We all do it. We constantly look around at what everyone else is doing. We compare their success, website, program, article, interview, style, branding, photos and anything else we can devour.
It’s so tempting to subscribe to a ton of emails and soak up as much knowledge as possible.
You think you’re being diligent, busily researching all that you can.
But what happens when this ‘research’ turns against you?
We’re not doing it with the intention of self-sabotage; however, that can often be the result.
I remember when I first started my business, I subscribed to a ton of emails. I was learning and researching and didn’t want to miss a thing. But instead of feeling on top of things and finding my way, I felt the crush of overwhelm slowly kick in.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for learning from others and aspiring to be like them. But comparison can have some side effects. We can often get lost in the fog of comparison and lose sight of ourselves.
I’ve learnt over the years when comparison is good, and when comparison is not so good. Let me explain.
Inspiration – When we start building our dream business we can often doubt if it’s actually possible. We know we want the freedom to express our ideas and actually make a living (and life) doing so. Comparing yourself to other women that have already done this can be the motivation you need. Hearing their stories of initial struggle and how they got through that can help you realise you’re not alone.
Inspiration is one of my key drivers when I start to doubt my ability to live the life and create the business I want.
Product Ideas – There are so many different ways we can work with clients these days that seeing what others are doing can often help you think outside the logical square and create a product or service that works for you. The trick is not to copy. We all have our own style that works best for us and the way we want to work.
Take guidance from what you see, but make sure you create something if your own.
Pricing – This can be one of the hardest things to gauge when you’re starting your business or creating something new. It’s tempting to look around at what others are charging and try and fit in with them. I’d suggest that it’s OK to be mindful of what is reasonable in your industry but also consider the audience you prefer to work with and how you like to work before you lock in a price that matches exactly what else is out there. Set a price that feels right to you, and then add a little stretch to it.
Expertise – There are going to be some things you’re really good at and some things you’re not. This is natural so don’t beat yourself up over it. Often it’s necessary to look around and see what others are doing well and work out if you need help in that arena. It may be that you need to learn a new skill or possibly outsource it.
Partnerships – Running your own business can be lonely at times and often limit your potential in how you can truly help people. Partnerships are a great way to offer another level of service and compliment what you’re already doing. Comparing your work with others can allow you to see where there may be a gap. It can also allow you to find other inspiring women that you’d love to work with on an event, program or service.
The Mindset Wobbles – These can pop up at any time but are especially common when we start comparing ourselves to others. The ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m not ready’ chant can start to play in our mind and stop us from going after the ideas we had.
Loss of Identity – We often fill ourselves so much with the ideas of others that we start to lose sight of our own ideas and identity. This can be really dangerous. You must stay true to who you are and the ideas you have. You must work in a way that suits you and your style. Don’t get lost in the fog of comparison and lose sight of yourself. Clear some space for your own ideas rather than everyone elses.
The Showreel – We often forget that in this beautiful online world we can craft the image we want people to see. When you get caught up in comparison it’s easy to forget that we’re only seeing what people want us to see. We don’t have a backstage pass to what’s really going on. So it’s really not fair to think that we’re the only ones who haven’t got it all figured out yet.
You Undermine Your Value – One of the biggest traps I see people fall into is not valuing the talent and information they hold. If things come easily to you, you may not realise that’s a skillset that people want. There is value in your natural style and the journey you have been on, always remember that.
Oooh shiny! – I’m sure you’ve all been distracted by the shiny light and possibility of everything around you. With so many options and opportunities, comparison can be a minefield of distraction and stop you from going after your bigger vision.
How to manage the urge to compare
Rather than gorge yourself on information, be really selective on who you follow.
Unsubscribe to the emails that are clogging up your inbox and making you feel overwhelmed, or sign up to Unrollme.
Be kind to yourself and don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.
Fear, doubt and lack of worthiness are not the ideal breeding ground for you to do your best work. Create an environment that supports you and your ideas, and play the comparison game very carefully.
Stop looking for answers you know you already have within you. Trust yourself enough to go after what feels right for you.
Focus on your story. Your direction. Your style.
I’m all for aspiration, but don’t believe for a second that you’re not ready or not worthy where you are right now.