It’s easy in this digital age to think that others have better and more exciting lives than you do. Facebook posts are always of happy couples, new babies, new jobs, all that good stuff. It would be easy to get stuck in the ‘comparisonitis’ game, wondering why you’re not as lucky, as thin, as smart, or as far ahead in your life as others.
You need to remember that Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are not full of the other photos of your friends and family, the photos of the morning after the night before, where the head is literally hanging off them, when they are feeling sick and are feeling miserable and sorry for themselves. Or the 20 hours of gruelling labour before the photoshoot of the sleeping baby. Or the horrendous long haul flights to get home from the holiday of a lifetime.
We all suffer with comparisonitis sometimes, even this weekend at a TEDx event, my gorgeous friend was on stage telling her story, and she was amazing and inspiring, and I was so proud of her, but still that little voice in my head said ‘Why are you not up there, telling your story?’.
The truth was, her story was a lot more interesting than mine. She had left her job shortly after we finished our life coaching course in 2012, set up her own business with her partner, knowing exactly what her niche was, started sending out newsletters, blogs, and ran inspiring events and talks on self confidence and being happy in your body. She took a big risk. She deserved every bit of her success because she worked so hard for it.
In 2012, I didn’t know what my niche was, and while I played around with career coaching in the traditional sense, something didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it until last year. I didn’t want to help people find jobs, I wanted to help wellness professionals to build a business and lifestyle they wanted. My background was in wellness, these people were my tribe, and I always gravitated back to them. It all started to make sense, but it took a while for the obvious facts to reveal themselves!
And while it could take me another 5 years to land on a TEDx stage, I’m in no hurry, I have found what I want to pursue, and am putting my energies into that. I'm not beating myself up wondering why it took me so long to figure it out, or why I haven’t got it all together in my life – who does??!! I’ve had jobs that paid the bills while I was figuring it all out, I visited amazing countries, travelled around Ireland in my camper van with my crazy dog, and even crazier partner!! I’m actually very lucky, and you probably know you are too……………
There's no point in comparing myself to other amazing coaches and business people like Marie Forleo, Richard Branson, or Tony Robbins. They're perceived as ‘overnight successes’, took years of grafting and refining their art to become ‘overnight successes’, they worked hard, had more bad days than good days, and didn’t have it all from day one. They made some key decisions in their lives, evaluated what they wanted, and went for it.
You have likely done the same in different aspects of your life. It may be that you are at a crossroads at this moment, remember at this stage that the possibilities are endless, there has never been a better time to change careers, start a new business, go travelling, see things from a different perspective. Don’t put your self down just because you don’t have the perfect husband/wife, kids, house, job, holidays, car. NOBODY DOES!!!!!
So when you come up against your comparisonitis, here are a few tips to help alleviate it:
1. Look back over the last year to 18 months to see what you have achieved in that time – things that are important to you, that matter, that made a difference in your life, no matter how small or insignificant they might be to others.
2. Be grateful for what you have, you are so lucky if you have the basics – a job, somewhere to live, family and friends who love you. It’s a good place to start.
3. Remember that no one is an overnight success! It takes a lot of work to make it all look effortless!
4. Stop looking at everyone else having a good time on Facebook and make your own memories! Stop giving a sh*t about what others are doing, focus on you!
5. Save the energy you use looking at other peoples lives and start making changes in your own.
6. Focus on your own goals, you are right where you should be, it will all happen in its own good time with focus, planning and determination. Stay on course.
7. Find a friend who has your back when you get into a comparison rut, let them remind you of all the great things you have done, and what you are capable of. We all need someone cheering us on every so often.
8. Repeat after me: Forget the competition. Do what you do best. Be number one in a class of one. Nobody is better than you.
Just remember that even Beyoncé, and Oprah, and Adele compare themselves to others sometimes. It's so easy to get drawn into this mindsuck of self pity and self doubt. Rise above it and keep on truckin'. Do the best you can do, and forget the rest.
Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle