Last week I talked about the idea of never being able to measure up (read about it here), and how instead we ought to measure IN. I also wrote about what Measuring In is NOT (read here). Now it’s time to start practicing Measuring In.
Measuring UP is a compare trap. It’s always moving on to the next best thing, wanting what we don’t have, and finding ourselves on an endless loop of “never good enough.”
Measuring IN allows us to take an internal perspective of where we are at. It’s like checking the weather for your soul and being able to respond and deal with it appropriately.
To measure IN, you have to practice and have patience with yourself.
Here’s how to start:
1. Recognize when you are measuring yourself against someone or something else. Simply notice it.
Inquiry is the first step. Comparing yourself to others has become ingrained in us. We do it all day long so you may not even know when you are doing. When you scroll through your Instagram and Facebook feed, when you drive your car, when you veg out to reality TV. Do you ever wish for something someone else had? Clothes, car, house, money, STUFF. I’m obsessed with HGTV and I love to play out all the renovations I would do in my head to own the “perfect” house. But when I sit and notice the story (or house) I’m building in my head, I can stop living in the day dream and look around at what I have worked to fill my house with… And the reality of what’s there is pretty awesome, when I stop comparing it to the HGTV Dream House. So I simply recognize that I try to measure up.
You will not wake up one morning and think, “Great! I’m done measuring up. All set!” Never. It doesn’t work like that. Being able to acknowledge and notice that it’s separate from YOU is the key. The inquiry process is step #1.
2. What’s the voice saying when you try to compare and measure up?
Mine is the perfectionist brat that tells me I am never doing enough. Again, compare/contrast and I lose. I end up “shoulding” all over myself. We talk to ourselves in ways that would never be acceptable to anyone we care about. Identifying this voice and recognizing when she (or he) shows up is important in this process.
3. Identify what that voice normally says to you. Then offer it some compassion.
It is so ingrained in us to be critical. Need to get better and improve? Let’s beat ourselves emotionally into submission and see if something changes! Sound like a good plan? Never. Then why do we continue to do it? Because you have been operating from this space your entire life and society tells you that it’s normal. They feed on your “never good enough” story. To actually believe you are enough is an act of rebellion. Truly.
Identify what your mean and nasty voice is saying to you when it shows up, then offer it some grace and compassion. Might sound crazy. Probably is. But not as crazy as beating yourself up all day, everyday. I identify my shame, fear, jealousy, or whatever pops up, acknowledge it, then move on. This is Measuring IN.
How do you #MeasureIN? Join the conversation and let me know what you think! Please leave a comment below and make sure you use the hash tag.