Break Free From Comparison-itis Today. Episode 3 - 21 Feb 2022 - #HappyAF Show
Hello, I’m back.
Oh my goodness. I really wish, just once in a while I didn’t actually need to demonstrate exactly what I’m talking about as I’m talking about it. So, for those of you that are just joining us, “Hi. Welcome again to another episode of Happy AF. My name is Sam Bowker. I am your host and, before the technology decided to just fritz out on me a moment ago, I was asking the question, “How do you cope when things don’t go your way?” [Laughs] Do you put a smile on your dial or do you scream and shout and you let it all out?
Just in case there was any chance at all I was going to try and answer that question in-authentically, which to be honest I would not, but just in case, I just had to have a little demonstration myself of what I do when things go wrong.
This is what it typically looks like: “FUCK! Oh my God! Roarrr!” Then everything happens. I knock my drink over and the traffic lights are always red, and then I can’t get somewhere and then I wake up in the morning and I’ve got a sty on my eye, or my mouth is sore. And I scream, and I shout and I let it all out!!!
And then I take a big breath and go, “Alright. Is this going to matter in 3 minutes, in 3 hours, in 3 weeks, in 3 months, in 3 years?” I stop and I take a breath and I reset. Okay? Because I’m human. I would love to say that I’m at that Zen place in my life where when everything doesn’t go exactly as I want it to (because yes, I am a recovering control freak. I say recovering because I do pretend to myself that I am actually not a control freak still but let’s be honest, I probably still am a little bit of a control freak.) See, now my glasses are fogging up-that’s how much heat is coming off this today baby!
Anyway, so how do you respond? Does it ruin your entire day, or are you able to kind of shift through those emotions relatively easily? I have learnt a few processes over the years, and definitely one of them is dancing it out. So, as my tech just blew up then-for whatever reason-I went black. It wasn’t working. I was already feeling really panicked because I’d just-I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to pick 10.00am on a Monday for my Happy AF Show? Because Mondays are those days for me, which for whatever reason it’s always like-the start of the week, which means if you’ve got a child who’s starting school-everything is not smooth it seems on my Mondays. Right? And I’m wanting to change that, which is why I decided to start this show. I also wanted to come from a place of-a lot of people look at people that are doing happiness and success and health and wellbeing and they go, “Oh it’s easy for you. You’ve got this and you’ve got that. It’s easy for you.”
You guys are only seeing typically the highlight reel. If you’re following anybody on Facebook or Instagram or any of those places, they’re not typically showing you the dark side. They’re only showing you the love and light. They’re showing you when things are going right. They’re not showing you the hours it takes. We are, like a lot of the people that I follow, who I really think are amazing, authentic leaders and inspiring people-they are really starting to show up authentically. They are really starting to show up and share, really truly what’s going on.
So, I guess today, I really just wanted to reiterate that for you guys. When you are watching these shows-it’s so funny for me because every single week since I started this show, I had grand visions of what I wanted to achieve. And the vision keeps building and it’s becoming clearer and clearer. Every single week-the first episode I literally couldn’t start on the date that I had set because I couldn’t speak. So that was the first week, and then the second week I finally started and this is now episode three. Every single week I’ve had pretty decent challenges that, if I was not really committed to this, then I would just stay in bed. I would stay in bed and I would sleep it off, or whatever.
I guess the question I want you guys to ask yourselves is-happiness-I know the show is called Happy AF and like I’ve said before, you can make the AF mean whatever you want. Any of you that know me well, you probably can fill in the blank pretty easily. But Happy and Fun, Happy and Fabulous, Happy and Fit, Happy and Financial. Happy and Free! For me, happy the word really just represents a state of being that I want to try my hardest to spend more time there, because it feels better to feel happy than it does to feel angry and sad. That said, angry and sad serves a purpose too, so it’s never good nor bad.
It’s been really interesting to me, because the story that we make up about an occurrence will determine how we feel about it.
