Words by Tara Wagner
6 Steps to STOP Comparing Yourself, Your Success, or Your Progress to Others
I want to share 6 proven strategies to help you stop comparing yourself to others.
And be sure to read to the end for a free bonus to help you really master this comparison-itis thing.
Watch here or read below.
First, we blamed Pinterest, now we blame Instagram; the truth is comparison-itis is human nature and it’s a habit that we can overcome.
This is gonna take both a little bit of inner work as well as outer work.
- By inner work I mean that deeply personal work that we get to do to understand ourselves, to understand why this is a habit for us, and to change those patterns.
- And then outer work is just the really practical things that we can actually do to help us stop comparing our success or our progress to other people.
As female entrepreneurs, we are especially prone to comparing our progress and our success to other people, but I think as you read through this blog you’re really going to be able to shift that pattern and create a new habit around this.
STEP #1: Build Your Muscles
The first step to stop comparing yourself to others is to build your self-confidence muscles.
And I really want you to think of self-confidence as a muscle.
You don’t go to the gym, work out one time, and then wonder why you didn’t get big and buff; this is also something you need to do on a pretty consistent basis.
You have to practice this pretty regularly to be able to get stronger in this area.
So if this is a struggle for you, stick with it long enough to be able to really see the progress, and think of it as a muscle that you’re exercising.
The more you practice, the more you exercise that muscle, the stronger you get in this area.
Some practical ways that you can build these self-confidence muscles and stop comparing yourself with others are things like:
- Celebrating Your Wins: Every time you do something great, make it a big deal and celebrate it.
- Focus On Strengths: It’s very easy to focus on our weakness but everybody has a weakness The thing with really successful people is, they’re not focusing on their weaknesses (they’re probably outsourcing their weaknesses so they can focus on their strengths.)
- What Am I Good At?: I would recommend asking people what it is that you’re good at, what are your strengths, what do they value in you?
When you can start to see yourself through other people’s eyes you actually start to have more appreciation for yourself and it builds up your confidence.
Be sure that you’re also focusing on increasing your skill and experience in whatever area it is that you’re working on; because a lot of times we think that confidence is just going to come from within.
But it comes from within when we really have the skills to back it up.
I could have all of the false confidence in the world that I can do surgery but if I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m going to hurt somebody.
That’s not what we’re looking.
We’re looking to really build skill, and build confidence along with that skill.
When you see yourself progressing at something, you’re going to naturally build those self-confidence muscles.
And then lastly, I want you to make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people because it is very challenging to build those muscles when people are actively working against you.
If you have those influences in your life be sure to bring in some positive influences to outweigh them or outshout them.
And if you don’t have this, be sure to join our Facebook group because we do have a great little community in there that is encouraging and supportive. If you go in there asking for support, you’re gonna get it not only from the community but also from me.
STEP #2: Research
Step number two is to research. I want you to really research the people that you’re comparing yourself to but here’s the kicker:
Don’t research where they’re at now because that’s not fair.
I want you to go back to their first YouTube video, their first social media post (no matter how far you have to scroll back), I want you to read their first book.
I want you to ask them (maybe you can interview them) questions about where they were when they got started or what they struggled with.
So many times we’re comparing our beginning to somebody else’s 20 years of experience and then thinking, “I suck. I’m never gonna be that good.”
And you’re right, you’re never gonna be that good if you’re not willing to put in 20 years of the work, practice, training, or experience that they put into getting to where they are.
But if you can compare to where they started, it might give you a lot more encouragement and show you where you could be in 20 years if you do the work that they did.
STEP 3: Get Curious
Step number three is to get curious, not jealous.
A lot of times we will look at what somebody has and think, “I want that,” instead of asking ourselves the question, “I wonder how they created that. How did they get to where they are now?”
In this day and age, you can do a ton of research and find that out just online.
They may have shared that story in podcast interviews or in blog posts so it’s really helpful to go back and look through some of those archives.
It’s fascinating and incredibly helpful to learn from other people’s mistakes and successes and their path along that journey.
