What is Comparisonitis - and how to stop it!

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Comparisonitis – yes, it’s a word. 

The compulsion to compare one's accomplishments to another's to determine relative importance, etc.”

(yourdictionary.com) 

The good

I think in life there are lots of times when we compare ourselves to others. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We can see what others are doing and it’s natural to want some of those things for ourselves – the whole, ‘if they can do it/have it, then so can I’. This is natural and normal. Looking and being aware of what others do and have helps us to prosper. 

I’m also a big believer that we all need someone to look up to, someone to aspire to, someone who inspires us. I’m not talking ‘Single White Female’ proportions here (as in the film from 1992) – I’m talking about role models. 

There are various people throughout my life that have been role models to me. They probably don’t even know it. These people may have been friends or work colleagues. It may be that I liked their style, or I was inspired by the way they worked or what they had achieved - I can think of a few people that I wanted to be a bit like for a while.

I also remember a new girl starting in a different department at my work. She was quite young, not long out of school and she didn’t have a lot of work or life experience. I remember a few of her team mates moaning about her – that she was a bit clueless in the role and they felt that she didn’t look the part either.  I remember telling them that all she needed was some guidance – having someone on the team, probably someone just a little bit older and a little bit more experienced take her under their wing and befriend her and they would see the world of difference. Sometimes when people accept us, they also inspire us – and this can lead to really positive things. 

So on the whole, in the right environment, I think comparing to and being inspired by others can be positive.

The not so good

But there is another side and I wasn’t really aware of this until I found myself in the online world of business. A world where our whole business is on our shoulders – make or break! We’re not just doing the work we love; we’re having to be strategic and look at how our business will grow and scale; how will we attract the right clients; how will we make our business sustainable.

Whilst we’re doing this, we’re feeling all of the emotions. One of the biggies is ‘am I good enough’? Am I good enough often leads us to imposter syndrome (read my blog on Imposter Syndrome here). Imposter syndrome leads us to compare ourselves to what others are doing. This then can lead to comparisonitis. 

Comparisonitis can be a little bit dangerous. 

Camparisonitis isn’t about being inspired, it’s about comparing what someone else has, or you perceive them to have, with what you’d like to have – and it kind of leaves you in a state of wanting, a state of lack. Because it’s coupled with your imposter syndrome, am I good enough. When you compare yourself or your business with others, you will see the great things that they’re doing and compare them with the fact that you’re not.

Or at least that’s your perception.

We don’t necessarily know these business owners. It might be that we just know them from their social media profiles, from a group on social media or from a Google search. But we don’t actually know them.

If we don’t know them, how can we compare ourselves, our business to them and theirs? We don’t know what goes on inside that person and their business. We’re just seeing what they’re showing us through our lens of ‘am I enough?’

Comparisonitis from this side will only do one thing – it will lead us to our procrastination zone. We’ll procrastinate over all the things we want to do in our business because we won’t believe we’re as good as the other person. We’ll start thinking that others are doing exactly what we want to do, they’re out there doing it, so there is no room for us!

This can lead us to a huge downward spiral. I want to stop you from going there.

So I want you to remember:

·      that of course other people are out there doing what you do – but they don’t do it in the way that you do

·      that they may have lovely graphics and lead magnets and a beautiful website, but they started somewhere too

·      don’t compare their chapter 6 to your chapter 2. These business owners that you’re comparing yourself to might have been in the game for far longer – they’re more experienced but for sure, they’ve been where you are now

·      (this is a biggie) you don’t know them. You’re looking at the social media perspective of their business – moonlight and roses. You don’t know their reality.

Instead, I’d love you to feel inspired by someone who does what you do or something similar. Why not make friends with them, join their world? Why not look at them as a role model? Just as you would if you knew them well. 

It doesn’t have to be dog eat dog.

You are enough! We all are. ❤️

If you’d like to chat about how I can help your business,

please click below to book your FREE call with me.

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Hi, I’m Fay!

I’m a business coach and adviser and I’m here to help you grow your business with clarity and confidence.

I’ve worked with business owners just like you for over 20 years.

I know that you started your business for flexibility and satisfaction and to live your purpose. You have a fabulous business idea that your ideal clients should love.

But you’re frustrated becuase it now feels daunting and overwhelming - there’s so much to do and you’re just not sure if all these things you’re doing are the right things.

I do know how you feel, and I’d love to take you from this confusion to creating a clear direction to develop the business you’ve always had in mind.