I will be the first to tell you that I couldn't survive in business without tools like Facebook and Instagram. They drive so much of my business activity and I love them for it. But, they also have the ability to completely ruin my day, if I let them. Imagine this. Your day is going well, or even just ok. You are ticking off the jobs and feeling pretty good about where you are at. Whilst making your morning coffee, you open up Instagram to have a look at what everyone else in the world of creative entrepreneurship is up to and wham! Your day is ruined as you find yourself questioning everything. You think that you might as well just give up now because everyone else is doing it better than you, looks better doing it than you and seems to have a lot more fun and achieve more success doing it than you. Welcome to the world of self-comparison.
Now I could write a post about how its possible life doesn't look as good for those people you are comparing yourself to as they want you to think and that they may be comparing themselves to others too; but what is the point of that? There isn't any, because anything that has you paying too much attention to what others are doing, is not going to help you one bit in your own business, or personal life. Self comparison takes your attention away from you and if you are going to succeed, you to need to be focused on what matters to you. By comparing yourself negatively to others, you simply undermine your ability to get on with the business of being successful at being you.
Now even if that sounds logical, you and I know that knowing something isn't good for us, won't alone stop us from doing it. If you suffer from negative self comparison, here are some I use to remind me to embrace my self worth.
Choose How You Feel
This is a big concept to get your head around and I don't say it works for everyone and every situation, but if you can master it, it is the most simple way to feel good about a lot of things in your life, including your business. All you need to do is give choosing how you feel a try. Everyone of the people you look up to, could find someone doing it better, or being more successful at it than them. Every one of them! But people who are successful don't tend to do that, they are too busy being themselves to worry about what someone else is up to. Choose to focus on you and choose to feel good about that. Even when you make a mistake, you can choose to look at it in a positive way, because the experience teaches you something. It's all about perspective.
Remember You Are Unique
There is no one like you. There is no one who has had your experiences. There is no one who has your unique combination of gifts or faults, successes or failures. There is no one who has had the same influences around them as you. How can you compare yourself to someone who is not you? You are unique, which means how you work towards your goals and what you achieve and when, is unique to you.
Know That You Have Limitations
And so does the person you are comparing yourself to. When you compare yourself negatively to others, you are focusing too much on your weaknesses and not enough on your strengths. Everyone of us has limitations and weaknesses. Know them, embrace them and even work on them, but don't forget to also, play to your strengths. If you are paying too much attention to what someone else is doing with their strengths, you fail to take advantage of your own.
Limit Social Media
If social media has ceased to bring you joy, or is having an effect on how you feel about yourself and your achievements, it is time to limit it. Yes, if you are in business today, you will probably have to be on social media. But, if it is stopping you from being able to focus on your own business, it is time to limit it. A good way to do this initially could be to use a scheduling tool for social media like Edgar or Buffer. You will still need to be a 'good neighbour' on social media and like and comment on the posts of others, but having a scheduler will help you to be there less, which may be just what you need right now.
Do you have some ideas for things you can do to stop the negative comparison with others? If so share them and your own experiences here with us in the comments.