- You get irritable or depressed when someone else succeeds.
- You don’t feel loved or loving.
- Meeting a successful person, you feel anxious rather than honored.
- It seems to you that a victorious end justifies morally dubious means.
- You actively hope for others to do badly or to fail.
- You don’t know what you like until you know what others think.
- You’re dogged by shame; you never feel good enough.
- Winning creates a brief happy moment, which quickly gives way to anxiety.
- Losing devastates you to the point of despair.
- You criticize everyone and believe everyone is criticizing you.
Martha’s Tips for a Journey To Sanity:
By owning the insanity, you can change it and enjoy the relief of realizing that you’ve simply gone a bit nuts, that the implacable entity judging everything and everybody is you—not anyone else. Start here:
Have you ever wanted to hear the story of someone’s least embarrassing moment? Of course not. You want to know how people screwed up and lived to tell the tale. Cheerfully fessing up to our failures turns crazy mind off, humility and compassion on. Tell your stories with gusto. Notice how the very confessions you thought would humiliate you actually boost your confidence.
Compliment Your Rivals
When you’re in comparing mode, the last thing you want to do is praise anyone else. That’s just handing over victory, isn’t it? But who really wins; celebrating the efforts of people you perceive to be adversaries is a powerful way to win the real prize: happiness. Think of someone who intimidates you. Is there anything about this person you genuinely, even if grudgingly, admire? Then say it. Out loud. To the very person you fear. This blasts through so much tension, there will barely be any left for day-to-day relations.
Play Your “Top Five” Hits
Deliberately looking for positive things in others is something that can’t be done from inside monkey mind. Accordingly, medical psychologists tell us that a brain in a state of appreciation simply can’t hang on to the fear and defensiveness that so often make us nuts.
If you stay alert and use these tools, you’ll soon feel a lot less crazy; you’ll succeed at failing, win by losing. You’ll stop comparing apples and oranges; see that they truly are unique, incomparable. And—you really knew this all along—so are you.
– Martha Beck is an American sociologist, life coach, best-selling author, and speaker who specializes in helping individuals and groups achieve personal and professional goals. Martha is an O, The Oprah Magazine columnist; Oprah herself says “She’s one of the smartest women I know”.
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