We women hold a world record in comparing and laying judgment on ourselves and others. But it's not just the feeling that someone else is more successful than you, comparison creeps in when we face obstacles too.
Everyone faces difficulties in life. These can stem from a variety of sources. A traumatic experience that left wounds for life. A challenging relationship. A physical handicap. A lack of resources. An external incident that changes your life path.
Some trauma is created over many generations and carries on affecting our lives even when we can't pinpoint our suffering to any particular event we know. A lot of the feminine struggle is inherited over generations. Our mothers and our grandmothers were unable to follow their dreams which left a deep wound in the energy we now carry.
Whatever the source of your struggle, it's easy to compare yourself to others.
Who has suffered the greatest? Ego loves to hang itself around the neck of the one who is struggling the most. It wants to turn itself into a medal, a badge you get to carry all your life.
I come from a lineage of depressed mothers who were never able to fulfill their potential. Finland, where I was born, also carries a heavy heritage of suffering and shame that casts a shadow to the luckiest of individuals.
Perhaps I was trying to shrug off my pain as I found myself in very bad situations when I was young. My first sexual experience was rape and at the age of 18, I dated a guy who repeatedly beat me up. I dropped out of high school twice and I guess you could say my prospects were not looking bright at that time.
But somehow I never attached myself to the struggles but moved through. After being raped I remember thinking to myself: "Just because someone else is an asshole, I don't have to ruin my life."
So my story ends well. I wouldn't change a day in my path. I’m not telling you this to make my struggle seem bigger than yours. However, I wouldn't alter the struggle of my ancestors nor the obstacles I had to face to arrive where I'm today. I would not be able to do what I do now if I didn't experience all of this.
My experiences and obstacles are not my problem, they are my purpose.
I realise my tough lineage of mothers and grandmothers and my own struggles are not there to make me feel poor about myself. Each handicap and obstacle are here to teach me something. They are the fuel I can turn into purpose. They are the understanding I need to change things in this world.
It's easy to feel self-pity, and that we don't deserve it. Life should be fair! But no, life ain't fair. Life is random. And each path is a path to something greater if we let it.
Through my own experiences, extensive research and my work with the global women's accountability club DrivenWoman where I meet thousands of women, I have identified three steps that will help you take action and move from feeling lost in a struggle to do something meaningful. These steps are tested and proven time and time again in our in-person Lifeworking groups and at our online club Doers Academy. Each month we recognise the following three steps and this allows everyone to move forward, regardless of our starting point, with our worries and our struggles.
1. Full awareness without judgment
The starting point to a fulfilling life is to accept where you are without judgment. It's not to say that the struggle isn't real or to dismiss it or to say it's not important. It's just to say this is how it is in my life now and bring it out to the open.
When we start to look at everything with clear eyes, without censoring ourselves, our feelings and our thoughts, we start to gain control. It's important to stay with the truth and avoid judgment or putting labels on the situation. We tend to judge everything around us and within us: "This is bad and that is good".
Saying something is bad is a judgment and it gets even worse when we mix it up with comparison. "My situation is worse than yours." Someone else's struggle is not here and now. Free your mind from labels and let things just be.
We have to accept our history, where we come from, what happened to us, our struggles and our handicaps to move forward. As long as we keep denying or hiding them they trap us with their power. Or we may think we haven't gotten enough attention to our struggles. Make things visible and bring them into the light and they lose a grip on you. This can be done by journaling.
Another way to shift past comparison and feeling inferior is to find someone who will give you permission. This is what I did. I'm from Finland and I used to be embarrassed about my accent, I thought "I can never become a renowned international speaker with this accent". Find someone with a similar disability or ‘problem’ who has moved forward despite their imperfection. For me, the role model was Deepak Chopra. He has a very strong Indian accent, yet he’s doing more speaking than the most and helping so many people. Now I'm free to do public speaking and produce as many videos as I like.
3. Take small steps
In our desperation to look for a miracle cure from our worries, most people overlook the simple solution that is in front of you every day. Take a small step. We run around looking for how we can 'fix' our imperfections, yet all we have to do is to accept where we are and then take a small step.
At DrivenWoman we can prove this works. There are hundreds of success stories of small steps as the 'miracle cure' as women start accepting their journeys in our groups. Don't look for the one thing that will make your situation better. The answer will come from a million little solutions that you apply every day.
Are you ready to move from thinking to acting? Are you looking for a proven structure and support from like-minded women? Join our FREE group Doers Tribe now!