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Letting Go of Comparison: The Ultimate Act of Radical Self-Acceptance

“Clearly recognising what is happening inside us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind and loving heart, is what I call Radical Acceptance.”

Tara Brach

I first heard the term Radical Self Acceptance on a podcast with Tara Brach. Tara is one of the few spiritual teachers to whom I have a paid subscription. I love her non-judgemental, humble approach to personal and spiritual growth. Tara was also a therapist so she brings cognitive and therapeutic understanding to her work. Watch this video below.

As I was reflecting on this topic, I noticed that I was stuck in my own loop of comparison. One of my mentors often said that our clients will come into our therapy practice with the same issues that we are also working on and over the years I've seen this to be true.

The theme of comparison has shown up with many of my clients yet I was unaware that I was also lost in a thought loop of comparison. The irony is not lost on me.

I was comparing myself to a dear friend and fellow therapist who has a very successful social media platform and has just recently launched her podcast. My thinking went like this. "You're not doing enough", She's a proper therapist and you're just faking it," "You'll never be as good as her"...on and on the voice went.

She is an amazing and gifted healer. I love and adore her and we've always supported each other, and we both acknowledge that we bring different flavours to the therapeutic space so I know how ludicrous this thinking is. My thinking had nothing to do with her but was more about me judging myself and on some level, not accepting where I am.

This situation caused me to reflect on how letting go of comparison is the ultimate act of radical self-acceptance.

Letting go of comparison is indeed a crucial aspect of radical self-acceptance

Here's how it relates to embracing oneself fully:

1. Recognising Individuality: Comparison often arises from the belief that we should be like someone else or have what they have. Radical self-acceptance involves acknowledging and celebrating our own unique qualities, strengths, and experiences. It's about understanding that we are on our own path and that our worth is not determined by how we measure up to others.

2. Focusing on Personal Growth: Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we can shift our focus towards our own personal growth and development. Embrace the idea that everyone has their own journey and pace. Set goals and work towards becoming the best version of yourself, rather than trying to match someone else's achievements or appearance.

3. Celebrating Uniqueness: Each person has their own set of talents, skills, and perspectives that make them special. Radical self-acceptance involves embracing and celebrating these unique qualities. Recognise that your individuality is what sets you apart and makes you valuable.

4. Practicing Gratitude: Gratitude can help counteract the tendency to compare ourselves to others. By cultivating a mindset of gratitude, we shift our focus towards appreciating what we have and who we are. This fosters self-acceptance and contentment with our own lives, rather than constantly seeking validation through comparison.

5. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Comparison often leads to self-criticism and feelings of inadequacy. Practicing self-compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. Instead of berating ourselves for not measuring up to others, we can offer ourselves the same support and care we would give to a friend.

6. Setting Healthy Boundaries: Comparing ourselves to others can be detrimental to our mental and emotional well-being. Setting healthy boundaries involves consciously limiting our exposure to comparison triggers, such as social media or certain environments. It's about prioritising our own self-worth and protecting our mental health.

7. Shifting Perspective: Instead of viewing others' successes as a threat or a reflection of our own shortcomings, we can choose to see them as sources of inspiration and motivation. Celebrate the achievements of others and use them as inspiration for your own growth, without diminishing your own worth.

Letting go of comparison is a powerful step towards radical self-acceptance. It allows us to embrace our uniqueness, focus on our personal growth, and cultivate a sense of contentment and fulfillment in our own lives. Remember, your journey is yours alone, and comparing yourself to others only hinders your own progress and happiness.

I heard the phrase, Kindsight, in a Silver Sirens workshop hosted by Self Leadership Coach, Angela Raspass. She described kindsight as the ability to look back on our lives with compassion and kindness, accepting that we always do our best at the level of awareness we have.

Kindsight is the opposite of comparison and I love that!

Join me for my live online Relationship workshop. If you are unable to join me live, you can complete my self-paced version. I look forward to seeing you there.

Lots of hugs until next time.

Faith xoxo

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