A lacking in confidence Sam-somebody who really didn’t truly believe in her mission and her vision, could make up a story about the last three weeks that said something like this. “You’re not on the right track. What you’re saying is not important. Who do you think you are? You’re not helping anybody. Seriously, this is a joke. Everybody’s laughing at you. This is just ridiculous. Oh my God, why don’t you just quit while you’re ahead? Clearly it’s not important. Look at all the obstacles that are happening.” I could make that story up and I guarantee you that the old me-and I’m not even sure how long ago-but I’m just going to say there’s the old me and there’s the one I’m constantly working on, which is a frame and a mindset of constant and never ending improvement. I don’t ever believe I’ll get to the point where I actually want to be.
I want to be blissfully dissatisfied.
I heard Ed Mylett, a guy I really like and he talks about-I hope I’m quoting him properly-he talks about blissful dissatisfaction. He’s blissfully dissatisfied. So he’s blissfully happy with where he is today-I will find the correct quote and make sure I’m quoting him properly-but it was along the lines of, he was blissful with where he was at today but tomorrow, if he was in the same place as he was yesterday, then he would be dissatisfied. I feel like he joined blissful and dissatisfaction together, and I thought that’s kind of a cool way of thinking about it.
We really want to work on growth, and I actually think that’s what the key to happiness actually is. I think that there’s lots of different things we can do to:
· change our state,
· change our mindset,
· rewrite our belief systems and stories
that are going to help us feel happy.
I truly believe that at the core of happiness, is progress. But we live in a culture of perfection and the problem with perfection is that we, as a young person-it unconsciously happens that so many of us are raised to seek outside validation to know if we’re doing good. I know because I’m a recovering perfectionist and I definitely know that I fall into that trap very easily. I fall into comparison still. I’ve done so much work, but I fall into comparison just like everybody else.
I really wanted to share something funny that happened last weekend. I had the best weekend. Before I share this little story with you though, I just want to tap into how are you guys going with moving your body? If you haven’t seen any of the prior episodes, I asked you to find a song, dance around. If you’ve got an emotion in your body, dance it out. So when my tech issues just happened then, I put on one of my favourite songs-I can’t remember the name of it-but I will post it up later because it’s a really good head banger. It was a really positive, angry, intense-I just needed to shake out the energy that I had in my body from all my technology going wrong, and from the morning that I’ve had.
So, how are you guys going with that? Have you done it? Have you found a song? I know a few of you have posted and shared with us your songs. If you haven’t done it, go find a song that you can really get your groove on to. You can use that as a way to shake your state.
Back to the whole comparison thing. It’s funny because I started off sharing with you about all those people that you follow here on Facebook and Instagram and places like that. You’re only seeing their highlight reel. Typically they’re not sharing with you the stuff that’s going wrong. I really want to show up for you and be as authentic as I can and show you when stuff goes wrong. I want to share with you that it isn’t all highlights. I hope that you find that helpful.
Over the weekend, because I had decided this year is a year for saying “YES”. Yes to fun. Yes to new adventures. Yes to new opportunities. Because I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic and I-although I will continue doing my work because it’s my passion, it’s my mission, and I love it-I want to really make a conscious effort to do more connection and fun and spending time with the people that I love. So over the weekend, I got to do a lot of that. One of the things that I did was that I went to this painting-I think it was called a Painting and Pinot Party. I don’t know if anyone’s ever been to a painting and a glass of wine and lunch party. They’re hilarious.
I have to tell you, although I know I’m creative, painting is definitely one of my super powers. Now, years ago I would never have even gone to one of those things, because in my head I would have gone, “I hate painting. I don’t want to paint. It’s going to look crap. It’s going to be no good. Nah, that’s not my cup of tea.” In fact, I’ve been invited to these things in the past and I have been like, “Hell, no.” Anyway, I was the one that actually saw this and I went, “You know what? I want to go.” I invited my bestie, who came along, Saskia who’s always up for any fun. God love her, and she came along.
Now, she sits down next to me and she says, “I paint like a fifth grader.” I think. Fifth grade or a five year old. Any of you guys who know my friend Saskia, she is very artistic and creative. She’s like the super mum and she’s the one who does the craft with the kids. She’s the one that mums like me look at and go, “Yep! That’s so not me.” I would outsource that stuff. I’m not-it’s totally not my super power. Good at other things. That’s not it.
