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How To Figure Out What Makes You Happy

Oh hey there,

I’m Sarah Von Bargen.

Want to look at your calendar and your bank statement and think “Yup, I made awesome choices”? I’ll show you how to spend your time, money, and energy on purpose.

How To Get Over Comparison + Why We Should All Try

“Oh my God. Becky, look at her house. It’s so big! She must be, like, one of those people who shares photos that trigger my comparison envy.”

($5 if you get that reference)

If you’ve ever felt jealous or wondered how to get over comparison:

  • Congratulations, you’re a human
  • I am also a member of this club
  • Even though it’s a part of The Human Experience, I think we’d all benefit from try to work through it

Why do I think we should try to get over comparison?

Feeling less-than sucks

We’ve all heard the quote “comparison is the thief of joy” and THAT ISH IS TRUE. Why would we want to engage in behavior that steals our joy?!

For many of us, comparison triggers mindless spending

We compare our homes to the Pinterest-worthy spaces decorated by professionals and then we spend $$$$ on throw pillows and a new sofa and a different rug. We compare our wardrobes to six-figure style bloggers and allofasudden we’ve spent hundreds of dollars at Anthropolgie.Learning how to be happy + proud of the lives WE’RE CURRENTLY LIVING is one of the best things we can do for our bank accounts. Click To Tweet
RELATED: A live round of Bank Boost starts on April 5th! Learn more here.

4 ways to get over comparison, envy, and jealousy


👀 View their success as evidence of what’s possible

What if, instead of feeling envy when we see our friend’s home, beautifully decorated with thrifted and DIYed fiends, we view that as evidence that it’s possible to create a beautiful home on a budget?

Rather than feeling envious of my friend Alex who runs a successful business while being on zero social media platforms (??!!!), it’s a reminder that such a thing can be done.

Kamala Harris getting married for the first time at 49? Evidence of what’s possible.

Delia Owens writing a debut novel that topped the New York Times best seller list at age 71? Evidence of what’s possible.

First time marathon runner qualifying for Olympic trails? Evidence of what’s possible.

One asterisk here: let’s be realistic when applying this method.

Someone who’s married to a multimillionaire launching a line of beauty products, is not “evidence of what’s possible” for me, someone who’s married to a scientist employed by the state. Someone who’s been bilingual their entire life becoming trilingual is not “evidence of what’s possible” for those of us who are mono-lingual.

Use this tool when you’re feeling envious of people who are in your “lane.” 

👩‍⚖️ Keep a record of your “admissible in a court of law” accomplishments

Most envy stems from insecurity, right? If we felt truly content and confident in our relationships, careers, bodies, or homes someone else’s perceived success wouldn’t affect us. This “hard evidence” approach to accomplishments and awesomeness really helps.

I don’t know about you, but my brain does best with hard numbers and cold, hard facts. When someone takes Bank Boost and says “This was surprisingly fun and easy!” my brain says “That’s cool. That’s nice.”

But when someone says “Bank Boost helped me pay off $10,000 of debt!” my brain says “I believe you! This is concrete evidence that the things I teach are effective!!!”

And maybe your brain is the same! Look around your life for “admissible in a court of law” level evidence that you’re awesome.

You went from bench pressing 50 pounds to 75 pounds. At the beginning of the school year your kiddo was struggling and now they have an IEP and weekly therapy. You paid off $4,000 in debt last year.

These are all cold, hard facts that could be presented to a jury of your peers and they would rule that, yes, your life is moving in the right direction. It’s hard for your brain to argue with that!

📱 Edit your social media/media in general

We all know this by now, right? If an Instagram account or a magazine or a tv show makes you feel less-than, stop consuming that ish. 

And as we remove the stuff that isn’t working, let’s make sure to fill our brains + feeds up with stuff that does.

Media I go out of my way to consume:

  • Style Instagram accounts run by women over 30 and larger than a size 6
  • Oprah and Red magazine
  • TV shows that showcase real middle class people (Friday Night Lights is a great example!) 
  • Design Instagram accounts where the owners DIY and decorate with thrifted items – The Makerista is my favorite for this.) 
  • Food Instagram accounts that focus on accessible ingredients + reducing food waste – I love Sophia Roe and Joel Gamoran

And if you don’t feel comfortable unfollowing – maybe it’s your sister’s account that’s making you feel less-than and you don’t want to deal with the blow back of unfollowing her – you can always mute. Here’s how.

RELATED: How to use Instagram to make you happier

🧠 Be aware of your triggers

In a perfect world, we’d all be so evolved and self-aware and zen, we wouldn’t even have triggers. But if those three tips I just suggested aren’t enough: just avoid the stuff that makes you feel envious.

A true story from my life: I have a (Lovely! Wonderful! Deserving of all her success!) friend who lives in an honest-to-God mansion. And you know what? Whenever we hang out, I suggest meeting at a coffee shop, going for a walk, or getting a meal out.

I know that hanging out in her beautiful, giant house triggers my comparison envy and my belief that I should absolutely spend a gajillion dollars remodeling every aspect of my already very nice home. WHO NEEDS THAT NOBODY.

I know my triggers and I avoid them accordingly. You can, too. 

How does that feel? Doable, I hope! If you try even one of these tips – reframing others’ success as evidence of what’s possible, finding “admissible in court” evidence of your own success, editing your media consumption, simply avoiding triggers – I bet you’ll feel a lot better.

P.S. Counter-argument: How to use envy as a tool


Photo by Laurie Byrne on Unsplash

Welcome to Yes & Yes!

Want to spend your time, money, and energy on purpose? I'll show you how.

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