Avoiding the comparison trap

When you’ve got tinnitus, hyperacusis or misophonia (or a combination of these) it can be all too easy to compare your life to those of your friends, and others around you who don’t live with these conditions.

Let me tell you, that’s a recipe for low self-esteem, depression and a crappy life. Comparing your life to the life you think others are leading can paralyze you rather than inspire you. I say this from personal experience.

Here are 5 simple ways to avoid the comparison trap:

1. Remember – you are you, and not anyone else
You are unique. Even if someone else has the same tinnitus, hyperacusis or misophonia as you, their different upbringing, cultural conditioning, education, personality, attitude to life and support network will mean they experience it very differently to you. If you see someone coping with tinnitus differently to you, remember precisely that – it’s different, not better.

2. Be aware of your thoughts
One thing I teach students early on in the Bee Empowered course  is to be aware of what we are thinking. The more mindful we are of our thoughts, the more quickly we will notice that we are being drawn into unhelpful and unhealthy comparisons. Being aware enables us to choose to move our attention away from comparing our lives to others, and instead focus on making our own life as fabulous* as possible.

3. Caution social media: may bite
I love social media – it can be a great source of information and inspiration. But we often forget that many positive posts we see on Instagram, Facebook or twitter are someone else’s highlight reel. Comparing our own messy every-day existence to this is bound to create some feelings of self-doubt, or even self-inadequacy. If you find yourself feeling worse rather than better after looking at social media, change who you follow, or limit the time you spend on there.

4. Be your own best friend
Even the most confident of us has a horrid little critical voice in our head which tells us how rubbish we are. When you hear that voice, tell it to sit down and shut up! Instead, picture your best friend and ask what they’d say about you in this situation. Chances are it will be kinder, assertive, loving and full of confidence in YOU. If it isn’t, perhaps you need a new best friend.

5. Be grateful for what you have
One of the practices I teach in the Bee Empowered course is that of daily gratitude. Why? Because, according to research, gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve our health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships. A simple practice is to create a Gratitude Journal and list three things you’re grateful for last thing before you turn the light off for sleep.

For these and other simple ways to improve your self-confidence, wellbeing and mental resilience, even with tinnitus, hyperacusis or misophonia sign up for my Bee Empowered course today.

*to be defined by our own loves, joys and happiness, and no-one else’s!