The Clutch of Comparison
Spend any amount of time scrolling through your social media feed, and it’s hard not to find yourself seized by comparison.
As entrepreneurs, we can get caught doing the same — getting lost in research on competitors or others in a similar business, losing sight of our purpose.
Comparing yourself to others is a trap that can keep you feeling lack instead of abundant.
“Comparison is the thief of joy .” –
One social media study reported in Harvard Business Review last year found that “both liking and clicking others’ content significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.”
On social media, choosing to limit your time online can reduce that need to compare your life to others.
Here are three ways to stop comparing in real life and online life when you get caught.
- Rejoice in Other People’s SucessI’m personally ecstatic when people succeed. I’m thrilled when I see entrepreneurs making a dent in the world. There’s no limit to abundance. When others realize their potential, it shows us what’s possible for ourselves.
We get mired in envy because we don’t know what success looks like for ourselves.
The first step to getting out of the quicksand of jealousy is to define what success means for you.
What does flourishing look like in your life?
It’s essential to get transparent and honest with yourself about what your goals are, and what abundance looks like for you. It’s different for every entrepreneur.
One of my businesses, Citrus Studios, is a digital marketing agency. It’s a competitive space, which has evolved and accelerated, and it would be easy only to notice what others are doing. But by staying focused on what we do well, striving to be an agency for good, we’ve consistently grown for the past 21 years attracting clients who’re aligned with our values.
I know what success looks like for me.
As much as it’s about growing my businesses and creating wealth for my family, it’s also about building relationships and connecting fellow entrepreneurs to others who can further their growth.
This gives me meaning beyond the ups and downs of my work.
It’s also important to not define yourself by monetary success.
If you identify yourself more by your ability to learn and apply what you learned, even if you struggle —and we all do at some point – you can learn from it.
This is a skill I’ve learned through my time as an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) because EO is committed to helping both young and experienced entrepreneurs learn and grow on a personal and professional level. This includes executive-level education programs such as the formidable Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT, which I am so grateful to have graduated from in 2018.
- Notice What You Have“Our attitude toward life
determines life’s attitude towards us.” – Earl Nightingale
This is one of those mindset shifts that comes more naturally with a mindfulness or gratitude practice. When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you disconnect from your strengths.
What often happens when we have money or attain a certain level of success is we compare ourselves to others that have similar or more. It’s a horrible state to be. Endless cycle of unhappiness.
Leaning into what you value can keep you centered, so you’re not looking outward and comparing.
- Compare yourself only to a previous version of yourself“Comparison with myself brings improvement;
comparison with others brings discontent.” – Betty Jamie Chung
It’s easy to get trapped thinking that someone who seems like they’re further in their career or life than you are is better off. The truth is, we can’t know what someone else’s life feels like on the inside. We also miss our growth and the life we’ve created when we’re focusing on someone else.
When you find yourself comparing your life to someone else, instead compare yourself to where you were a year ago or five years ago. By comparing yourself to a previous version of yourself, you’ll be able to see where you’ve grown and where you’re stagnant. Those opportunities for growth are essential to understand, not so that you can beat yourself up, but so that you can see more clearly areas where you can reach out for help.
This is where having fellow entrepreneurs to ask for guidance can be so helpful. In EO, we have a specific way of sharing our knowledge. Instead of telling others what to do — no entrepreneur wants to be told what to do — we share from our personal experience, and only if we have a relevant experience to share. In this way, you can learn from other’s successes and sometimes failures. Either way, it’s a supportive, collaborative environment.
When I look at where I was before and where I am now, I see that I’m doing OK because I’m an immigrant, and I’ve created businesses and a family life that I love.
If we focus on our goals, what we have, and who we are, we can see that we’re already living in abundance. You’re free from the clutch of comparison.
The light of abundance bursts through the densest of forests and shines to everyone, including you.
Here’s to you — Here’s to your success,
Winners compare their achievements with their goals.”
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WHAT I READ THIS WEEK AND LOVED!
“I will not reason and compare:
my business is to create.”
THE SONG I REPLAYED THE MOST THIS WEEK
She’s imperfect, but she tries
She is good, but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy, but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone, but she used to be mine
My book is now on sale! My goal is to sell 25,000 copies!
My goal is to help 1M female founders change the world!
Please share with a female entrepreneur or aspiring one!