That sneak pesky comparison trap! It gets us all from time-to-time.
Do you look at the people in magazines, on television and social media and think
“I wish I had those legs.
I wish I had those boobs.
I wish I could afford that car
I wish I could build a business like that
I wish I had that many fans on Facebook
I wish I could do what she/he does”
I could fill a hundred pages with thoughts and wishes just like these. Why do we do this to ourselves?
You aren’t supposed to have things like someone else. You aren’t supposed to do things like someone else or be in the same position at the same time as someone else. You are you! You came from a different and unique mold that only you can fill.
I recently read a very discouraged message from a fellow business owner. She was disappointed with the speed (or lack of) which her business was growing. She was ready to throw in the towel. But it was very clear to me that she was actually doing pretty well. She was in no way losing money and though her progress was slow, it was progress none the less. So if it was clear that she was making progress, why was she ready to quit?
The Old Driving Rule: Be at Least 2 Car Lengths Behind the Driver in Front of Your
This is what happens when we follow others too closely. We start comparing the details of everything, but only everything we can see. But…how many times do we need to back it up? We see the surface of what appears to be great success and perfection. We fail to see the hours of focused work to make those results happen. We don’t hear about the thousands of failed attempts and late night hours making changes and perfecting plans. You aren’t getting the same results because you aren’t putting in the same effort. You aren’t investing the same amount of time. You are not investing the same amount of money into training and books that will help you improve your game. When you’re so focused and “close up” to something, sometimes, most times, it’s hard to see the bigger picture. If you backed up from that car, you might see some rust from sitting outside, the tires need some air and the interior of that car? Well, you don’t know a thing about it. Are you getting the analogy? I point this out not to make you feel like a failure but to make you see that you can only give what you can give.
As a mom with 4 small children and a husband who deploys frequently for work, I can’t compare my results to the wife with no children who invest 8-10 hours a day to build her business. I can’t and I won’t because what is practical for my life and goals is going to be different from everyone around me.
So how do we break ourselves from being broken and defeated by the comparison game?
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
― Mark Twain
- Be fully aware of the dangers of comparison. It truly does suck away all of your joy and impedes you from reaching your full potential. And you have some pretty huge potential I hope you know!
- Count your blessings! Start making notes of all that you have accomplished and all that you do have. What features on your body do you love? What are you great at? If you start focusing on your inner awesomeness then you will feel less need to compare yourself to others.
- Just be better! If you want to improve YOU then do it. The only real person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday, right? So what is it you want to improve? Seek out the necessary tools you need to improve in those areas. Google is your very best friend!
- Be grateful: Simply learning to have gratitude in any and all circumstances is going to change you in ways you won’t believe. So when you are making that list of blessings, be sure to voice your thankfulness. Even the worst circumstances have, there is a sliver of hope.