Melissa Ambrosini is the bestselling author of Mastering Your Mean Girl, Open Wide and PurposeFULL, the host of the top-rated podcast The Melissa Ambrosini Show, a keynote speaker, and entrepreneur.
Named A ‘SELF-HELP GURU’ BY ELLE MAGAZINE; her mission is to inspire others to unlock their full potential and live their dream life. With a deep commitment to empowering others to become the best version of themselves, Melissa believes that transformation is possible for everyone. She strives to inspire others to reclaim their power, step into their truth, live with intention, and move in the direction of their dreams.
Melissa stops by to chat her latest release ‘Comparisonitis: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Be Genuinely Happy’, her smash podcast as well as recently becoming a mother.
2020 was a journey and in many ways a reset for the world, a pandemic, social justice changes and so much more. How did the outside world affect your world and how did you adapt? 2020 brought a lot of clarity and made me get really clear on what’s important in my life and what’s not. I’m the type of person that likes to always look for the gold in every situation and for me (and many others) it was a great stocktake and a giant reset. 2020 reminded my husband and I how precious and sacred life truly is. It made us clear out the clutter and simplify all areas of our life.
Tell us a little about ‘Melissa Ambrosini’ and her journey to fulfillment? Are you there yet? Or is it a constant journey? My inward journey started in 2010 when I hit rock bottom and ended up in hospital with a whole host of both physical and mental health issues. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in my life now in many ways, but I’m still on my journey and I will be forever. I like to say we are all in ‘Earth School’ — all of us here on this planetary playground are learning, growing, and evolving every day. That’s why we are here. So I’m definitely still learning like everyone else!
You just released your new book ‘Comparisonitis: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Be Genuinely Happy’. Tell us about the genesis of the title and how it relates to your journey? Comparisonitis is when you compare yourself to others so frequently and fiercely that you’re left paralyzed, with your confidence in tatters and your self-worth plummeting. It may sound trivial, but this affliction can have serious adverse effects on our mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, overthinking, and regret. (Not fun!)
For me, the genesis of this book began when I was a kid. From a young age, I was working in industries where comparisonitis was rife, like acting, dancing and modelling. Spending so much time in those environments meant that I ‘caught’ the comparisonitis bug at a young age, and it really took hold and carried into adulthood. I wasted far too many hours of my life looking around at other people to determine my own worth, then beating myself up like crazy for all my apparent “failings”.
It took me a long time — and a truckload of inner work — to unpack what was going on in my head and overcome those habituated thinking patterns. So once I came out the other side (and in particular, once I developed a process that helped me end the cycle) I knew it was something I wanted to share with others. Especially because comparisonitis has become more common now than ever before, particularly with the advent of social media, and especially in young people. This book feels like the most important work I could share with the world right now, and I’m thrilled to be sharing it at this moment in time.
Take our readers through the ACES Technique acronym that can start them on the path to feeling ACE again after they have found themselves suffering from Comparisonitis. The 4-step ACES Technique is a simple but genius framework which underpins all the other tools and tactics you’ll find in the book. You can use this technique whenever you find yourself spiralling into toxic comparison, or beating yourself up because you don’t “measure up”. It will jump you out of those negative, toxic feelings quick-smart!
Here are the four steps:
- Choose a different path
- Shift your state
(They’re easy to remember, because you’ll feel ‘ace’ once you end the cycle of comparison!)
Here’s the nutshell version of each of the steps —
Step #1. Awareness — Like with so many aspects of growth and inner work, awareness is the first step. You have to become aware of any areas in which you are comparing yourself. And the tricky thing is, comparisonitis is a master of disguise — sometimes you won’t even know that you’re trapped in the cycle! (I provide heaps of examples in the book, so you can get really clear on which behaviours are rooted in toxic comparison.)
Step #2. Choose a different path — The next step is to make a decision that suffering is NOT what you want for yourself in this moment, and to choose a different path instead. Rather than falling into those toxic, heavy feelings, what do you want to experience instead? What could you invite into this moment that might facilitate peace instead of suffering? You might like to frame it as “I choose X”, for example — I choose peace. I choose happiness.
Step #3. Eliminate — If you can, eliminate the trigger that’s caused you to spiral into comparison. Are you on social media? Then get off your device. Or perhaps reading a magazine is what has triggered your comparison? Then close your mag and put it out of sight. Sometimes, you can’t “eliminate” a trigger. In that case, you can either ‘Exit’ (walk away from the situation that’s triggering you) or ‘Exhale’ (breathe out long and slow, and get super present in your body).
