How To Overcome Compare & Despair

how to overcome compare and despair

If you get my letters (and you really should because they're a bit more intimate than my blog...sign up here), you know last week I was flattened by jealousy. Also known as compare and despair.

I'm not too proud to admit I looked at a competitor's site and freaked out because I let my brain do a number on me. (You know the number: Her success = I'm a loser); which prompted me to write this post. Also wrote a bit about it here as well.

Because I'm a trained life coach (and I'm my most challenging client), I had a few tools cued up to save me from totally swirling the bowl of self pity (been there...done that...not uplifting, at all).


1. Feel what you feel.

Soulful people feel pissed. Jealous. Aggravated. Like a walking contradiction at times. IT'S FINE. It doesn't make us bad people. It makes us human beings with a wide array of emotional landscapes. 

What you resist persists. - Carl Jung

In a former life, I resisted what I felt. I avoided the dark corners of my mind because I didn't want to see what was there. I also thought if I let myself feel angry, it would create a snowball of angriness I'd never be able to escape. And then there's the whole Law of Attraction guilt. I thought if I felt angry I'd attract more negativity to me.

When I coach women and ask them, "How does that make you feel?" I usually get this response, "I don't know."

That's because - like former me - they haven't learned how and don't practice feeling their feelings.

It's quite liberating to connect with your feelings...ALL of them. The most amazing thing happens. Once you feel something, really feel it, the intensity starts to dissolve, and you can move on.


2. Ask yourself, "Why do I feel this way?"

This question is EVERYTHING because it will point directly to the thought you're having that is causing you such trouble (and just so you know, the situation isn't the problem...your thoughts about the situation are the problem).


3. Use a mantra.

Repeat after me:

Positives ALWAYS cancel out negatives. Always. It's a law of nature.

If your thoughts are all like, "I'll never be good like her!"

Your mantra must become "I am really good at what I do. I'm right where I need to be!"

Say it out loud. Say it over and over. Write it down. This is not woo woo fluff. This is you re-writing a crappy story your subconscious mind keeps engraving in your brain.


4. There is a reason for this situation.

Remind yourself of this (because it's true):

You cannot see this yet (because you're still in the picture) but this is a GOOD thing.

Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do. - Byron Katie 

It is good to see real examples of what you desire.

When you feel jealous, you feel that way because YOU KNOW that person is embodying something you deeply crave for yourself (otherwise you wouldn't give a fig).

It's good to see living examples of what you desire because it shows you what's possible for you.


5. Shift your idea of competition.

Instead of competitors, look at your peers as teachers. Community members. Lean into them rather than away from them.


6. Make a list of what you offer that your peer does not.

This is not about being petty. It's about seeing how you are different, unique.

What's better...a rose? A hydrangea? A lily? A daisy? They're all gorgeous in my book. They're just different that's all. 

We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? - Marianne Williamson

Make a list of how you're different. Celebrate the unique qualities in yourself and your peer.


7. Clean off your computer desktop, tidy your inbox, and reboot your computer.

Wipe your digital slate clean. When you turn your computer back on, be conscious and intentional. Tell yourself, "In this moment, I start fresh."


8. Change your physical state.

When thy brain is stuck, thy bod must move. Turn on some tunes and dance. Go walk your dog. Do 200 jumping jacks.

Move for at least 1/2 hour. Visualize yourself shaking off that jealous energy (ala Taylor Swift).


9. Burn some incense or smudge.

I love to smudge my space and my body with sage. It's a Native American ritual (I'm from the Black Hills of South Dakota). I started doing this years ago. (Click that link to learn how to smudge if you are unfamiliar).

For me, it's a way to slow down. Be intentional. Connect with my inner wisdom. Reboot my energy.

As I smudge my body, I visualize the space around me becoming clearer. I consciously release negativity and watch (in my mind) as it floats away, the sage guiding it along.

When I smudge a room, I say positive mantras and blessings aloud.


10. Eat something clean and delicious.

When I'm in a state, I can forego eating and run solely on the fumes of my angst.

In addition to rebooting my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and physical space, I also nurture myself by taking a break to eat something fresh.

I was on the phone with a client the other day, sharing some of these concepts with her. At one point I said, "If your car was sputtering, in desperate need of gas, you'd pull over and fill it up, right?"

We ended up laughing at how silly it seems that sometimes we take better care of our cars than we do ourselves.

Pull over. Take care of yourself. Enjoy a cup of tea, a piece of dark chocolate, or a crisp salad. Fill your tank up with good fuel before you continue along your journey.


I'd love to hear what you do when you feel compare and despair. I'm sure you have some wonderful, restorative ideas that I haven't thought of!


Deana Ward

Simple & Soulful Creative, Lincoln, Nebraska

Simple & Soulful Creative is a Squarespace design studio that helps solopreneurs + small businesses clean up their messaging + launch gorgeous (easy-to-manage) websites.

About The Author

Deana Ward is a Squarespace website designer, copywriter, and consultant who helps soulful entrepreneurs align their brands and set up efficient business systems—while guiding them to take simple, tangible steps toward their professional goals. Her warm, personal approach goes beyond website design. It includes one-on-one training, accountability, and idea decluttering—which empowers her clients to get up and running so much faster than going it alone.

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