June 25, 2024 5:25 am Published by

Have you ever wondered when you decided there was a “right” way to live? Oh, we’ve all done it, comparing what’s happening with others to what’s happening with us in our lives. Which leaves us where? Diminished and discounted on both sides. We all need to shatter this illusion. 

Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s absolutely true. When you compare, you are most often comparing your doubt with someone else’s best self. There’s no winning in that game and you’re playing against yourself. So, what can you do? 

What I’ve found to help is to do what is counter intuitive to my nature – to lower the bar. Yes, that’s it. Often, when in comparison, I’m not doing the basics and watching someone else who at the time is in mastery. For me, establishing a series of wins is the fastest way I’ve found to move forward. 

At a time in life when I hadn’t prioritized myself or my self-care, I made it okay to work out once a week. That was it. One time each week, 30 minutes for me to focus on myself. I could walk (which I most often did because it was free, easy, and people could join me), do something artistic, take a class, read…I opened up what it meant and lowered my expectations of myself (which I made up at some point, and compared myself to when I was doing it well, never taking into account how life had changed). 

Once I was successful several weeks in a row with making time for myself every week, I began to increase to two times each week and it’s progressed from there. I now have self-care as a major priority for life. It’s taken years but has been worth it.  

Now finding time daily for myself takes precedence. Do I miss some days? Yes, but the habit is instilled of putting on my oxygen mask first. It’s taken practice, but lowering the bar made it an illusion I’ve shattered.