Is the grass reeeally greener or on the other side? Or have we just been conditioned to constantly compare ourselves to our neighbours, our peers, our “competitors,” and just about everyone else? Being stuck in this feeling of “I’m not as good/smart/talented (you name it) as…” is a pattern most of us deal with at some point. There’s a helpful term for this pattern known as comparisonitis. And for entrepreneurs, a case of comparisonitis could be stopping you from making progress in your business and your life.
When you consider how often and early we are exposed to those around us comparing themselves against others, it’s no wonder we start doing this too. By the time we were in kindergarten, we could be lamenting that our classmate got three cookies in their lunchbox when you only got two. By the time you’re grown up, and maybe even an entrepreneur, the things you are comparing might be different. But the function and motive behind this pattern is the same.
We’re all bound to compare things at some point. Maybe you’re standing at the grocery store comparing one head of lettuce against another. That’s not likely to cause a problem. But when these comparisons are about you and someone else and they become compulsive, that’s what we know as comparisonitis.
If you find yourself constantly comparing your body, your business, your personality, your car, or anything in between to those around you, you might have a case of comparisonitis. The problem with comparisonitis is that it leaves us feeling “less than.” We feel less smart, less successful, less anything. We are left feeling unworthy and inadequate. And for entrepreneurs, these feelings can doom the future of your business.
Evaluating your “competitors,” or the people you look up to in business is a helpful strategy for growing your business. That is, if you use this information to help build your own business, rather than sitting in feelings of being less than or inadequate.
Otherwise, you will be so focused on comparing yourself and your business to everyone around you, that you’ll miss what’s happening right in front of you. Not only will you miss out on opportunities to grow your business, but you are also left sitting in negative feelings that creep into every other area of your life.
Now I know your next question, is there a cure for comparisonitis?
Is there any way to treat this condition or are you bound to experience it for the rest of your life? While you may never be able to completely eradicate comparisonitis from your life, there are ways to mitigate its effect and presence in your life.
For starters, take note of this fact: you will never run out of people or businesses to compare you or your business to. This will be a never-ending chase that never leaves you satisfied.
Let’s say you have been comparing yourself to an entrepreneur who brings in one million dollars a year. The second you meet that goal, a new case of comparisonitis will strike and you’ll focus on comparing yourself to a business owner earning two million.
Your success, your happiness, your worthiness: they will become moving targets you will never be able to reach.
Today, I invite you to try an alternative. Begin by taking note of comparisonitis when it strikes. Often, you’ll find you weren’t aware of just how prevalent it (and its effects) are in your life. Once you become aware of it, you can start redirecting your thoughts in another direction.
Then, I invite you to take this Belief Inventory where you can start to identify certain beliefs about yourself that could lead you to comparing and judging yourself against others.
The final step begins with comparing yourself only to yourself. What can you do to be a better, healthier, happier person and entrepreneur compared to yesterday?
Not only does this rid you of that moving target you’ll never reach, but it can also mean massive growth for your business. Not to mention, you’ll sit in feelings of pride and accomplishment rather than unworthiness.
Sounds pretty good, right?
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