How I get out of comparison mode
(and you can too…)
The other day I was at a yoga class and noticed that I was comparing myself to the other women in the class. While I practice yoga a few times a week (and I truly love it), I consider myself a beginner.
I’m not able to do arm balances or poses that require a lot of flexibility or core strength.
Most of the time I am totally OK with this. Most of the time I am able to watch the amazing things these women are able to do and feel inspired by them.
But on this particular day, my mind took me on a walk to the land of compare and despair mode.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the place. We all go there at times. It’s not fun.
By comparing myself to the other women, I sabotaged my ability to have a fulfilling yoga practice.
I wasn’t able to go as deep into the poses.
My balance was poor because I was looking at others instead of focusing on what was happening on my mat.
I was less willing to take a risk and try something new because I was certain I wouldn’t do as good of a job as the other women in the class.
When we look at what other people are doing, we lose focus on our own strengths, desires, and our ability to feel fulfilled.
This got me thinking about my business and your business – and the ways we sabotage our success (and happiness), by comparing ourselves to our colleagues.
Here’s what happens when we compare…
We diminish our own accomplishments
Let’s say you just launched a program and enrolled 20 people. You were excited, until you learned that another coach enrolled 50 people in her program. What started out as a celebration became a pity party.
We thwart our creativity
When we pay close attention to what our colleagues (and competitors) are doing, it becomes very difficult to tap into our own creativity about what we want to offer, who we want to work with, and how we can market ourselves. When we’re in comparison mode, there’s more of a tendency (without realizing it) to copy what others are doing. And the truth is that what may be one coach’s “golden ticket” may not be yours.
We’re unable to see the opportunities right in front of us
When we’re comparing ourselves, we’re in a contractive state and our mind is closed off to the possibilities around us. We may not see a potential client, partner, or an unmet need our clients have.
I strongly believe that you’ll not only be happier, but that you’ll also have a much more successful business when you focus more inward.
What can we do to shift out of compare and despair mode?
We’re all human, so from time to time we’ll end up (despite our best intentions) comparing ourselves to others. I’ve found that avoiding comparison mode is a muscle that I’ve needed to strengthen over time. Here’s how I’ve flexed this muscle…
Celebrate their success
When you notice what other coaches are accomplishing, celebrate it! If they’re doing well, this means there’s a market for what they (and you) are offering. Look at this as a sign of the success you can also experience. And remember, there’s enough goodness to go around for all of us!
Put yourself in a bubble
While some people will argue that you should be aware of what your competitors are doing, if you’re someone who tends to get into comparison mode, I dare you to ignore what other coaches around you are doing. In yoga, my most fulfilling practices are the ones where I’m only paying attention to what’s happening on my mat. While it’s great to learn from other people and get inspired, you can get inspiration from people and businesses in other industries.
Listen to yourself & your audience
Once you start focusing on your business, you’ll find it’s much easier to hear your own voice (what you want) and what your audience wants. Your creative juices will start flowing and it will be easier to think outside-the-box. My best ideas have come from listening to what I felt compelled to do (vs. copying what others were doing).
Take stock of your achievements
Rather than thinking about what others are achieving, take note of what you have accomplished. Where are your now compared to 6 months ago or 6 years ago? This is a biggie for me. My natural tendency is to focus on my future goals, rather than taking time to notice (and celebrate!) all of the things I’ve accomplished.
I’d love to hear from you.
In the spirit of shifting out of comparison mode, share something that you’ve accomplished – an action you took or a goal you reached. Where are you now compared to 6 months ago or 6 years ago?