In his book “Think Like a Monk” Jay Shetty calls the 3Cs - comparing, criticizing and complaining, the cancers of the mind.
This is so true and really good to be aware of and to look out for.
It’s so easy to slip into the trap of comparing, criticizing and/or complaining and just like quick sand, once you are in there, it’s hard to get out.
I like to think of this as stay in your own lane and with this I hold a clear image of a one lane road, my road.
I call this road Freedom Lane.
The "C Lanes," the comparing, criticizing and complaining lanes, are deviations and rat runs that take me away, far away from the path that I want to be on.
My Freedom Lane isn’t a fast lane. It has more of a fácil Spanish for easy) feel to it and in this lane I can do just that, take it easy and go at my own pace.
The C Lanes offer little to no value, they don’t get me to where I want to be any quicker, in fact they keep me stalled and stuck in a gridlock of self-criticism, comparisons to others who I think are better than me or achieving more than me. Then comes the complaining that I haven’t done this or that.
I notice I veer into the C lanes when I’m feeling a bit “meh,” tired or overwhelmed.
Social media makes it so easy to criticize, compare and complain and once I start scrolling it can be hard to stop and my inner critic goes into overdrive.
To get back into my own lane, my own road, I remind myself that no one’s life is perfect, no one has it all and what is it that I really want anyway?
I want to SLOW down, live simply, in the way that I choose.
I want freedom and ease and I won’t find any of those things if and when I detour into a C Lane.
The truth is complaining, criticizing and comparing doesn’t benefit anyone mentally, emotionally or physically.
It’s not easy to stay in “my own lane.” It takes a lot of awareness and noticing.
Awareness of the negative effects the 3 Cs exert, noticing when my mind wanders and tries to slip into the detours, then gently and kindly bringing it back to the road ahead.
Set your own purpose and goals, whatever is important and meaningful to you and commit to staying in your own lane as this is where the true freedom is.
Most importantly, don’t rush and enjoy the ride.
I’d love to know what helps you to stay in own lane?
Image from Timothy Eberley - Unsplash