’s experience theirs and not yours. When you recognize that what they do isn’t about you at all. You do this when you give yourself permission to stop the rush and choose to savor your season, your growth, your learning, and especially who you are becoming.

It’s not a competition at all. It’s a celebration. 

I absolutely love The Great British Baking Show although I’m not up to date with it yet. I’m still a few years back but it was instantly appealing to me because the show wasn’t about drama. You know how a lot of reality shows are – especially competition shows. But not this one. This one they really all seemed to love what they do for the sake of baking and not proving they’re better but just each one wanting to do their own personal best. 

They’d help each other. They encouraged each other. They’d cheer for the star baker and mourn for their friend that left.

It wasn’t entirely about the grand win because the grand win was just a cake plate and not a million dollars so they were able to just have fun, to take in the whole experience connected to each other rather than hating one another or seeing each other as enemies and separate.

In our lives though we’re not competing for a cake plate but rather a feeling. We believe that when we have that, accomplish that, do that then we’ll feel better. We’ll feel whole and complete. We’ll feel loved and lovable, accepted and included but isn’t that so fascinating that the thing we most truly want deep down we sabotage by putting ourselves up against people, by looking for our differences and pointing them out to each other, by trying to get a leg up on another person, and competing.

We limit ourselves by comparing and despairing instead of seeing it as a call to celebrate.

Let their journey be for them. You do you. The more you practice celebrating for others, celebrating for you the more you’ll feel connected, included, and loved and did you notice…no outside accolades or benchmarks required? Just a thought that creates a feeling.

I’m going to choose to be happy for that person. I’m choosing to see how hard that must have been for them and what an accomplishment this is for them and I’m not going to make this mean anything about me because it’s not about me.

This practice let’s others be who they are and where they are. It stops the clock and the hustle and bustle, pressure becomes null and not applicable. We can be in the world and not of the world.

I love this quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “ Heavenly Father knows your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and CHERISHES each one of them.”

It’s not a competition, it’s a celebration.

When you’re dating and that guy you liked likes someone else instead of making it mean something about you – because it doesn’t – you can choose to celebrate that they created a connection. Yay for them.

Then you see that as a means for inclusion – if they could do it and create that together, I can too and I’m excited to try again.

It doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough, that they liked the other party “better”, that you’re not lovable or any other ugly thought you might be thinking. It’s not about you.

In my line of work there are naysayers all the time because I’m on social media and that’s just what some people like doing with their time and each time I choose not to make it mean anything about me. It’s a bummer they’re missing out on this. I’m super cool and an amazing coach. 

And when I see other coaches completely rocking it I don’t make it mean anything about me either. It’s not a competition. I celebrate them and all the hard work it took to get there. I see it as what’s possible for me if I want it. I feel connected to them instead of separate from them.

It’s not a competition, it’s a celebration.

Celebrating feels so much better. Connection is what we really all deep down need and want. Practicing inclusion will fill your bucket faster than any other method will. And the more you do this the more abundance and love you will create for yourself. It’s truly amazing and a practice worth the effort.

Three key phrases to practice, okay?

1.) It’s not a composition, it’s a celebration

2.) It’s not about me – stop making it about you

3.) Seek inclusion over exclusion  

This is absolutely revolutionary and will uplevel your entire existence. It’s a skill worth adopting and expending extra effort to practice. 

If you’re sure how to apply this to your own life, let me help you! Come set up a free coaching session with me and let’s chat. Like I said, I’m really fun – you’ll love it, and best of all you’ll leave with real help and forward growth. Set that up over at www.thecatalystcoaching.com and I will talk to you all next week!


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