Anyway, we sit down. They’re not bringing the wine soon enough so we decide we definitely need a glass of wine to start the show. So we go and get a glass of wine and we start this painting. It all starts off fairly easy. Draw a blue line here. Draw a thing here, and we sort of-midway through I’m looking at my painting and I’m looking at everybody else’s painting, and I’m going, “Yeah, nah. Mine doesn’t look anything like that.” I could hear the voice in my head start. “That’s shit. That’s no good. Who did you think you were?” It doesn’t matter how much work you do, you’ll still hear some of those voices. But I was actually just laughing at it because half way through I was like, “You know what? This thing I am painting is never going to look like that thing they want up there.” I don’t know what it’s supposed to be. A house with the woods and the mountains and the countryside. It was supposed to look like that, but I concluded mine was not going to look like that.
So, I went off reservation and I just started changing mine up. I decided that, instead of just mountains, mine are going to be snow-capped mountains. (That I definitely copied off the chick in front of me because I saw she was doing that and I thought that looks really cool.) I’m going to do that. Why wouldn’t I? I love mountains and I love snow and that makes perfect sense. And then, my little hut just looked really strange and I was like, “There needs to be maybe a straw bale hut.” So I started drawing some lines and then I decided that the flowers we had-or whatever it was that was supposed to be there-it was supposed to be thickets of lavender-I’m not even sure.
I just started putting little flowers on things. By the end of it, my piece looked nothing like anybody else’s but I had actually gotten to a point where I actually liked it. I actually brought it to show you. I should have had it right here ready, but I’m going to go and get it.
Here’s the thing, when I walked in today-I just want to share something with you. [Laughs] When I walked in today, my beautiful assistant says to me, “Oh my God. That’s so cute. Did you daughter paint that?" And I’m like, “No.” It does look like a child painted it, I agree. So I was like, “Yes. That’s exactly why I’m bringing this painting in, because even though it looks like a child painted it, here’s what I got from doing that event. I got to spend three hours with my beautiful friend, laughing and chatting and catching up, which definitely filled up my cup and made me feel happy.
There were other ladies there and they were the coolest group of women. I’m telling you. Some of them clearly were not beginners. They were really good. But they were so generous and such beautiful-a beautiful group of people. Everybody was kind of giggling about their artwork and kind of taking the piss out of themselves and laughing at themselves. It was such a fun time. I will find the name of the event and I will post it here in the group, because if you’re on the Central Coast-the lady Suzy that ran this event, she was a hoot. She was so funny. It was at Avoca and the wind kept blowing things over and we were-it was just a funny day.
Now. I’m going to show you my version of this painting and then I’m going to post up later, my beautiful friend Saskia’s photo. I’m going to put hers up just purely because-not for any reason other than she actually kept mostly with what it was supposed to look like-so you’ll get, but you can also just see-I suppose she did a flick of her wrist and it just looked really good. I did a flick of my wrist, and it just looked a mess. But as soon as I let go of comparing it to everybody else’s and I accepted that it was never going to look like anyone else’s, I really started enjoying myself.
So, I’ll tell you one thing I know for certain.
If you spend your life looking at yourself, and looking at someone else and doing that comparison, you are never going to be happy. Because whatever they are doing, they are always going to be a better version of themselves than you. Everybody has their natural gifts and talents. Painting just doesn’t happen to be one of mine, but I do believe that if I was really driven and motivated and I wanted to get better-I do believe that like many things: confidence, public speaking, anything like that-I believe it is a skill and it can be learned.
I’m not super driven to get better at painting, but what I did find is that by doing that and starting with this kind of base, it made me think, “You know what? I am probably going to get an easel.” Because, a few weeks ago when I was at my girlfriend’s house, my daughter started painting. They had all this fancy stuff that we didn’t have, but my daughter painted these quite amazing paintings, and truthfully I never thought she would be super creative because I had a story in my head. I’m like, “Well, I can’t paint so why would you be able to paint?” We’ve got to be careful with that. My daughter is a lot like me, but she’s not me.
Thankfully she reminds me of that all the time.
