I’m a big fan of Alison Perry and her ‘Not Another Mummy Podcast’, so when I saw she’d recently been in session with Lucy Sheridan (the world’s first comparison coach) I was intrigued and excited in equal measure. Just to give you a sense of how brilliant it was – I listened twice, the second time with a pen and paper.
We’ve all seen the quote about comparison being the thief of joy, but at the same time you can’t move for people on social media talking about how comparison to other people (often strangers) is leaving them feeling mega ‘eurgh’. I’m definitely someone who struggles with comparison, some days more than others, but Lucy’s interview has started a shift in me that is making a big difference. I thought I’d share some of my takeaways on here, but ultimately I can’t recommend having a listen yourself enough!
- Why do we compare? Lucy sums it up as when we don’t feel grounded or routed on our own path, so it’s a natural trait when we’re feeling disconnected. She talks about there being a scale – it can be quick thoughts right up to big rivalries.
- We’re in an epidemic of comparison. And with it we’re creating stories and filling in gaps, assuming how someone is really living or how they’ve got to where they have. I know I’ve definitely done it – the gap filling especially.
- People can be a trigger. Your own states versus your relationship with that other person will impact your reactions. This on really hit a nerve with me – I’ve rarely stepped back to think about it, but there are definitely people I compare myself to much more than others, and then ultimately how I feel about their successes.
- Know what the comparison is telling you. Lucy asks the question ‘what is it trying to teach me?’ because once you start exploring what’s going on you can’t compare at the same time, which I thought was really practical but powerful.
- Preservation, resting, pausing. I really loved this point – if there are certain situations, people or outlets (i.e. social media) that are your triggers, then taking a break, rousing pause or backing away for a little while (or permanently if you need to) is a great way to restore yourself. You have the time and permission to through what you need to without always being in the thick of it.
- No one accuses LA of being behind. I nodded so vigorously with this one – TIMEZONES. Lucy uses an analogy of New York gets up before LA, but no one accuses LA of being behind (or New York of being ahead). They are two very different and dynamic places. She goes on to describe that there is often a false sense of people being ahead, but actually it’s just what is right for their time zone.
- Who does that belief belong to? Inherited dreams go past their sell by date – are you aiming for something that you even want, or is it what you’ve been conditioned to think is right?
- How do you just feel ok? Lucy shone a light on neutrality – we don’t have to be positive and jazz hands all the time to be alright. She talked about asking yourself what you can do in the moment to be present and neutral – how to find a softness. She talked about it in relation to someone that might be up with a baby and when you’re doing that 3am sleep deprived scroll, (you know the one when all you’re seeing on social media is parents with their sh*t together, beautiful homes and immaculate children?). Some of the ideas she shared were really practical (lighting a candle rather than turning the big light on, wearing a comfortable dressing gown, finding the best chair for you etc).
Lucy did share that she still compares in some way most days, but her recovery is now different. I really admired her sharing that vulnerability, because I imagine lots of people would expect a comparison coach to know how to avoid it with near perfection, but that’s just not life is it?
I couldn’t agree with Lucy more that comparison is an epidemic at the moment – I guess it was (and is) inevitable, but I love how accessible her tips and solutions were in just an hour on a podcast, imagine fully working with her?! I’ll stop fan girling now, but if you want to find out more about Lucy she’s @lucysheridan on insta and it was episode 37 on the Not Another Mummy Podcast. Happy listening!