Sometimes I find myself comparing myself to others who are seemingly further ahead than me. It can be painful and crippling to feel like I’m not good enough.
I imagine those “successful” people don’t have to work hard for things like I do – clients fall into their laps, they have tons of followers on social media who regularly engage, they’re always on top of their business activities, and they do it all gracefully!
Can you relate?
In a recent conversation with a group a women in business, it emerged that most of us were comparing ourselves to others too. So I’ve decided it’s time for us all to have…
a wake up call!
All of our imaginary thoughts of what other people have that we don’t have are nonsense.
They are excuses and they’re holding us back.
In reality, we each have everything we need to be successful at what we’re trying to do. It doesn’t matter how much time, money or experience we feel we may lack.
We have drive, right? We have determination, right? We have the willingness to commit, learn new things and work hard, right?
Then I truly believe we are capable of reaching our full potential.
We just need to stop the excuses.
So the next time you find yourself comparing yourself to anybody else, try these four techniques instead.
1. become aware of your own successes
Someone once told me that starting a business is like tending to a garden.
You have a big patch of soil in front of you, and you plant in some seeds. Every day you water the seeds and tend to the soil. Eventually the first seedling pops its head up from the ground. You’re so excited that your efforts have finally paid off!
Yet the next day, you return to your patch and that little seedling annoys you. You look at the rest of the surrounding dirt and wonder where all the other seedlings are. “When are they going to pop up?”, you ask yourself.
What were to happen if you only focused on that empty patch and neglected the seedling? It might not grow anymore. It might die. But if you continued to give your attention to that seedling, even if it’s the only one, you might end up with a beautiful flower!
Things don’t always go as quickly or smoothly as we expect them too and it can be disheartening when we think of how far we have to still go in our businesses. Although it is important to keep your future vision in mind, it is equally important to recognise the good things that are going on around you each day.
Use each success, no matter how small it may seem, to motivate you to pursue more.
2. be inspired by others
Comparing ourselves to others is silly. We don’t know the struggles that they have been through to get to where they are now. We only hear the good stories.
But finding inspiration and learning from others is smart. Work hard to understand the difference.
Put your ego to the side and be objective about the areas that you’d like to improve. Then find out how other people do these things. Reach out to people and ask them questions.
If you find yourself slipping back into comparison mode, take notice of the things that prompt a positive change and which create a negative influence.
3. change your surroundings
When we’re not having a great day and we’re working on our own, it can be easy for negativity to spiral out of control. Sometimes just two setbacks have to happen simultaneously for us to tell ourselves that “this is a stupid idea and it’s never going to work!”.
Comparison to others goes into overdrive, we stop being objective, and the excuses come out hard and fast. And then we stop taking action.
The next time you find this happening to you, get away from your desk for a little while. Go anywhere – even if just to another room.
You’ll find that a change in your surroundings will prompt a change in your thinking.
4. be proud of yourself
If you need to compare to anyone, compare to yourself.
Strive to be the best person you can be and look for ways to learn and grow each day, but from a place of love, curiosity and knowledge.
Recognise that you have come a long way already, not just in business, but in life too! Be proud of these achievements and celebrate them!
but, you want to make it work, right?
People often don’t realise how their excuses hold them back, yet they wonder why their business isn’t taking off. The secret is to take consistent action.
And sometimes when you’re working on your own, the best way to take consistent action is to tell others about your plans and ask them to hold you accountable. It’s harder to justify your excuses to somebody else!
Accountability is just one of the things I provide in Simplicity, my 10 week business accelerator where you’ll get focused, get confident and get customers. Get yourself on the waitlist for our next cohort here.