Also, you may want to ask to interview them, especially if you have a platform like your own podcast, or just offer to pay for a mentoring session with them, and then come prepared to ask them some really juicy questions.
Step 4: Look Deeper
Step number four is to look deeper. Really look beneath the surface of the image that they’re portraying.
In other words, it’s being fed by a lot of B.S.
“Drop me a comment below with the word “Septic Tank” if you know exactly what I’m talking about.”
This is probably the step that has served me the best because in this day and age we are all trying to put our best face forward on social media or in our businesses, and very few of us are actually going to share the real vulnerable story behind it all. We’re not all going to share how we’re a hot mess.
This step has helped me a lot. As I started to do this work years ago I started working with some people who looked pretty dang successful from the outside.
And then I started to realize underneath the surface they were just trying to figure it all out just like the rest of us.
It really allowed me to realize that everybody is a hot mess, everybody’s just trying to figure it out, even if on the outside they have it portrayed really well.
The other thing I realized as I started going beneath the surface with people was that I started to understand I actually might not want what it is that they have.
They may look like they have everything together but maybe that’s at the sacrifice of something that’s really important.
And so as I do this research, get curious, and look beneath the surface to figure out is this really what I want; sometimes I’m really able to see, “You know what? I’m actually pretty dang happy with what I have right now.”
Step 5: Put Blinders On
Step number five is one of the most practical and one of the most important steps you’re going to take and that is to put your blinders on.
Putting your blinders on means shutting off the things that are going distract you from what you’re here to do or how you’re here to do it so that you can focus only on the things that are going to feed, encourage, inspire and motivate you to do your very best.
This is key when you decide to stop comparing yourself to others.
Bob Goff put this best when he said:
“We won’t be distracted by comparison, if we’re captivated by purpose.”
So what does putting your blinders on actually look like?
It looks like unsubscribing, unfollowing, or uninstalling certain apps you know you’re spending way too much time on, or maybe outsourcing those tasks that need to be done in your business but you know are bringing up that comparison-itis.
If you need to learn how to stop comparing yourself to other people it’s important that we give ourselves the time and the space to figure that out without constantly being bombarded with the things that we’re comparing ourselves to.
Remember you’re trying to build those self-confidence muscles.
You don’t try to give up alcohol while you’re holding a mug of beer, right?
You don’t want to try to stop comparing yourself to other people while you still have all the triggers around you.
Give yourself some time and space to have those blinders on just for a little while, until you get to the point where you no longer need them because you’re so focused on what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it, and the fact that you know that you can, that you’re no longer bothered by what others are doing in their lanes.
Step #6: Master Your Mindset
And then step number six, when you have those blinders
Because here’s the thing, our beliefs are going to influence how we feel and how we think about who we are and what we’re capable of doing.
So until we gain control of our emotions and our thoughts and we work on those underlying beliefs that are influencing those things, we are always going to be going down that rabbit hole of comparison.
It’s our job to learn how to be in control of our thoughts, our emotions, and our habits.
Otherwise, they will be in control of us.
So this is one of the most important tips, one of the things you have to be working on, to really master that mindset on an emotional, spiritual, and psychological level.
To help you master your mindset as a female entrepreneur, I would love to invite you to download a free training I’ve created called Bottlenecks to Breakthroughs.
This is a 15-minute video training that outlines my exact Belief Breakthrough process, the same process I’ve been using for almost 10 years to help women to overcome their limiting beliefs or things like comparing themselves to other people.
It’s geared towards female entrepreneurs who know that they are their biggest bottleneck and that the way that they think and feel is impacting what they’re able to do in their lives and in their business.
So if that sounds like you and this sounds like a tool that would support you, be sure to grab it for free by clicking the button below or by clicking here to learn more.
What about you, boss lady?
Comment below with any strategies you’ve used to help you stop comparing yourself to others.
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About the Author
I’m the breakthrough coach for self-employed women who are barely surviving their business. I help you to identify and overcome your old habits – both practical, as well as emotional and mental – learn a better way of approaching the work/life/family juggling act, and gain confidence in your new role in your growing businesses. Learn more about me here.
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