Constantly feeling anxious because when you compare yourself to others you come up short? Feel like you have to compete to be good enough, successful enough?

You’re using competition and comparisons as a tool to check out where you stand on the worthiness scale. There’s just one problem. Competition and comparisons are built on the assumptions we make about others and their lives–not the truth, or at least not the whole truth. This habit always casts us in the worst possible light and feeds our anxiety. We all do it.

One of the great blessings of my medical practice is that I get to hear people’s stories. Their real stories. How they struggle. How chaotic their lives are. And guess what? People are not at all how they appear to us from the outside. We cast projections and assumptions about who people are and what they are all about.

I’ve learned that we all struggle. The people who we imagine have it all together struggle. We’re all in this beautiful messy life together.

Ten Simple Steps to Relieve Anxiety by Letting Go of Competition and Comparisons:

  1. Breathe it all out.
  2. Let that fear and shame melt away.
  3. Breathe again. Soften. Let it go.
  4. Drop into the vulnerability of the body to claim your whole true authentic self.
  5. It’s okay to be uncertain: surrender to the uncertainty of this life and the knowledge that no one–I mean no one–knows the answers any better than you do.
  6. Let go of judgment–of yourselves and others. It’s not worth your precious energy–just let it go.
  7. It’s still all okay, in fact, it’s better.
  8. You can trust yourself. You got this.
  9. Work there: at trusting yourself.
  10. Stop comparing yourself to others–trust me, their lives are just as messy as ours.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m working hard on this too!

Talk to me! I’d love to hear your stories of competition and comparisons and how you felt when you scanned my strategy for letting go.

KARYN SHANKS MD

Karyn Shanks, MD, is a physician who lives and practices in Iowa City. Her work is inspired by the science of Functional Medicine, body-mind principles, and wisdom gleaned from the transformational journeys of thousands of clients over her twenty-five-year career. Her work honors each individual and the power of their stories, their inner wisdom, and innate healing potential. She believes that the bones of healing are in what we do for ourselves. She is the author of Liftoff, a manual of energy recovery and healing through essential self-care practices.

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