I like to talk about fear – and the different ways it shows up in our lives and businesses. One of the ways fear shows up is through comparison and the idea that “I’m not enough compared to her”.
I’ve noticed a few instances of the comparison monster recently, so I feel like it is a good topic to dive into.
The first instance was where a gal was comparing herself to me. By her demeanor and her words, it seemed like she felt I was above her…like I was part of that group of cool kids in high school (which I wasn’t!) and she was less than – less special, less deserving, less successful. I tried to let her know that I felt we were exactly on the same level, but I believe she thought I was just being nice.
The second instance was where I looked at one of my mentors and thought, “I’ll never be able to do the things that she does. She’s so organized, clear on her purpose and knowledgeable…three things I’ll never be!” I was definitely comparing my weaknesses with her strengths and discounting her added years of coaching experience.
The third instance was on a virtual group coaching call. One of the women piped up and asked for help with her elevator pitch, because she felt like “everyone else” had a perfectly crafted pitch and she was the only one who didn’t have her act together.
Logically, you and I both know that’s not true. The chance of everyone else on that call being poised with their amazing elevator pitch ready to roll off their tongue is slim to none. But in her mind, it was true. And that arena, the arena of our own mind, is really the only one that counts.
Have you ever been in a situation similar to one of these??
It often appears that everyone else is:
- Prettier, thinner and more talented than you
- Seamlessly and easily balancing business and life
- Posting creative content and gorgeous pics of a stress-free life while you’re struggling to think of anything (anything at all!) to share on social media
- Marketing much better than you – to their ideal niche
- Already beyond the checkered flag of success while you’re still back at the starting line
This happens to all of us. Even if we have the greatest self-confidence in the world, all of us can slip into this comparison trap from time to time. Those people that you think have it all together…they have these thoughts too!
If we stop to think about it, we would admit that rarely (if ever) does everyone else have their act totally together. It just seems like that when we’re looking from the outside in…and usually after we face a setback, are exhausted or hear from a doubting family member. When these triggers are active, our mind views the world from a place of scarcity, fear, doubt and discouragement.
Have you ever thought that you’re the only one who is struggling with her business? I can remember as early as jr high telling my parents that I was the ONLY girl in school who didn’t have (fill in the blank) or wasn’t allowed to (fill in the blank). Obviously that wasn’t true…although it felt true at the time. Did your kids every say anything like this to you??
When we’re in the habit of thinking and speaking in absolutes, it serves only to make us feel worse, buried and wholly undeserving of success.
My mentor, Jack Canfield often says, “When we compare ourselves with someone else, we never come out even.” Either we come out below them, which causes us to doubt ourselves, get discouraged and dismiss our ability to hang out with them. Or, we come out above them which causes us to look down on them, judge them, or dismiss the opportunity to learn from them.
What can we do moving forward?
1. Look at where you’ve come from
Honestly acknowledge the path that has gotten you to where you are now…both the successes and the struggles.There have (no doubt) been bumps and bruises, wins and potholes along the way. No two paths are the same.There are always lessons to learn along the way and those lessons are different for everyone. We have to resist the urge to beat ourselves up for things we could’ve or should’ve done – fully owning our journey and celebrating ourselves for getting to where we are now.
2. Identify 3 things you ARE doing well
When we compare ourselves to others, we mainly focus on what we’re not doing right, or what we’re screwing up.Turn that around and think of three things you are doing well or that are going right. This is especially difficult for some people, but SO important! If you have trouble thinking of three, ask your support team or a loving family member or friend. There’s always going to be things we wish we were doing better, but this helps keep you focused on the positive
3. Tell yourself the following (or something like it if this doesn’t resonate with you): “(Input your name), you are a unique and capable person. There is only one you and you are worthy and deserving of happiness and success. You are on your own journey – one that no one else can navigate. What you don’t know, you can learn, and you are learning lessons every day that are helping you grow and progress. You are doing the best you can with what you have. You got this.”
Here’s what I know for sure…Comparing ourselves with others does nothing for us. It provides no benefit or value. Don’t look to the right or to the left…The path to success is to keep your eyes on your own paper.