Do you ever fall into the comparison trap?
If you find yourself scrolling through social media and comparing your life to the lives of others, comparing yourself to them, feeling inadequate or like you just aren’t making progress fast enough, then you are in the right place.
You know what they say: Comparison is the thief of joy.
But you can steer clear of the comparison trap and avoid having your joy stolen!
Stay in Your Own Damn Lane
This is something I say a lot. It’s become a bit of a catch phrase and we use it within Unstoppable Influence quite often to remind our members the importance of focusing on their own journey and progress.
We didn’t always understand that, though. Rich remembers early on, watching others in businesses similar to ours who were totally crushing it, and he just didn’t understand what they were doing that we weren’t. He held himself to a high standard, he busted his butt working towards his goals, but recalls comparing. Why were we not getting the results that all those others claimed to be getting?
It wasn’t until later we realized they were actually just saying they achieved those results. Many of those people ended up doing terribly in their businesses, were doing things that were sketchy, or entirely went out of business or even ended up sued by the government.
Rich then recognized that sometimes when people feel they are stalling in their businesses, it’s because they are putting too much focus on themselves instead of who they serve. Stay in your own damn lane!
You Don’t Know the Real Story
It can feel difficult to stay in our own lane at times, especially when you see the big success of those around you or in a similar field.
What’s so important to understand is that you have no idea what the real story is. You may hear of someone who makes 20 million in revenue. Wow, that’s great, right? But what if that business does not turn a profit?
We rarely watch TV, but we do like entrepreneurial shows and we were watching a show that talked about businesses that were making multi-millions in revenue, but were actually making nothing.
People look at these supposedly very successful people and they start feeling terrible about themselves. They begin comparing their progress, doubting their abilities, and shrinking down.
You cannot benefit from comparing yourself to that person or their business.
The Personal and Family Life
This doesn’t only happen in business. We see it all the time in personal and family life as well.
There was a story on Facebook about a mother and daughter at the pool. They had matching outfits and took selfies, and the little girl was all excited to go in the pool. It all looked picture perfect, or at least that’s how it would appear on social media.
The mom spent time on her phone as the little girl was all anxious to play, and it turned out the child only got a brief few moments in the pool before it was time to leave.
Then there are moms whose house looks like a tornado came through, toys and food scattered everywhere, kids climbing all over her, and she’s comparing herself to the Mom on Instagram that looks like they’ve got it all together with the perfect Mommy and Me day, and she’s feeling less than.
She is in the comparison trap, rather than realizing those kids jumping on her, laughing and smiling, are happy kids. You’ve got the special bond, you feel love and joy together. That is what it’s really about.
In a book I’m reading, “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World,” they discuss how we are so focused on what everyone else is doing and using that as a measure of our own worth and capabilities. But again, we don’t know everyone else’s real story.
Too often people go out of their way to take a pic with their phone instead of just living in and appreciating the moment. They want to capture the “best” moments, which is what others who are comparing may assume depicts their life overall.
So don’t compare your daily grind to someone else’s highlight reel.
But It’s All Been Done Before
We hear it all the time. People are hesitant to “do the thing” because someone has already done it. They are comparing themselves to those who have taken those steps.
Perhaps many people have done it, but in reality, that’s a good thing. If there is a lot out there, it means there is a need or want. There’s a demand. If there’s none, that might be when it’s time to worry.
Every person has their own experience to bring to the table. Someone may need YOU at that exact moment. It depends where they are in their journey at the particular time.
Even if others are more experienced or more “whatever” than you, people need to hear and experience things the way YOU tell it. You might be the person that they resonate with most and make a major impact in their lives.
If you are going to compare yourself, then compare yourself with who you were yesterday. There is a Japanese philosophy of constant, never ending improvement. Set your milestones and goals, and then move forward, only comparing yourself to yourself and no one else.
Seeing others on social media who are totally crushing it can be inspiring, or you can find yourself filling up with self doubt. You get to decide if you let it fuel you or frustrate you.
Keep moving forward until you hit your goal. If there’s a setback, don’t worry about others and their progress or setbacks.
Always just stay the course… YOUR course.
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