Do you ever compare yourself to others unfavourably? Maybe you compare yourself to other people in your industry who are getting the opportunities you want to get and you wonder why you’re not there yet?
Or maybe you see other people living their best lives on Instagram, going on a holiday at the Maldives, wearing designer clothes, selling out high-ticket coaching packages with ease, and you wish that was you?
This form of self-sabotage is called comparisonitis. It’s a compulsion to compare yourself unfavourably to other people – often people you don’t even know.
Comparisonitis is a waste of time and energy that kills your business- often before you even start it.
In this episode, I share how comparisonitis hurts creative and multi-passionate entrepreneurs and 3 ways you can overcome it, so you can finally create YOUR dream biz, your way:
Social Media & Comparisonitis
Comparing yourself to others is something that we all do, but it’s gotten way worse since social media, and particularly Instagram, appeared on the scene. I remember, in 2014, going on a media diet and deciding to stop watching TV, stop reading women’s magazines, stop consuming media content that left me feeling insecure about myself, my body, and my abilities – and I felt amazing!
For a while, I stopped comparing myself to other people and just focused on pursuing my dreams, moving to London, starting my business… I was doing really well for myself. But then, I decided to open an Instagram account for my business and, all of a sudden, I saw my mental health plummet and comparisonitis come back with a vengeance.
Every time that I logged onto Instagram, I saw other freelancers and influencers being invited to glamorous dinners, receiving thousands’ worth of skincare products, going on trips all over the world and, I couldn’t help but wonder, why am I not getting those opportunities? What’s wrong with me?
The truth is, there never was anything wrong with me. Back then, I was living MY dream. I was living in my favourite city, making money from my passion, I had met a very special man… And instead of feeling grateful for all the blessings in my life, I focused on the things that I didn’t have, the things that I hadn’t even wanted until I saw everyone else have them.
Your brain is programmed through repetition. When you see something enough times, be it 7-figures coaches selling out luxury retreats, young influencers wearing designer clothes most people can’t afford, entrepreneurs being successful by niching down… when you see something enough times, your brain normalises it.
It makes you think that’s the reality, that’s how it should be, and if you’re not doing it, if you don’t have it, then you start to wonder why and whether there’s something wrong with you. Again, there is nothing wrong with you. What you see on social media is not the reality, not all of it anyway. It’s just the highlight reels.
You see the fancy holidays, the designer clothes, the successful 6-figure launches… What you don’t see is the challenges to get there, the long hours of work on that fancy trip, the tech disasters that almost derailed the launch, the sacrifices they had to make… You compare their highlight reels to your everyday reality – of course you come out of the comparison feeling wanting.
How Comparisonitis Hurts You And Your Business
Comparing yourself to others is natural, we all do it. It’s also a waste of time and energy that will get you nowhere. When was the last time anything good came out of it? Never, because comparisonitis is a set-up for failure. If you don’t break out of this pattern, it’ll kill your business – sometimes before you even start it.
This is especially true for us multi-passionates. When you compare yourself to entrepreneurs who are building niche businesses, for example, you start to believe that’s the only way to be successful. You begin looking for your one true passion, but multi-passionates don’t have one, so you keep going round in circles and never start your business.
Comparing yourself to entrepreneurs building niche businesses hurts you in another way too. It makes you believe that you need to be a specialist, that you need to have a degree in that field, or have worked in that industry for years to be taken seriously. But you’re a Jill of all trades who is interested in many things, you know a little about a lot of topics, and that makes you feel like you don’t stand a chance against a specialist. Why would people buy from you when there are already so many other people offering the same service?
But being a Jill of all trades is your strength. Having many passions means you have so much more to offer to your clients. When you focus on how you can incorporate your many passions into a business and serve people, you are honouring your multi-passionate nature and doing the work you’re meant to be doing right now. When you compare yourself to a specialist, on the other hand, you’re throwing your gifts away and that doesn’t just hurt you. It also hurts the people who need what you have to offer, who need your unique mix of talents and strengths.
And this leads me to my next point. Comparisonitis makes you waste time. If you had started when you had the idea, you’d already have the business of your dreams and the financial and location freedom you crave. Instead, you’re still stuck here. What could you have achieved by now if you hadn’t let comparisonitis stop you?
There’s a reason why they call comparisonitis the thief of joy. But comparisonitis doesn’t steal only your joy. It also steals your dreams. It steals your business. It steals your freedom. Let that sink in for a moment.
If you’re tired of being held back by comparisonitis and are finally ready to live your best life, to build your dream business, then here are a few suggestions to break out of this destructive pattern.