Step #4. Shift your state — Now that you’ve become aware, chosen a different path, and eliminated the trigger, it’s time to shift your state to a lighter, higher vibration. The fastest way to do that is through movement — dancing, stretching, walking, swimming in the ocean, whatever. Even just tensing all the muscles in your body for twenty seconds, then releasing them, can do wonders for your energy.
So that’s the ACES Technique. It’s super powerful, and the more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it and the quicker you’ll be able to vault yourself out of comparison and into a better-feeling energy.
Your Smash Hit Podcast ‘The Melissa Ambrosini Show’ continues to go from strength to strength. What is about the show you think stands it apart and what can we expect from future episodes? Right from the start, I’ve been committed to two things — (1) getting incredibly high-caliber guests on the show, and (2) being open, candid, and real about my own journey. I think listeners come to the show, originally, for those incredible interviewees (like Glennon Doyle, Marie Forleo, Dr. Michael Greger, Jay Shetty, Wim Hoff, Dr. Bruce Liption, and more), but then they stay because they feel connected to my story, and they love feeling like we’re in this growth journey together, with me in their earbuds cheering them on. I always want our listeners to know that I’m growing and learning just like them, and I believe that’s a big reason people keep coming back for more and more.
Also, as a side note, we have the best sound quality and production values possible for an independent podcast. I’m married to a musician who cares deeply about these things (!), so we pride ourselves on providing an epic audio experience!
You’re a first-time mother – firstly congrats!!! How has becoming a mother changed you and your view on work/life balance? Thank you! My daughter is only a few weeks old, and already, becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways. It’s truly been the most joyous experience of my life.
Even before I got pregnant, I started thinking about how family life and work life would fit together. For me, I prefer to think of it as work/life ‘integration’ rather than balance, because I don’t think striving for a ‘perfect’ balance exists (and it implies that everything might come crashing down around you if you lean too far in one direction!).
Obviously, I’m still brand new at this and have a lot to learn. But I’m big on giving myself a lot of grace, and allowing myself to switch between the two areas as needed. There are going to be times when your work requires more of you — like when you’re in the middle of a launch or just released a book or about to give a big presentation at work. And then there will be times when your personal life needs you more. It’s all about doing your best to integrate the both, if that’s what you desire. (Or you can be a full time mother, and if that’s your choice, then own it because that’s awesome.)
For me, it boils down to trying to show up as the best mother I can be when I am with my daughter and bonus son (that’s what I call my step son), and then to show up as the best version of me for my work. Whatever I’m doing, I try to be all there and 100% focused and present, not split between the two doing neither well.
You’re married to musician and entrepreneur Nick Broadhurst and are very open to sharing life to help others see all facets of a relationship. What do you think are the keys to a successful long-term partnership? I share all about the keys to a successful long-term partnership in my book Open Wide: A Radically Real Guide to Deep Love, Rocking Relationships and Soulful Sex. But two of the biggest things are practicing what I call ‘CCC’ (Crystal Clear Communication) which is where you speak openly and loving from your heart. It’s not about pointing the finger, judging or blaming. It’s about opening your heart and speaking from there. There is only ever a communication breakdown in our relationship when one of us hasn’t practiced CCC. This one tool has been a game-changer for us and it’s something we still use every day.
Another key to a successful long term partnership is making sure you are always taking radical responsibility for how you are showing up and making sure you are continuously doing the inner work yourself, so that you are showing up in your relationship as the best version of you. When two whole and complete people come together, owning who they are, having done the inner work and taken responsibility for themselves, that’s when magic in your relationships happens.
What is next for Melissa Ambrosini? Right now, I’m soaking up the newborn bliss bubble. I want to be the most present, patient, and soft mama I can be, so I’m giving myself plenty of space and grace to just enjoy motherhood. I’m also promoting Comparisonitis and being interviewed for many podcasts and media outlets, which is so much fun. And I’m continuing to release new episodes weekly on my podcast, which has been going off. So for the rest of this year, those three things are my biggest focus.
How can readers find out more on you, your latest book Comparisonitis and podcast? Socials? Website?
Check out and subscribe to my website for updates: www.melissaambrosini.com
Grab yourself a copy of Comparisonitis at www.comparisonitis.com
Listen to The Melissa Ambrosini Show wherever you listen to podcasts
Come follow me on Instagram @melissaambrosini
Photography: Elisabeth Willis Photography