This usually happens when things aren’t going so well.
You’re working on something — a project, a new piece, a blog post, the workbook for your new teleclass. Something that’s important to you. Something you hope will be brilliant and valuable.
But the juices aren’t flowing. You can’t seem to move forward. Every step forward seems to throw you two steps back. The whole creative process feels hard and snarly.
As a result, you start resisting that project. You know you should be working on it, but your heart contracts at the thought of sitting down and focusing on it again. So, instead, you start noticing what others in your field are doing. And whatever they are doing seems to be so much better, easier, effortless and ten times more successful than what you are doing.
Your internal dialogue goes something like this:
“Damn, Billy is offering yet another 6-week teleclass, and I haven’t even finished my outline for the one-hour webinar I’m planning.”
“What? Linda is releasing another album? Didn’t she just release one last month?”
“I can’t believe it! How did Shelly get that great gig over in New Paltz? I’ve been trying to get booked there for months!”
“Man, Danny got a publisher for his piece of doo-doo book and I can’t even get an agent to look at mine.”
“Are you kidding me? She’s got another free offer! And look how well she’s promoting it! Did she clone herself?”
You get the idea. Your mind spins out in a rampage of comparison in which everyone else is thriving and you’re one big loser. And rather than feel inspired or encouraged by the success of your friends and colleagues, you feel even more discouraged, down and out of the flow.
Hey, I’ve been there. Often. But I don’t stay there very long (anymore), and I’m not going to allow you to stay there either.
Because here’s the deal. Comparison in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, if you have a mind, you can’t really avoid the comparison game. The mind is always judging, discerning and scoping out where you fit on the food chain. It’s a primal thing and it really can’t be avoided.
But when you start using the results of comparison as a whip to beat yourself with, then that’s not okay. You are literally kicking yourself when you’re down and abusing yourself, your gifts, your soul and spirit. You are telling your brilliant, creative genius Self that you don’t measure up, that you’re lacking or “less than” in some way. And not only is this simply not true, it is a damaging form of self-abuse.
So, stop it! This kind of comparison doesn’t serve you in any way. It will only make it harder for you to get back on your game and into your creative flow. And it will keep you circling the same small circle of success instead of expanding your possibilities and realizing your full potential.
Instead, if you find yourself comparing yourself to others who are in your field and prospering, say to yourself, “That’s for me!” Claim their success and good fortune as your own. Let their success encourage, inspire and uplift you, because if they can have it, so can you! And then some.
Then, get your focus back on you, your work, your process, your business. Renew your commitment to what’s important to you. What others are doing is their business. Get your nose back into your own business, claim your sure success, and get to work.
I have a friend who uses comparison as a way to fuel her own fire. When she sees someone in her field doing something that she wishes she could do, she pouts and complains… for one day. And then, watch out! She gets her motor running, shifts into overdrive and zoom! She’s off, making things happen. She uses her comparison as high-octane rocket fuel to fire up her determination, her belief in herself and then she gets to work.
Try it. You may like it!
One more side note before I close here. You can’t really compare yourself to others. Who you are and what you offer is unique. And your process and path to realizing your talents and success is equally unique. Honor who YOU are. Trust that you will find what you want in a way that is perfect for you. Be led by what excites and inspires you. Pay attention to the ideas and examples that thrill you. Then get to work!
And when one of your colleagues has a breakthrough or experiences some kind of success, rejoice! And say, “That’s for me!”