Does this sound familiar?
You are soooo excited about your life, your business; everything is moving along at a splendid clip.
A few clients in the hopper and some potentials are hanging in the wings. You’ve made a bunch of sales in the past couple days; a lot more than the previous weeks. Sweet! A few cool new product ideas are churning in your head that have you performing mental cartwheels.
Everything is clicking right along …
And then the apple cart tips.
A colleague announces her brand new program; polished and shiny with a sales page that makes angels sing. You stumble across a blog post so eloquently written, the point so artfully made and it is getting shared everywhere. A new product lands in your inbox practically screaming, “this is gonna sell like hotcakes.”
Or a friend casually mentions that she has a friend … who is just killing it. And you know that particular individual has one plus kid than you, takes care of her infirm mother, volunteers at a local soup kitchen, chairs the PTA and is in beach body shape. And she started her business long after yours.
Crestfallen, you grumble, “why bother, why am I doing this?”
You now officially feel horrible about yourself. Your business is in shambles. Your life is a wreck. You are going nowhere fast. You should just quit now because you are never going to be as successful as THEM.
Watch out, my friend. You’ve just been visited by the triple demons of doubt, despair and discouragement. And they love to prey on folks like you and me. Their pet trick is to play the comparison game by holding up false idols – the people who seem like they are getting so much more accomplished than you; and doing it with ease, grace and certainly none of the internal head banging.
The comparison game players loooove to keep you up late into the night, worrying, fretting and ruminating about other people. No one gets ahead playing the comparison game; it merely stunts your dreams, your goals and your business growth.
Rather than getting caught up in a doomed comparison game, change the rules, expand the field and recast it as a quest for motivation and inspiration.
Play big and know there is room for everyone.
The comparison game players want you to believe the field is small and there is only one winner.
It doesn’t matter where someone else is in their business or their life because it has no bearing on yours. They may achieve every accolade, dream and victory imaginable and the great news is that it doesn’t impact your ability to achieve your own dreams, victories and accolades.
Sounds a bit unbelievable? It’s true. If someone is twice as happy it doesn’t prevent you from being twice as happy as well. If someone launches an awesome product, you can still launch an awesome (and maybe even better) product. Another has authored an amazing book, you can too.
The market is enormous and customers routinely buy multiple products in almost every category that exists so there is opportunity for everyone. Especially for everyone who creates something of great value.
Let others be an inspiration not a point of comparison.
Allow someone else’s success to ignite you, excite you and illustrate what is possible. Of course you can craft an outstanding product! Yes, you gain more customers! You bet you can create a beautiful website! If someone else can do it, then hallelujah, you can too.
Rather than using OPP (Other People’s Performance) to pull you down, use it as a role model and a place of inspiration. “Wow, Marissa did that, well, I can do that too.”
You never know what’s under the hood.
This is a biggie and often the most cause for consternation. Everyone, and I mean everyone, believes that they struggle while everyone else is sailing down easy street.
Gather a bunch of entrepreneurs in a room, get ’em talking and you’ll often hear, “You mean you think your website stinks”, “You also practically throw up before you host a webinar”, “It takes you twenty thousand rewrites to be satisfied with a blog post”. I thought it was just me!
Seriously, all the awful stuff you tell yourself, there are legions of others saying the exact same. I promise. While we may be unique individuals for whatever reason our slingshot egos love to hurl identical disparagements (save a few narcissists and sociopaths of course).
And what you really don’t know is how often those “so successful” role models you secretly
stalk adore are beating themselves up. Their struggle could be twice yours and possibly, their therapist is extremely rich. Everyone else makes it look effortless because you only see the results, not the process. And that process, like making sausage, can sometimes be very ugly.
Give yourself some credit.
Stand up and bask in your own glory. Give yourself a thumbs up, a fist bump, a promotion, a bonus, an extra cupcake, a hug; whatever it is, you deserve it. Go ahead and recognize your hard work. Acknowledge your struggles. Sometimes we are so focused on what is missing that we forget our accomplishments and the extraordinary efforts that went into that.
Look at all you have achieved and take note of the magnitude in that. There are so many others who look to you and say, “I’d love to have that …”.
With a critical eye examine what you are proud of and understand why you are proud of it. Is there a lesson in there? Can you look at what you have done and find momentum there? Can you recall what drove you to attain your greatest successes? In that can you harvest the seeds of optimism and determination so that when you do see others achieving you are energized rather than discouraged.
Now Look Ahead.
Instead of noticing what others have achieved, can you see what awaits you you? How can you expand what you already have? Observe your friends, your peers, your mentors and notice the problems they wrestle with. Are there opportunities to apply your gifts? Consider what you can give to the world instead of what you don’t have.
And when despair, doubt and discouragement come around again, because invariably they will, remember that those feelings, while not fun feelings, are ones of growth. Your inner self wants you to succeed thus it gets busy finding examples of what is possible.
And when those possibilities present themselves, rather than playing the comparison game, use it as fuel to accelerate. Find inspiration in those who are excelling, tackle your dreams with gusto knowing there is unlimited opportunity for everyone and applaud yourself on all that you have achieved (and know that you can achieve infinitely more).