Comparisonitis: The compulsion to compare one’s own accomplishments to another’s.
It's easy to look at other women in business from the outside and envy them, thinking to yourself: “Oh, WOW, she's doing amazingly well and I’m failing by comparison, everything I’m doing isn't good enough, professional enough, big enough, etc.”
You then feel a little depressed, like you're not doing enough, not good enough, won't ever be at that level of success or in that much demand. BUT that’s simply untrue!
The truth is - We ALL start somewhere. You'll never get to where you want to be by focusing on other people. You need to start small and gradually over time build up to greater heights of success. History shows out of those experiencing overnight success, very few survive and there’s a reason.
We are human and learn from an early age to gradually build our box of tools and experience to keep us safe. A human baby is born, learns to crawl and then walk….. if we tried to force a baby to walk fresh out of the womb it would fall….. the same thinking needs to be applied to your business baby!
If it makes you feel any better, I’ve lived most of my life comparing myself to others. At first, it was school, my looks, popularity and sports. But as I got older and joined the workforce I began comparing other metrics: job title, income level and worldly successes. The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion. I’m definitely not alone in my experience. But it is a decision that only steals joy from our lives and a habit with multiple shortcomings:
So……. How do we break free from this habit of comparison?
1. Become intimately aware of your own successes.
You have everything you need to accomplish good in your little section of the world. Become intimately aware of your past successes, find motivation in them to pursue more.
2. Pursue the greater things in life.
Some of the greatest treasures in life are hidden from sight: love, humility, empathy, selflessness, generosity. Among these higher pursuits, there is no measurement. Desire them above everything else and remove yourself from others definition of success.
3. Compete less. Appreciate more.
There are times when competition is appropriate, but life is not one of them. The sooner we stop competing against others to “win,” the faster we can start working together to figure out this thing called life. The first step in overcoming the habit of competition is to routinely appreciate and compliment others.
4. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
Gratitude forces us to recognise the good things we already have in our world. Each morning before you start your work day find five things to be grateful for!
5. Nobody is perfect.
Its important to remember that nobody is perfect and nobody is living a pain free life. Success often requires many obstacles to be overcome and everybody is suffering through their own challenges, whether you are close enough to know about it or not.
6. If you need to compare, compare with yourself.
Strive to be the best possible version of yourself—not only for your own sake, but for the benefit we offer to others. Work hard to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Commit to growing a little bit each day. And learn to celebrate the little advancements you are making without comparing them to others.
With so many obvious negative effects in comparison, it is a shame we ever take part in it. But the struggle is real for most of us. Fortunately, it does not need to be, you have your own unique gifts and inner direction guiding you.
Repeat after me:
I am exactly where I need to be right now….. then breathe :)
#TGIT Author: Tamara Awudu Tamara is the proud founder of consulting business “Purple Cow” squeezing joy from life writing and editing copy for websites, sales & marketing collateral, branding and social media campaigns.