“Envy – This is my weak area. Even if in terms of success, I’m cooking on gas, if I suddenly see someone with more, I get that kick in the stomach, that stab in my heart that means I want him dead. I am the first to step forward and admit, I want what the next guy has. No matter what it is, I want it.” – Ruby Wax
Do you sometimes feel like a competitor in TV’s Amazing Race? Always racing for the prize and worrying that your competitors will go sprinting past you. I think that’s how Ruby Wax felt when she made that comment. No matter how well we are doing or how great business is, the moment we shift our focus from the goal to our competitors, we start to burn with envy.
We always seem to lose out on the comparison. Their website is always prettier. They just had a better idea. They have more/better/the ones I want/richer clients. Comparison steals away any joy we might have been feeling. Of course, the answer is to stop looking. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. In the words of your 4th grade teacher, “Keep your eyes on your own paper.”
Here are 6 reasons why you it’s time to STOP comparing yourself to others…
Determine your own reality, your own happiness and your own meaning of success.
What is your goal? It’s always more than just money or “success”. There‘s a feeling and a way of life associated with it, isn’t there? You know when you’re on track because you feel a certain way. There would be nothing worse than winning the race only to find that you just don’t enjoy the prize. Remember that even if your competitors are in the same field and heading in the same direction, your ultimate goals could be very different. Sometimes just being part of the race is success enough.
Keep your eye on the prize.
We love ideas and inspiration. We can’t help it. We’re entrepreneurs. But one of our big weaknesses is that we can be easily distracted by new ideas and leave a litter of half-finished projects behind us. Your competitor’s idea might look exciting and maybe you wish you’d had it first – but do you love it because it’s new or because it’s going to get you to your ultimate goal? Sometimes that’s a tough question to answer but if you focus on your goal, you will soon know if the idea will move you forward or deflect you onto a different path. I know what you’re thinking. I hate to let good ideas go, too, so keep it. Tuck it away in your book of good ideas and use it later. That will keep the idea-lover part of you happy and clear your mind so you can stay on track.
It will make you cray cray.
Listen to the voice of experience, here. Watching what everyone else does WILL drive you crazy. She had a good idea then he had a better one – then that competitor did something really fabulous! How can you compete like that? There’s a whole crowd of competitors out there. Trying to keep up with them all will tip you over the edge. You just can’t do it. No one person can. Besides, just because they look like great ideas, it doesn’t mean they will work for your business. Stop driving yourself cray cray by looking at others and start driving yourself forward by looking at your own business.
You don’t know their clients.
There’s a whole range of needs hidden away within one market. You might be targeting the same people but solving different problems. You don’t really know what their plan is. All you know is what you can see and that’s open to misinterpretation. Look to your own clients and meet their needs. That’s where your real success is going to come from. If you are meeting their needs they aren’t going to want anyone else.
Be a WOMAN.
Girls compete with each other. Women empower each other. Girls are out there trying to take everything for themselves but women have realised that by helping each other they can offer a better service to their clients. They know that there are plenty of clients to go around so they don’t need to capture the entire market – and even if they did, they couldn’t service it. They have also discovered that in supporting others, they are making their own business even stronger. I’d rather have allies than competitors, wouldn’t you?
What you are seeing on everyone else’s blog and Facebook is their “highlight reel.”
Take a look at your own posts. If you were merely an onlooker, what would you think when you read them? “Wow, everything’s going so well for her.” Now think about what you don’t post – all the hard days and knockbacks; all the struggles and not-quite-right’s. No one knows about them, do they? Social media posts only ever hit the highlights. That’s what people want to read. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s all there is for any of us.
Everyone’s journey is unique, with equal parts high and low. As much as you look enviously at the others in your Amazing Race, they will be looking back at you wishing they’d had your brilliant ideas. If you are finding joy in your world that’s all you need.
We would love to know how you deal with envy in your world!
Tell us in the comments below.