Episode 58: The Comparison Trap
In this episode of Weight Loss for Food-Lovers, Molly explores in this episode a topic that comes up a lot in her life coaching practice: The Comparison Trap. She breaks down the habit of comparing ourselves with others, and the inevitable feelings of defeat and self-loathing that result. That is, unless you learn to turn social comparison to your own advantage. Molly’s clients often beat themselves up because someone they know appears more successful or content. They pummel themselves with questions that may sound familiar: Why aren’t things better for us? Why isn’t our life easier? Molly demonstrates how, with some help and redirection, these kinds of self-defeating thoughts can be turned to our own advantage.
While it’s natural and inevitable that the brain takes us there, Molly shares ways to use the Comparison Trap to stay motivated. It can actually offer an opportunity to throw off the need for external approval and instead embrace what you can control: Your own thoughts and feelings. When you’re caught in a negative loop of social comparison, it’s nothing but a time sink. Beating ourselves up or being taken off course by other people’s opinions is giving your power away, says Molly. Why not focus that awareness back on yourself and the present moment? It’s just a matter of learning how to keep your primitive brain from getting stuck in useless, demotivating self-talk.
Molly wraps up with a suggestion: Instead of getting mired in useless social comparison, try using social media as an opportunity to leverage positive thoughts, find common ground and inspire your own success story in the making. No one can force you into The Comparison Trap – except you!
If you’d like to learn more about how Life Coaching can help you identify and interrupt negative thoughts and comparisons, Molly offers a free one-to-one discovery call here.
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· An intro to something most of us have experienced: The Comparison Trap.
· Many start the weight loss journey from a place of feeling “not enoughness” that amounts to a perpetual deficit.
· “If only … then I’ll be happy” creates a disempowering feeling of scarcity.
· Molly’s program is about learning how to accept yourself right now, as you are in this moment. Because losing weight from a place of hating yourself doesn’t work.
· You can’t “hate yourself thin” because – once you get there? – all that self-loathing will resurge and lead inevitably to self-sabotage.
· Our culture and social media platforms encourage a pervasive game of one-upmanship and a vicious cycle of comparing our lives to others – when the reflections we’re seeing often don’t even represent anyone’s true lived reality.
· Starting in childhood many of us seek approval from our parents, then our friends, our spouses, our bosses. We become dependent on external validation, looking beyond ourselves in order to feel good enough.
· You don’t have to give away your agency. People’s thoughts are their own and not personal, even if that has previously been your default thinking.
· Feeling unworthy of approval or “not enough” drives a need to feel better whether through food or alcohol or sex or shopping – anything that provides instant gratification and relief from self-judgment.
· Cognitive Reflex: The habit of comparing while adapting to and learning about unfamiliar situations. It serves a purpose in certain circumstances, but it’s not always helpful.
· Social comparison too often triggers a negative thought process – but it doesn’t have to. Look instead for commonalities and similarities with others to reinforce motivation and good feeling.
· Look for your strengths and leverage them to achieve success!
· “As with all things mind-related, you have control over how you’re looking at things.”
· “It’s so much more effective to lose weight if you approach it from a place of self-love and acceptance than trying to hate yourself thin.”
· “We are constantly bombarded with images of seemingly perfect lives … which only makes us feel more terrible about ourselves.”
· “Many of us are used to seeking validation and approval from others rather than creating it ourselves.”