How to Escape The Comparison Trap
Have you ever found yourself falling into the comparison trap? You see how everyone is so much further ahead than you, more sorted, busier, richer, and the list goes on.
Constantly comparing yourself to others will stop you in your tracks, and cause huge amounts of procrastination. It completely gets in the way of you taking the necessary steps to build your thriving complementary practice, therapy or coaching business.
If you recognise yourself in this – STOP now! There is no point constantly comparing yourself to others, especially when you don’t know the facts. And yes, we all do it, but it is a sure-fire way to feel bad about yourself, and your situation.
Recognise you’re making assumptions
You are comparing yourself to other’s best bits, the bits that are on show. They are the edited version of their life and business, not their reality.
You really don’t know where they are in their world, you’re making assumptions. You don’t see what they have gone through to achieve what they are doing, or the work they put in.
They had to start somewhere and that’s exactly what you need to do – get started. Most of the time, the people or businesses we compare ourselves to are years ahead of us. They would have gone through the learning and the mistakes in order to be where they are. Why would your starting point, look the same as someone who has been working for 10 years?
The comparison trap will paralyze you and stop you from ever getting started. This will highlight all areas where you are not feeling confident about yourself, or what you do.
This has happened to me on more occasions than I want to admit, and it was a huge problem for me at the start of my career. There was a time when I believed that I couldn’t write, well anything worth anyone taking the time to read. My background in marketing meant I spent a lot of time amongst proofreaders and writers, and I found myself comparing my meagre skills, with their well-honed ones. Now, I’m not at their standard (and I definitely don’t have a degree in English), but I had to let the comparisons go because it was holding me back. With practice, I have got better at writing and my confidence has grown massively. I’ve just finished writing a book – who’d have thought it?
What to do when you fall into the comparison trap
Become aware of your traps
Recognise where you are staying stuck in your life or business by comparing yourself to others. Become aware of the stories you tell yourself and do a reality check to understand what is really happening.
Look at the people you are comparing yourself with and think of them as providing you with an example of what you want to work towards, and what is possible. Use them as inspiration to keep you motivated.
Go through your emails and delete and unsubscribe from those lists that are not serving you. The ones where you find yourself comparing your business with, or where you read them and end up feeling bad about yourself. This is very different from reading emails from people who inspire you and are supportive of your individual journey.
Create a simple plan
Make a commitment to yourself about what you want to achieve – write this down and put it where you see it regularly to remind you and reinforce what you want.
Work out what your priority project is that will move you towards your goal and focus on this, don’t try and do everything at once. Create a simple plan of action and focus on taking your first step towards what you want to do.
Work on your mindset
Work to build your confidence in the areas where you compare yourself. Make reflection and gratitude part of your day, recognise what you have achieved and how far you have come. A great way to do this is by journaling as it will give you something to look back on.
Make friends with yourself and get comfortable with your quirks. If you recognise anything about yourself that you unfairly compare to others, it is you who is very sensitive to this, no one else will even notice them.
I had this happen to me when I did my first podcast series as a practitioner. I hated the sound of my voice, I had an inability to pronounce certain words (much to the delight of Claire, my partner in podcasting). At first, I was very sensitive to this, but as time went on, I learnt to accept this quirk, and laugh about it too. It didn’t stop us getting thousands of downloads and clients still listen to them today.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Surround yourself with people that reinforce what you want to achieve. Make sure you keep the company of like-minded people who will support you and help you to become the thriving practitioner that you deserve to be. Great ways to do this is to get a business buddy, join a mastermind group or get a coach to support you while you grow.
If you struggle to get your marketing working and attract clients to your practice, contact me for a chat to explore how I can help you.
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