Focus On Yourself
The first thing I want to mention is to focus on yourself. It’s easy to put other people on a pedestal and believe, from the selected highlight reels they’re showing you, that they have it all together, that they’re more talented, that they’re braver or smarter or prettier than you, that they have a picture perfect life.
When you’re idolising other people, you automatically devalue yourself and your abilities and come out of the comparison feeling less than. But you’re not less than anyone. You’re just different from everyone else. We all are. You have a unique mix of passions, talents, and personality traits no one else in the world has. No two human beings are the same and they never will be. That’s why comparing yourself to other people is unfair.
I also want you to think about all the things you’ve achieved throughout your life. The degrees you got from school. The businesses you’ve created. The jobs you’ve had. The projects you’ve worked on. The skills you’ve mastered. The challenges you’ve overcome. How many things can you do now that once seemed hard and impossible?
Just take a few minutes to think about everything you experienced in your life and how that helped you grow into the person that you are today, and you’ll realise you’re more talented, more abundant, stronger, kinder, braver than you give yourself credit for and that you have so much to offer the world.
Unlike a specialist, you’re skilled in more than one thing. You have accumulated knowledge, talents, and experiences in different fields because you’re meant to use them all to do the work that only you can do.
Think of Marie Forleo, the founder of B-School and the woman who coined the term multi-passionate entrepreneur. She blends her passions for marketing, entrepreneurship, and hip hop dancing into her business. Or my friend Sharece O’Neal, who I interviewed in episode 8 of this podcast, who combines both her passions for coding, engineering, and design into her web design studio.
You don’t have to niche down and only focus on one passion because that’s what everyone else is doing. When you acknowledge your many talents are a strength, you can incorporate them all into a business that allows you to do all the things you love and help people in a variety of different ways. Being multi-passionate is what’s gonna set you apart from the competition and attract the right people to you. How can you use your talents to help people today? Focus on that.
4. Be Grateful
Another tool I use when I feel the sting of comparisonitis is gratitude. When you compare yourself to someone else, you focus on all the things you don’t have – or that you think you don’t have.
But if you stop for a moment and take a look at your life, you’ll realise you have a lot to be grateful for. Think of all the simple things we take for granted, like a roof over your head, access to the internet, a beautiful sunny day.
The people in your life, like your partner, your children, the friends who are always there for you, the amazing clients you get to work with. Also think of all the challenges you’ve overcome, the experiences you had that have made you who you are. The passions that make you lose track of time. The trips you took. And so much more. What are you grateful for today?
Gratitude forces you to recognize how abundant you are right now and that you already have everything you need to start that business, expand into a new niche, and anything else you dream of doing.
Related: How To Find Your Strengths
5. If You Need To Compare, Compare With Yourself
The last thing I want to leave you with is this, if you really need to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself with who you were yesterday, or last month, or last year. Comparing yourself to yourself is the only fair comparison you can make.
Again, you don’t know what’s really going on in people’s lives. So when you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you’re comparing yourself to what you think that person is like or what you think they’re doing. They’re assumptions, not the truth. You’re not going to win that comparison.
But you know what’s going on in your life. When you compare yourself to your younger version, that’s when you see progress. In which ways have you grown over the past few days, weeks, years? In what ways are you stronger and wiser? What new skills have you mastered?
Acknowledging and celebrating your personal growth and accomplishment helps you build confidence in yourself and your abilities. It’s that confidence that will help you take aligned action every day towards your goals until you reach them.
How To Overcome Comparisonitis
If you’re thinking of starting your own business or even just expanding into a different niche, but keep putting it off because you keep comparing yourself to all the other people who are already doing something similar to you and are worried you’re not as good as them, then I invite you to book a Discovery Call with me.
During the call, we’ll discuss how this belief is keeping you stuck and what you can do to move past it, so you can finally build your dream business and achieve the financial and location freedom you crave.
You don’t have to do it alone. When you’re working with someone who holds you high and sees what’s possible for you when you can’t see it for yourself, then you start believing in yourself as well and, from that place, it’s easier to take aligned action towards your goals.
So, if you’re struggling with this, book a call and see what support is available to you right now, so you can finally stop comparing yourself to everyone else and start doing the work you’re meant to do. I’ll leave the link to book the call in the show notes, in case you’re interested. You have so much to offer the world and it’s time to step out of that box and do the work that only you can do. The world needs all of your gifts, not just one. Never forget that.
Wrapping It Up
I hope you’ve found this episode useful. As always, everything we mentioned today is in the show notes below and over at thetreasureswithin.net. If you feel inspired to do so, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a rating and a review. It really helps the podcast get found by other multi-passionates who need to hear this message too. And with that, I wish you all a wonderful rest of your day. Thank you so much for listening. See you next week! Bye for now.
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