Getting lost in comparison is an easy place to find yourself. It’s often not until things are really sticky, miserable and frustrating that you realise just how far down that rabbit hole you’ve gone.
Starting Out Confident
When I decided to become fully self-employed I felt really confident. I was nervous, had a few concerns and questions, but ultimately I was feeling really good about it all.
I knew what I wanted to do and had more than enough qualifications at my back. With my experience and knowledge, I had every faith in my abilities to do what I was setting out to do!
Money gave me a few concerns. I didn’t have savings, and having very reduced hours in my job prior to leaving, I had no cushion of income. Regardless, I decided it was all in and I went for it. It was going to be great!
Everything Was Great… Until It Wasn’t!
People didn’t know me online. I had to find a way of letting them know who I was, what I could do and why I was good for the job. AGH how do I explain this?
There were dozens of people offering support in some way. How the hell was I going to show people I could do this? What was I trying to say about what I was offering? How would they connect with me without me poking and prodding their pain, giving it all away or jumping on the latest trends and bandwagons? I didn’t want to do these things that everyone was raving about!
I got caught up in what to call myself, what to say and how to say it.
Then Came the Comparisons
I found myself looking around. What were other people saying and doing? You guessed it. I found myself starting to compare what I was doing with what I was seeing, on EVERY level.
😔 They were better than me.
😔Had bigger audiences.
It went on and on.
How could I talk about my stuff when they were talking about similar things? I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I don’t want to be the same, I want to be different.
How could I compete? How would I stand out?
Then there was the comparing on price. Charge less, give more. How the hell could they be charging those prices? Why are people paying those prices and not considering me?
The more I started to think about it, I went further down the hole.
The Comparison Corrosion
As I was experiencing peaks and troughs of genius and despair, my health started taking a hammering too.
These negative ear-worms constantly circling around. I was worried about income. Worried that I might not be able to make it work, that I was letting people down. Letting myself down.
As a result, I found myself getting angry. Angry with myself but also angry with other people.
The more I was looking around the more I was poking holes, examining and analysing. I saw so much copying and repetition. What was going on? These people are just copying those people! They’re just passing that off as their own.
Consequently this led to thoughts of “if I put this out there, it’s going to look like I’m just copying so n so”, “what’s the point if that’s what people are looking for” and so it continued.
I ranted, raved, cried, scrolled.
I threw myself in to my work. Whether I was being paid, properly or not, or even at all, I got about helping people. Consequently, the money worries crept back in, I was never going to make this work if I wasn’t going to charge properly.
Working on clients businesses, helping them pull it all together, making them happy, seeing their confidence grow, watching them go out there and do their thing and feeling confident in what they were doing, lit me up. Unfortunately, when my work with them was finished, I had that slump again.
Back to comparing and over-analysing everything. I was unravelling inside. Why could I make it work for them but not for me? What was wrong with me.
Fear, overwhelm, exhaustion, they were all creeping in.
All these ideas but I was too scared to put them out there. I can’t do it like so n so. What if no-one was interested, what if it wasn’t what they wanted?
I’d put things out but hide the sales pitch or change my mind a few days later.
Seriously lacking in consistency anywhere in my efforts.
I was on the brink of giving up! I was HiJacking myself, I was allowing myself to be HiJacked by others. Excuses came flying out left right and centre.
Nothing was changing, because I wasn’t changing anything. If I didn’t do anything then I couldn’t fail at something. Around in circles I’d go.
What if I had it all wrong? This wasn’t like the work I knew, that I was good at, that I felt comfortable with. It was hard, exhausting, it was breaking my heart.
How could I be so good at this kind of thing and be such a failure at it? I was even comparing myself against myself now.
Something Had to Give
If I gave up how could I help anyone? This was what I wanted to do. It was what I had trained for and why I had experienced the things I had.
On paper I was ready and it made sense. In reality something wasn’t right. My heart and head, my conscious and subconscious were all at odds with each other.
I had to disconnect. Step back and listen to my own bloody advice and find a way that worked for me! I had to deal with the shit that had accumulated and work it out.
I needed some help, I had to dig deep and sort it out but I needed some help with it. Seeking help from a dear friend and ex-colleague was the start of me pulling it together. Helping me make sense of it, she knew exactly what I needed.
Having the space to get it all out of my head with someone I felt safe and comfortable with was just the starting point.
My friend stopped me unravelling completely. She helped me prioritise. We explored what was working and not and what I was getting caught up with and why. She showed me where I was getting distracted and going off track. She highlighted my strengths, reminded me of who I was and what I was capable of. All in a way she knew would work for me.
It’s A Journey
Getting lost in comparison took me down a deep dark hole that almost resulted in me giving up. Losing sight of myself, what I set out to do and why I set out to do it nearly killed my dream. Somehow I had to find a way out of that comparison. To believe and trust in myself and to let go of some of that shit I was carrying around.
There is only one of me. It’s a cliche but it’s cliche for a reason. No-one can do me the way I do. I’m the only one who can do what I do in the way that I do it.
Save Pin For Later ⤵
It’s not always easy! I can still get thrown with certain things but that work with my friend gave me ways of pulling it back without unravelling completely.
Combining personal and professional development was always what I set out to do. I have always believed that they go hand in hand. It never made sense for me to work on one without the other.
However, it’s only through embracing and reflecting on my own journey, that I have really realised just how significant this combination really is. Having experienced these difficulties myself, has shown me just how important it is to work on yourself and be fully part of the journey.
Over to You…
I had to find a way that worked for me. That started by getting some help in pulling it all apart to bring it back together again.
- Where are you making comparisons?
- Do you know why you’re wobbling in these areas?
- Are you Hijacking yourself or allowing yourself to be HiJacked by others?
- What can you take back control of?
- Do you need to disconnect to reconnect in some way?
- Where do you need to do a little work on yourself?
- Do you need to enlist some help in working through this?
There is only ever going to be one version of you. Only you can do what you do in the way that you do it.
Don’t give up on your dreams or yourself! Find a way that works for you.
I know it’s not easy. But don’t give up.
If you’ve found yourself going around in these circles, feeling stuck and at a loss, check out Personal Power to help you reconnect with yourself. If you’re really quite stuck please do check out my one to one services and reach out and get some support .
Until Next Time, Keep Smiling