When I started out with my own online business as a virtual assistant I offered copywriting, social media management and proofreading as a service. And back then, more and more people seemed to start out as virtual assistants themselves who, in my eyes, all seemed to offer the same services as I did.
I couldn’t stop scrolling through other people’s feeds and websites to check on them what they offered, how many followers they had and what they did. Shortly said: I couldn’t stop comparing my work and my life to the ones of others. And it always made me feel bad because I thought that they accomplished so much more than I did. I thought that they were so much more successful than I was. And I couldn’t see my own achievements anymore.
Eventually, I have discovered that once you are in this cycle, it won’t end unless you try to do something against it. All the comparison deprived me of joy and stole my passion and drive to do what I initially wanted to succeed in. I knew I needed to stop comparing myself to others, even if they were my competitors because this was the only way to becoming a successful business owner myself.
It took me a long time to learn this as I had to change something that has already become a habit. But I learned many valuable lessons which I want to share with you today in this post.
Reasons you should stop comparing yourself
Especially when you start your own online business it is very important not to compare yourself with all the others who have already started theirs. I know that it can be very discouraging to see what all the others have achieved while you are still on level one. But here is a saying that I want to share with you which couldn’t be more truthful.
And there are a lot of reasons, why you should stop comparing yourself to others. Let me point out a few for you.
1. You are too unique to be somebody else
Have you ever wondered why people buy things from a special brand? It’s because they identify themselves with the brand. Let me give you an example: I’m not a girly woman. I never have and I never will be. And there’s nothing wrong with it, right? When I see products that I’m generally interested in but are sold by someone who loves the
Just think about it: What products do you buy and what kind of brands are these business owners? Is there something you can identify with? Why do you like that brand? I bet that there is something you can identify with otherwise you wouldn’t buy it. And the same goes for your business as well. It doesn’t matter whether other people also offer the same products. Your followers buy your products or services because they identify with you as a person. You are too unique to be somebody else and as soon as you learn this, you will attract your own kind of followers who share the same values and interests as you do.
2. Comparison deprives you of joy
Comparing yourself to others adds no value to your life. As soon as you start looking at the things others have on the outside, you start feeling bad of your own situation as you’re not there yet. You can’t enjoy your own achievements anymore and you stop feeling happy about what you have accomplished so far. Comparing yourself doesn’t add any new meaning or fulfillment to your life. Instead, it only distracts you from it.
3. You start focussing on the wrong person
Always checking out what your competitors do leads to one result: You start focussing on that person. You start to see all the things they do instead of becoming active to do something in your life to achieve your biggest dreams. There is only one life that you have and which you can change, and it is yours. Not the one of your competitor. So stop focussing on what they are doing. It has nothing to do with what you have achieved so far and what you are going to achieve in the future. Unless you can’t stop keeping your eyes on them. And this is truly a waste of energy which you can put in your work instead to make the best out of it and achieve all of the goals you are dreaming about.
4. There is simply too much too lose
Comparing yourself does not only deprive you of joy and shifts your focus on other people, but it comes with so much more
But how can you overcome this destructive habit?
Practical advice to overcome comparison
1. Become aware of your thoughts
The key to breaking every bad habit is becoming aware of your thoughts. Our minds control almost everything we do in our lives which is why we have to start here to make a lasting change in our life. So every time you notice yourself comparing to others, sit down and take notes about the thoughts that are running through your mind right now. Have a look at the things I told you above and start noticing the harmful effects of comparing yourself to others.
Becoming aware of our thoughts helps us to change destructive habits from the inside out.
2. Don’t compare other people’s “outside” to your “insides”
I know, seeing other people in social media can seem very discouraging. They seem to be living happy lives, live in the best places, and eat the best food. But what you see is only what is on the outside. Do you know them enough to know whether they really live such happy lives? Let me guess: You don’t.
It is, as I’d like to call it, the “curse of social media”. Hardly any person will post about the bad things in their life but only about the good stuff. And if they do, they only want attention most of the time. At least, that’s what I think. However, we will mostly see the good stuff that is going on in their businesses and lives. And we tend to compare this with how we feel on the inside. That’s quite an unfair comparison, don’t you think? So stop it.
3. Gratitude, gratitude, and again: gratitude
If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I preach gratitude a lot. And there is a reason for it. It helps us to see our achievements, it helps us to bring us joy in our lives and it helps us to stay humble. And those are all the attributes successful business owners have. They are grateful for the things they have achieved so far, and it doesn’t matter what they still want to achieve in the future. Being present and becoming aware of what we have now
So every time you catch yourself comparing to somebody else, stop for a moment, take a deep breath and start thinking about the things you are grateful for in your life. Also, starting your day with gratitude helps you to go through your day with joy and passion.
4. If you can’t stop comparing yourself than use it as motivation
Wanting the things what other people have is simply put just a waste of time. However, we can use comparison in a good way and improve what matters most to us. So if you see people, who are extraordinarily kind or generous, you can use them as role models to also become this way. And there is nothing wrong with it.
So instead of falling prey to its dark underbelly, use it to become a better person or improve your strategies to make your business more successful. However, the freedom and the joy that comes with comparing less is totally worth the effort.
If you are ready to stop comparing yourself to others but still feel afraid to put yourself out there and show the world the “real you”, I have something wonderful for you.
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