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Comparison isn’t a catalyst

Megan Effertz
March 17, 2021

I started my morning by scrolling through social and got stuck in the comparison trap. I saw a post of a friend’s friend who wrote a book. I found myself feeling envious and thinking about how much I wanted to write a book. OK, no problem, there can be more than one book. Let’s be happy for her and maybe even reach out to learn how she did it. No need to be envious. I haven’t spent anytime trying to write a book.

Scrolling into comparison

Kept scrolling. Saw a sponsored post of a care free woman on a yacht. It was geared toward executive women who have made it. Next, I was thinking how I wanted to be that woman on the yacht. I’ve worked hard, why am I not on a yacht? Comparison trap again. It’s a sponsored post so let’s be clear – that is a model on a yacht for an ad, not an executive that doesn’t have a care in the world. Show me one successful executive woman that doesn’t have a million things on her mind at any given moment – vacation or not.

More scrolling. Saw another post about a teacher who is now making $26,000 a month from his side hustle. I felt that same feeling creeping up again. And then I stopped. My brain said this is not healthy and it is not a good way to start your day. You are comparing yourself to people who worked hard to accomplish their dreams instead of spending time working on your dream. Stop. Stop the comparison. You don’t know their story and what it took to get there.

Benchmarking again advertisements

And comparing yourself to advertisements that are not real – detrimental! You know better. You are a marketer. Those sponsored posts are designed to make you picture yourself in their shoes so you click the link and buy the product. Just stop. (Yes, I really did have this conversation with myself).

I did. I closed the page and I wrote this. I switched from wasting time being jealous to doing something productive. So how do you detox from the constant barrage of messages showing how other people are so successful and not compare?

Escape the comparison trap

  • Be clear on what you want. You can’t have it all – at least not to start. What are you willing to sacrifice. Is it time with family and friends so you can work on a side hustle or build a business? Is it money, so you can quit your job and dedicate 100% of your time to building a business or pursuing a dream? Is it sleep so you can cram it all into a day? What do you want the most and what are you willing to give up? No matter what those ads make you think, you can’t have it all – at least not while you are building. Decide on what you want the most and deprioritize the rest.
  • Create a plan of action. Instead of scrolling though social you should be working on your plan. Even if it is just a little each day. You will still be making progress. I committed to writing 30 minutes a day. I promised myself even if I stared at my computer I would do 30 minutes. Confession, that is when I found myself scrolling on social. Today was day 1 so I’ll give myself some grace.
  • Practice gratitude. Be thankful for what you have and the progress you are making. Take a moment each day to celebrate each step you take forward. Even if it is only 30 minutes. You did it. You’re making progress. Good job!
  • When you find yourself comparing, imagine what they had to go to get there. You know it is hard work. Think about all the steps they had to take. What did they likely give up? Be real about it. It didn’t just happen.You can’t compare their success without comparing the work they put into getting there. Then get back to work. Comparison is not a catalyst to your goal.
  • Chose joy instead of envy. Take a moment to refocus your thoughts and send a positive thought into the world for that person you are comparing yourself to instead of being envious. It will make you feel better and put some good energy into the world. Who doesn’t want to be that person?
  • Put down your phone. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media. The less time you spend on it the more time you’ll have to work on your dreams and goals.

 

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