The “Comparator”

If we were a car, periodically, we’d need to go to the mechanic to fix our ‘comparator’.
The comparator exists within each of us. It’s not needed to run efficiently, and when it goes into overdrive, it actually slows us down.
But, for some reason, it can be difficult to keep it balanced.

When our comparator needs a tune-up, we hear it speak in our heads saying things like, “You are ‘less than’ you can be, than he is, than your mom/dad/spouse/partner/friend/kid needs you to be.” It tells us to look around to measure our worth, our contributions, and how we’re doing. It gives us a laser focus on all that is right in the world…of other people. It magnifies the great accomplishments of others and vividly reminds us of the places we fell short.

Without periodic maintenance checks, the comparator can poison us. Its toxic fumes and delusional visions are capable of not only paralyzing us to do nothing, but actually sabotaging us to feel so dismal we seep joy and live shallowly in a state of darkness. As we look outside of ourselves for how we measure up, we are blinded to our uniqueness. The gifts God gave us that no one else has (gifts that someone else is quite probably comparing themselves to) are passed over quickly or never even recognized when the comparator is out of whack.

To keep your comparator operating correctly, it’s important to follow these steps:
1) Remind yourself 1x/day (and more when necessary): “I am enough. What I am doing is enough.”
2) My life’s journey is my own.
3) No one’s life is as good as it looks from the outside. We are all a work in progress, and each one of us is struggling with something.
4) The only thing keeping me from being my best is the fact that I’m trying to be someone else. What I’m really good at is […]
5) Today, I will not measure my performance. I will simply live. Trusting myself to do my best, and then simply…being me.

Periodic tune-ups are critical to avoid a massive engine slowdown or total breakdown. And, even if you’ve had your comparator checked recently, be aware that it can go haywire with a bit of news, a well-intentioned Facebook post, a colleague’s promotion, or even the start of a new year.

Remember we are all in this together. Tell someone if you are struggling with the comparator. Sometimes the very best way to get a perspective and really get your comparator tuned properly is to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. Especially if your comparator hasn’t been for a check up in a while…a trusted person in your life can be the jumpstart to get it back in gear.


  1. Amazing, simply amazing how your blogs gives that little nudge to try small changes for huge impacts. May you continued to be blessed with this beautiful gift of writing and stay true to your feelings during the process.

    1. Your blogs have a unique way of showing up when I most need them. I am sorry you had such a challenging week at work.
      These are critical thoughts for me as I move through this transition waiting for feedback and a reminder that challenges come whether you are employed or not.
      Thank you. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. Transitions are so hard, Deborah. Just as you seek to find your next chapter…that next chapter is pulling for you to find it. And, you will. You live with empathy, and true desire to help others. You’ve done that for so many, and there are so many who are awaiting your arrival in their lives. I know you trust that. Yet, we both know the waiting is hard. It will be worth it.

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