That actually-just before I show you-I’m just going to drag this out because I know you’re sitting there with baited breath, waiting for my masterpiece that I’m going to show you. But it reminds me of a line in a movie that I saw, not that long ago-it is also one of the best movies I have ever seen-and it’s The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith and his son Jaden. There is a scene in this movie and if you haven’t seen it, this is on the Happy AF list as well, The Pursuit of Happyness-go and watch it! Especially if you have a young child and especially if you’re like I used to be, and you would fall into the victim story of, “Well I can’t because…” or “I can’t do that because this happened in my past…”
If you ever do stuff like that, go watch The Pursuit of Happyness. It will give you the kick-start you need to actually take the actions to get you where you want to go. There’s a line in the movie where this kid is bouncing his basketball and he’s shooting up the hoops, shooting up the hoops-and Will Smith, the dad-I’ve forgotten the character’s name but it’s Will Smith. He looks at his kid and he goes, “Why are you practicing that? You’re never going to be ever really any good at it. I wasn’t good at basketball. You’re not going to be any good at basketball. You might as well just quit while you’re ahead.” And this little kid grabs his basketball and he throws it down on the ground. And then his dad picks up the ball and he looks at him and he says, “Don’t you ever, ever let anybody tell you what you can or can’t do. Don’t you ever-and I’m going to ruin this line, but it was along the lines of-don’t you ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. If you want to be a basketball player, go and be a basketball player. Don’t let somebody else’s small-minded, limitation stop you from being who you want to be.”
I am so driven to get people to understand that you can do what you want to do. Now listen, I’m not saying-I heard someone state this-I think it was Dan Peña-again I’ll find the quote. He’s like a billionaire. I didn’t really know who he was until I watched his podcast. But he says parents have been lying to their kids for years. They’ve been going on and saying things like, “You can do anything you want, be anything you want, if you work hard enough.” And he said, “You know what? That’s bullshit. You can do anything if you have enough passion for it.”
I believe that. I believe that and I definitely changed the way I talk to my daughter after hearing that, because I do believe you can do anything you want to do, but I do believe that you need a passion for it. I do believe that it’s not just some natural ability-which is helpful-it’s often the people that don’t have the natural ability but that have the passion, that achieve the results. Because they build resilience up first. Because they get knocked down again and again and again, but they get back up. It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.
So, I really loved that movie because in that moment-I remember watching it-I burst into tears because I was like, “Yeah. How many of us don’t fulfil our destiny because we let somebody else’s small-mindedness tell us what we can or can’t do.”
How many of us struggle with anxiety or depression or a lack of confidence, or a lack of self-belief because someone above us struggled from that, and told us a story about, “We know. Anxiety runs in the family. Mental health issues run in our family.” How many people have struggled with alcoholism that have a story that, “My dad was an alcoholic. My mum was an alcoholic. It’s genetic. I’m an alcoholic.” Now look. I’m not arguing. You can keep any of those stories but are those stories going to serve you?
I’m never going to be a Picasso and I don’t have a massive passion for it, so it’s very unlikely that I’m ever going to get exceptional at it. I did find it quite therapeutic and it did bring out a bit of joy and I’m wanting to be more playful and it fits with my vision for the year, which is fun. It’s also something that I could do with my daughter, so there’s a whole bunch of reasons why I think it’s a good idea to maybe continue doing a bit of painting.
This show-I’m really passionate about it, which is why, unless I am dead set incapable of speaking like I was the first week, I will turn up. Whether I have a sty in my eye, like I have today, or whether I’m struggling with anything-I’m going to do everything in my power to be here. Instead of making a story up-like I just told you before-I’m going to make the story up in my head every time something doesn’t go exactly how I want it to go-that this is just God, the universe, whatever saying, “Do you really want this? Do you really think you can?” Because there’s going to be obstacles and if you think a sty or a sore tooth is going to be the biggest obstacle you’re going to come up against, and you’re going to quit when that happens-trust me, when the real stuff comes, you’re not going to be ready. You’re not going be prepared. So I’m committed and every time one of these things happens, that’s the story I’m choosing to tell.
You could do that with anything, because it’s your story. It’s your show.
