Comparisonitis. It’s is a killer of creativity, productivity, and authenticity.
Something as simple as feeling jealous of someone on Facebook can make you feel depressed, dejected, and start questioning your worth.
Once you get caught in the comparison trap, you can get completely stalled out and not be able to move forward. Not exactly a recipe for success!
So how can you conquer comparisonitis already and reclaim your creativity? It starts with awareness and a proactive plan.
What is comparisonitis, anyway?
Comparisonitis is a real affliction. (It’s even in the dictionary!) And it’s even more common today in the age of social media. The definition is: The compulsion to compare one’s accomplishments to another’s to determine relative importance.
Basically, it’s an addiction that you can’t control — and one that is likely to leave you in a shame spiral when you start thinking you don’t measure up.
Comparisonitis sounds like:
- Since she is successful doing this work, I can’t possibly be.
- I won’t be half as good/successful/smart as she is.
- I’m not [blank] enough to accomplish that or have that level of success.
How do you know if you’re not affected? If you have control over the time you spend browsing social media, if you feel neutral or positive about others’ posts, and if you can return to your work with the same passion, fire, and energy as you had before you went online, you’re in good shape.
Why comparisonitis hurts you and your work
When you get caught in a cycle of comparisonitis, these things happen:
- You WASTE TIME and energy simply observing and feeling envious of someone else at the expense of working on your own creative projects, using your gifts, skills and talents to build your business.
- You FEEL INFERIOR like everyone is doing better than you when this is just an illusion you see on social media, and not necessarily the truth.
- You GET DISCOURAGED from doing the work you were meant to do, because you think there’s someone out there doing such a better job, and this might even cause you to want to give up on your business.
Comparisonitis becomes a self-limiting cycle that prevents you from putting yourself out there and sharing your own work, which holds you back from your own success.
It’s time to let it go and get back to creating what’s important to you.
7 ways to conquer comparisonitis and get back to creating
1. Create more than you consume. Make it a point to spend more time creating and less time consuming. Decide what you’re going to create and get busy doing it. Don’t spend hours researching what others are doing. Do your thing, your way. When you work this way, you know what you create is based on your own unique authentic voice.
2. Focus on what’s most important to you personally. Focus in on fulfilling your purpose, not someone else’s. One way to do this is to remember WHY you are doing this in the first place. Know your why and put it somewhere visible where you can see it every day. Remind yourself daily why you’re doing this and stay connected to your goals.
3. Detox yourself from social media. It’s not always feasible to quit social media, especially if you’re a business owner. But that doesn’t mean you have to be on 24/7. Batch your content and decide how much time you’ll spend on social every day. If it’s 10 minutes, set a timer, and hold yourself to it. (Note: This is where self-discipline comes in… don’t let yourself off the hook!)
4. Check your assumptions. When you think, “She has a perfect business/life/relationship,” remember that she is also human and full of flaws. Social media can be full of smoke and mirrors. When you do see someone experiencing success, remind yourself that you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know what went on behind the scenes, how long it took her to get there, and what kinds of struggles she has now.
5. Question your envy. Envy can show us what we want. The next time you feel the pang of envy, ask yourself, “What specifically does that person have that I want?” “Why do I want this?” and “What am I willing to do to get it?” When you probe deeper, you might realize that you’d prefer something entirely different. And if you do identify something you want, use that clarity as an impetus to move forward.
6. Adopt an abundance mindset. Comparisonitis is an either/or mindset. I.e., “Either she is successful OR I am successful.” The opposite of this is an abundance mindset: “She is successful AND I can be successful, too. “ When you can embrace an abundance mindset, you know there is enough to go around, and you can relax and trust the process, knowing that there’s enough for you, too. [Read more about the 5 mindset traps that hold you back.]
7. Embrace your specific skills, talents, and characteristics. No, you’ll never be Beyonce. But that’s OK. Your goal is to be the best version of you. When you can connect to and embrace who you are, you create work that is an expression of your unique intrinsic strengths and talents, and you show up as your most powerful, authentic self. That’s a brand that no one can replicate!
The end of your comparisonitis starts with your own awareness and actions. When you can celebrate the success of others, you increase your own capacity for abundance and success. And when you stop consuming and start creating with from your own authentic voice, you will be even closer to getting there.
Remember that what you appreciate, appreciates, so spend time appreciating your own worth.
I’d love to hear from you.. Where has comparisonitis shown up in your life?
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