Have you ever been innocently scrolling your Instagram and come across someone you know posting about their BIG news and you felt yourself thinking, damn, why can't I have that? Beware, my friend, you are falling into the comparison trap!
There are moments when we all get there. And we do not want to. We do not want to be comparing ourselves with the other entrepreneurs around us and being miserable for not doing what they are doing. We all want to work on our own businesses and grow them. But all of it happens so noiselessly that you do not even realize that you have fallen into the comparison trap.
How can you identify the trap?
The sure sign you've fallen into the trap would be you looking at something someone did or achieved and say Why haven't I done (or got) this? instead of saying She did (or got) this! This is a very subtle difference. And you barely notice it. But when you do, step back and look at something else for a while. It is okay to feel like that sometimes, especially if what they achieved has been on your goals list for a while. But if they are doing something different and yet you find yourself saying it, you are crossing the line - the thin line (almost invisible) between being inspired by and being jealous of someone.
Sometimes the bigger problem is that we are comparing our beginning to someone else's middle or even success. If you are a beginner quilter, you will find yourself looking at the work by veteran quilters and thinking - I'm no good! Realize that they weren't that good when they started out themselves. If possible, go back to their older posts (from the time they just started out) and see how they were. Chances are they will be somewhere near where you are now!
The comparison or jealousy itself is not as bad as the I am no good mindset that you find yourself getting into. That is the worst thing you can do to yourself. And that is the reason you should try to stay away from the comparison trap altogether.
How can you stay away from the comparison trap?
Well, you cannot avoid it altogether since you only realize you have fallen into it after you already are in! But we can work on getting ourselves out of it fast and staying out.
The most important thing you can do is to create your vision. Define what success means to you. Knowing that your definition of success is different from the other person's will help you stop comparing.
You can also work harder to focus on your goals. Make a vision board that you can see everyday. That will keep your focus on your goals and you will have little time to concentrate on silly comparisons. You can also buy my Pathway to Success : Goal Setting Workbook to help you focus on your goals and make a plan of action to achieve them
Be aware of what you have achieved. Celebrate past achievements. They will help you realize how far you have come since starting out.
Stop looking at other people's work for a while if that helps. Inspiration overload might also be the reason you are comparing yourself to others. Deal with it.
Lastly, realize that they have worked hard to achieve whatever they have achieved today. It is a good thing for them. Be a good friend and celebrate with them. Be happy for them. And invite them to celebrate when you achieve your own goals!
Have you ever found yourself stuck in the comparison trap? How did you get out of it? What do you do to stay clear of it now?