We’ve all done it – compared ourselves to someone else and not liked how it felt. Social media makes it easier than ever to be able to see what others are doing and analyse our results against theirs, making critical judgements and often getting frustrated in the process. Of course it’s good to know what the competition are doing, and it’s wise to stay on top of market developments when it comes to your career and business, but what about the downfalls of comparison?…
Comparing yourself to others and wondering why you haven’t done as well as them can lead to frustration and confusion, as well as a whole host of other demotivating emotions. I’ve know, I’ve been there.
In the early days of Outshine I was constantly comparing my business to others in the market and changing my approach as regularly as I changed my clothes in a bid to be like everyone else. Surely if I did what they were doing I’d be a success/achieve my goals/make more money, right? Wrong.
I guess it’s human nature to a degree to compare ourselves to the people we admire, aspire to be like, or want to compete against. Those comparisons can provide a benchmark on how to move forward, and give us something to base our goals on.
But (which means forget everything else I just said – this is more important) too often we compare ourselves to others when we’re at a different stage in our journey, and that comparison can do more harm than good. For example, if you’ve just started running for the first time in your life once a week, it’s not helpful to compare your results to a friend who’s been running for the last 5 years and trains 5 times a week. You’re not comparing apples with apples.
The same goes for your business. If you’re in start-up mode there’s no point comparing yourself to a similar business that has been running for many more years. Of course, learn from them, find out what challenges they’ve overcome and where they’re heading, but don’t expect expect to be getting the same results as them, or have the same resources to draw on at such an early stage.
Don’t waste time comparing yourself – instead focus your time and energy on what YOU need to do to move forward and achieve your goals. Sometimes it’s actually better to put your blinkers ON and focus on your OWN plan and vision, rather than getting sidetracked by what others are doing.
Also, remember that sometimes what we think we see is actually very different from the reality, so it’s important to avoid comparing yourself to a situation or result that might be very different in real life. Social media has again exasperated this, and whilst it’s good to be positive, it’s critical to remember that in most cases what people are happy to promote is not always reflective of what is going on for them the majority of the time. If you’re comparing yourself to someone else’s ‘best version’ but expecting those results to be yours 24/7 chances are you’re setting the bar too high or being far too tough on yourself.
At the end of the day, make sure you know who YOU want to be, and what YOU want your business, career and life to look like, and then build a clear path to achieve it. Don’t spend too much time worrying about what others are doing and trying to morph into someone other than who you are. You’ll get the best results from being a true version of yourself and trusting where you are in your journey right now, not someone else’s.
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