i’ve had some amazing *ups* this year but also have dealt with some pretty *stuck* feelings too:
- feeling inadequate
i’ve watched what others are doing with their businesses and questioned whether i am “doing it right”: if i need to be more strategic or if i need to be less generous or if i need to redo everything - and at times i’ve lost sight of my own path.
- feeling jealous
i’ve seen the success that other businesses have: what profits they seem to be making, the leaps and bounds they’ve achieved, the recognition they have achieved and have totally let it get me down. i’ve question my own worth and worthiness.
- feeling annoyed
i’ve noticed other business doing similar things to me and questioned whether i should even bother or felt annoyed that i didn’t start first or felt worried that now i would be seen as a copycat. and i have had other businesses imitate me and felt annoyed that they were doing *my* thing or feared that they were going to get all the attention now.
i know that all of these feelings & situations are really different, and we can deal with them in different ways, but when i started writing this blog post i realized that they all boil down to one thing.
all of these feelings can get the better of us when we keep our eyes on everyone else’s path instead of our own. this has been an overarching theme in my entire series on setting biz resolutions for the new year – but i think it is worth looking at more closely.
we can keep it real and be ourselves, we can define our own businesses in, and we can create plans in our own way so that we can ensure our dreams become reality – but it can all come to a halt pretty quickly when comparison starts to creep in.
what choices do you have when you realize you are comparing yourself to others and you find yourself feeling annoyed about the actions of others, feeling jealous or inadequate?
- you can call them out – you could tell the person off for copying you or go on social media and declare why you don’t like a person or why you hate something that is happening in biz… basically externalize the feelings in some way. the problem with this is that you just focus more energy on it. and as i mentioned previously, i believe that we attract what we put into the world so i find it really unproductive to bash what you hate.
- you can do nothing – just keep marching on your path and try to ignore everyone else and all of those feelings. but what i find about this choice is that you let it fester… those comparison feelings and habits don’t go away.
- or you can make a change.
of course you cannot change what others are doing, you can only work to change your own mindset. here are the ways in which i am going to make some personal changes when i find those feelings creeping on in:
1. my happiness depends on me, you’re off the hook.
i read this quote a couple of months ago and it was a big ah ha moment for me. at the time i was feeling really annoyed because of comparison & imitation & jealousy and i realized that i was letting the actions of someone else control my feelings of success, self-worth, and joy – i was using the actions of others as an excuse to stay stuck. i know find myself saying “you are off the hook” quite often in my biz and in my life.
2. nothing but love for you
i’ve mentioned this phrase in in the previous biz resolution posts. when i find that i am comparing myself to others - feeling inadequate or annoyed or jealous - i say out loud “that is great for you! nothing but love for you sister.” not only does it acknowledge that i have my own way, and they have theirs, and there is room for us all. but it replaces the ick feeling with a more positive one - love.
when i see someone doing the thing i want to do, or imitating the thing i am doing, i try to do a little happy dance because it means that i am on to something! if other people are talking about it, it means a.) it matters and b.) more people are going to find out about it. there is room for all of us! it is good for all of us.
the same thing if people are finding success in my field, earning money, creating recognition… it is good for me too – it means that success is there to be had. celebrating the success of others takes away the feelings of competition and comparison – we should lift each other higher instead of begrudging success.
4. turn on the hose
as i mentioned above, though i do not wish to focus on the negative crap and “bash what i hate” it is no good to let stuff fester either. my lovely friend linda chaousis taught me that venting is a bit like turning on the hose and cleansing yourself of those ick feelings and i really love that analogy. so i find a very safe person to vent to and let it all out, or i journal it. the key is not to sit there in all that ick – rinse it away and move on.
5. i am someone’s 10/10
this one really helps when i feel the whole “why bother” thing and also with the fear that others are doing the same as i am, or the inadequacy that i am not worthy – someone out there needs ME. not the others, ME. i am someone’s 10/10. i focus on that person and let all of the others focus on their person.
my gorgeous friend clare fitzgerald taught me about this forgiveness technique and it is really profound. when i am really feeling annoyed by a copycat or a negative comment or a high maintenance inquiry or someone who has just left me feeling really ick – this really helps.
7. hold up the mirror
my online biz buddy denise duffield-thomas taught me this one. when i am feeling annoyed or jealous or inadequate by what someone else is doing – it really has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. i need to hold up a mirror and figure out what it says about where i am at and where i want to be.
8. the behind-the-scenes vs the highlight reel
this was the quote from the first post in this series where i shared my behind-the-scenes in an effort to encourage others to embrace their own biz story. sometimes it seems like someone else has just come along and had huge success and i think it is so important to remember that you are just seeing the highlight reel. you have no idea how long they have been at it, what hard work their lucky break entailed, or even if everything is as it seems.
9. be you-er
it is really easy to get complacent with our brand, our story, our passion… we get busy doing the day to day work of our biz and then suddenly look up only to compare what we are doing with others and end up feeling like crap. we feel inadequate or jealous or maybe even realize that what we are doing looks a lot like someone else.
it’s a big sign that we need to step it up a notch – to push out of our comfort zone and do the thing we have been meaning to do - or take things up to a new level - or do something awesome to delight our right people – or work harder to amplify our own brand – or add more of our own spark to our brand so that it’s unique.
in the end we are only responsible for what we do. comparing ourselves to others, or feeling that somehow we are *less than* because of how others run their biz, just holds us back from the amazing work that we are meant to be doing. it holds us back from building our own version of success.
as this year closes to an end and a new year is about to begin, this is the message that i want to leave you with…
build YOUR biz. focus on YOUR path. be absolutely YOU. be awesome. (your kind of awesome, whatever that is.)
here is to an amazing 2014. cheers!