So, this is the choice you get to make every single day when you show up, with anything. Are you going to allow obstacles and roadblocks and things that don’t go exactly how you want them to go, when you want them to go-are you going to allow that to become your excuse as to why you don’t do Happy AF? Or are you going to use that as fuel to push you further forward, because if you are really clear about why you are doing something, then you will always find a way. There will always be a WAY, but the WHY you have to be clear about.
I learnt-I’ve been learning I guess over the last seven years especially, in clinic, working with clients on a daily basis. I know I’m really, really good at helping people GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY and start LIVING A BETTER LIFE.
I know I have the tools and I have the resources. I know it makes me feel good and I know it makes them feel good and I’m very passionate about it. I love it and I like doing it. So, I’m not going to let anything get in my way. I’m committed to that vision of a billion people.
No one jumped in here and gave me the answer. I asked you guys-I think last week-I found the answer out for myself. That’s another thing. Don’t allow that story to stop you from getting somewhere. “Oh I asked someone to do that for me and they never did and so that’s why I didn’t get it done.”
So I asked you guys a question. If my vision was to help one billion people do Happy AF-free, fun, fabulous, As Fuck. Whatever you want it to mean. If I helped a billion people do that? How many people were there on the planet? And it came back at there is about 7.78 billion people-in 2020 they were the numbers. So I’m not very good with compounding. Maths has never been my super power, but if you do the maths-one billion people helps another billion people, and then … so on and so forth. If we kept doing that, imagine. It wouldn’t take us that long, would it?
Are you all ready for the masterpiece? And are you committed to helping me aim high? Are you making some lofty goals for yourself? Are you committed to the process even if obstacles get in your way? And it’s okay to scream and shout and let it all out, as long as after that you can kind of laugh, dance it out and then get on with your day.
Don’t let something, or someone, stop you from getting to where you want to go, because you are in charge of that shit. No one can make you feel anything-even though we’ve been taught they can-no one can make you do anything unless you choose to. Everything is all up to you. It’s on you.
So, happiness needs to be a goal. That needs to be THE GOAL. I’m going to teach you all different things that you can do-definitely creating time and connection with friends is definitely a huge one. I think if you don’t have your tribe-that is definitely an easy place for you to end up not feeling good. So, THIS IS A TRIBE. If you have nobody else but you just connect in with us here each week. THIS IS YOUR TRIBE. We are your family. We’re here to love on you, and support you, and give you everything you need to get to where you want to go.
I know, I’ve dragged it out long enough. I’m going to show you my masterpiece.
This is the masterpiece that I created at my painting day. How did I go? I know. Hold the applause. It’s pretty amazing. Right? The funny thing is, yes it may look like a child painted it, but there’s nothing wrong with that, because here’s the thing. Okay, that’s enough. You’re going to have to come and see me if you want to see it close up. Here’s the thing. I was in my child space when I did that. And, I don’t want to be an artist, but it was FUN. It did definitely make me feel happy. So, what are you going to do, to get outside of your comfort zone that’s going to help you feel a little happier.
I want to hear some suggestions from you guys. Jump on. I will answer all of your comments, wherever it is that you’re watching this-if you’re watching it on replay, #replay. If you’re watching it in YouTube or Spotify. Listening to it on a Podcast. Just tell me. What are the things that you do that help you feel happy.
Have you got your happy song? Are you dancing about? Are you conscious of the comparison thief? That comparison thief will get you every single time, and it doesn’t matter how much work we do-we’re humans-we do the comparison thing.
Alright guys. That’s it from me today. I know we went a bit over but we had technical issues. I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on a thing. Join me here next week at 10:00am (AEST), to see how to become Happy AF.
My name is Sam Bowker. Signing out. I love you guys. Have the best day. Make it count and are you sharing the happiness? Are you sharing this with somebody else? Because if I help you get happy, and you don’t help someone else, then that feels like an epic failure. One person is good, two people are better.
Love you guys.
Have a great day.
Copyright © Sam Bowker February 2022. Show recorded at Happy U Headquarters. 1/155 The Entrance Rd, Erina, NSW 2250.