Shattering Illusions and Lowering The Bar #173
Have you ever thought about the time when you decided there was a “right” way to live? Oh, we’ve all done it. It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing our lives to the lives of others. But where does that leave us? 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?
It might be counter-intuitive to my nature, but the solution is to lower the bar. The people I measure myself against are often in mastery. That means I am skipping the basics by using their skills as a benchmark. For me, establishing a series of wins is the fastest way to move forward.
There was a time in my life where I failed to prioritize my self-care. I made it okay to work out once a week; that was it. I only had 30 minutes 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 I made a habit of putting on my oxygen mask first. It took a lot of practice, but lowering the bar made it an illusion I’ve shattered.