Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
Stop beating yourself up because you’re not where you think you should be by now.
I know you do it. You cyber-stalk your friends and colleagues, checking to see how many friends or ‘likes’ they have on their Facebook page, how many followers they have on Linked In, how many speaking gigs they seem to be getting.
You compare yourself to the progress that you think they’re making. You watch them celebrate their latest wins, and silently kick yourself for not being where they are.
It’s so easy to do.
I once knew a life coach who worried when a competitor hosted a day long conference for the same target market she wanted to reach, and it looked great. The advertising was sharp and sparkly, the written descriptions enticing. The photos showed a room full of happy people, and the Facebook comments sounded like the whole thing was a smashing success.
All in all it looked pretty darn good.
What she didn’t know, was that the woman behind that simple, one day conference, spent over $20,000 of her own money to make it happen, and didn’t make a cent of profit at the end of the day.
Comparing ourselves to others serves no purpose. For one thing, we never really know how anyone else is doing. We only know what they seem to be doing.
But in the end, it doesn’t really matter how they’re doing anyway, does it? In fact, don’t you hope they’re doing well? Don’t you want others to be successful, too?
Of course you do.
The simple truth is, they’re on their own journey. You’re on yours.
So stop comparing your progress to others’. Your progress is still your progress.
And that counts plenty.
And then there are the days when your compare yourselves to, well, yourself. :)
Think about it this way.
You have a list of goals, big things you really want to accomplish this year, right?
And right now, here at the start of May, you may be looking at that list and thinking, “Who was I kidding? I’m never gonna get this done. I’ll never be able to…” write that book, create that program, get that product prototype into stores, start that private practice.
Because from where you stand right now, your goals are waaaaay over there, far beyond that distant horizon.
And no matter how hard you work or how far you’ve come, that line never seems to get any closer.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
That’s because entrepreneurs are always looking for the Next Big Thing. We set the bar pretty high for ourselves, then spend way too much time beating ourselves up over what we haven’t accomplished.
Well here’s a thought.
Have you ever tried to actually reach the horizon? Of course not, because you know you can’t do it. There IS no horizon, not really.
There’s only a limit to how far you can see,
not to how far you can go.
And yet, we continue to do what my coach calls ‘focusing on the gap’. We’re always focused on the gap between where we are, and where we want to be.
I’m all for keeping your eyes on the prize, but staring at the horizon all the time will make you feel like you’re never getting anywhere at all.
And yet – you are.
The key is to recognize how far you have already come.
When I talk with my coaching clients each week, I always ask them to start with Celebrations. (In fact, they have to turn this in as part of their weekly homework!)
What’s happened in the past week that they can celebrate? What are they proud of? What was an accomplishment for them?
Sometimes, they’re super excited, because they’ve done something that was huge for them, like giving their first talk or hosting their first webinar.
Sometimes, they stumble for a second. All they can think of is what went wrong, or what they didn’t do.
But there is always something to celebrate – even if it takes a second to think about it.
Maybe they went to bed on time one night this week, getting enough sleep for once.
Maybe they got a blog post up, even though they had a crazy week and no time to write.
One of my clients, whose Big Goal is to create a training manual for others in her industry, was thrilled because she’d taken the first baby steps towards getting that started, capturing some critical photos, and writing Page One.
Being an entrepreneur, and building a sustainable, successful business that feeds your family and your soul, takes time and effort. There will be MANY days when you feel like you’re getting no where at all – especially, especially when you compare yourself to those around you.
Or stay too focused on that gap.
Recently, one of my entrepreneurial friends was sharing the news about what she was, and wasn’t, accomplishing quite yet in her business. In some ways, she was doing just fine. In others, progress was taking a while.
But she was okay with it. “I’m making peace with my pace,” she said.
I encourage you to do the same.
What are your Celebrations this week?
Pull out a small notebook, and start writing them down at the end of each week. Over time, when you look back, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished.
And you’ll feel a lot better about your pace, as well.
Photo Credit: Jürgen Schiller García