We tend to talk about comparing ourselves to others in a way that’s always felt watered down and doesn’t get to the heart of the issue.
Today I’m talking about how comparing yourself to others is actually hurting you, keeping you from taking action, and why we shouldn’t judge ourselves based on the success of others.
In this episode:
- Why societal biases make comparing yourself to others futile
- The problem with “cookie cutter” recipes for success
- How to identify programs or coaches that will be the most effective for your unique self
Listen to the episode here:
Comparing Yourself To Others Is Hurting You
Hello, hello! You know how they say comparison is the thief of joy? They’re right…whoever the mysterious ‘they’ is. But I would also go a step beyond that and say that comparing yourself to others is actually hurting you.
It’s not just robbing you of your joy. It’s robbing you of your motivation, your self-esteem, your sense of what’s possible for you. It turns a blind eye to your trauma and your marginalization and your unique circumstances.
Don’t compare your struggle to someone’s highlight reel and all of that.
I recently posted on Facebook out of frustration and ended up finding out that a lot of people felt exactly the same way. Isn’t that always the way? The best posts are the ones that are from way down deep in your gut that you don’t think about before posting?
Anyway, on that particular day, I had been scrolling social media and seen multiple ads and posts about how to grow your social media following. I’d seen these both in the context of the online business world and the author world.
Then I saw a few emails in my inbox about growing your social media following and how anyone can do it. Just follow these simple steps.
You know what every single instance of these social media gurus had in common? Besides the fact that they were all saying anyone can do what they have done and be as successful as they have?
They were all thin, blonde, conventionally beautiful, white women. Literally every single one. And it made me think of an email I got from Margo Aaron a while back—if you didn’t know, Margo Aaron is a fantastic copywriter whose hot take I am always obsessed with. Even if I have to save up her weekly email for several days or weeks before I’m able to read it I never miss it—but this email basically relayed a similar experience she had attending a training where a thin, conventionally attractive couple was giving a talk about growing their YouTube channel.Not only did the couple not consider it, they completely brushed it off. Click To Tweet
Someone in the audience asked them if they had considered how their looks and society’s inherent bias for white, pretty faces had contributed to their success. Not only did the couple not consider it, they completely brushed it off. Of course that’s not a factor. We just worked hard.
Margo had a problem with that and so do I. And I had been chewing on it for weeks before those posts bombarded me in my feed and in my inbox.
The internet and the online space is FULL of people who basically tell you that if you work as hard or as smart or as much as I did then you can get exactly the results that I got and live the life of your dreams.
And frankly…that is not fucking true.
Not only is it not true because of society’s inherent bias, whether conscious or subconscious, but because you are a different person with a different set of beliefs, a different upbringing, a different way in which you process information or approach problem-solving. A different way in which you deal with stress and anxiety.
When I am anxious I often work myself into the ground. I’ve gotten a lot better about this but at my peak, my anxiety meant I would work and work and work until I literally made myself sick and had to take a few days off to recover from an actual physical illness like a cold.
I worked to numb, to avoid my emotions. I wanted to keep myself so busy that I didn’t have time to think about or feel anything else. And it worked. Until I physically couldn’t handle it and exploded.
And it has taken me so fucking long to stop doing that. To learn how to catch myself in the moment, take a deep breath, and walk away if I need to.
But then I have friends who completely shut down when they’re super anxious or stressed. They can only exist doing the bare minimum to keep themselves and the people they’re responsible for alive. That’s it. They can’t respond to messages or emails and sometimes they totally freeze when it comes to work responsibilities.And it certainly means that literally nothing out there is a magic cure all because nothing out there is a one-size-fits-all solution that works for everyone. Click To Tweet
That’s important information to have about yourself. And it certainly means that literally nothing out there is a magic cure all because nothing out there is a one-size-fits-all solution that works for everyone.
Have you ever heard of the Kolbe tests? I took mine forever ago and it’s a test that shows you how you take action.
You answer a bunch of questions and it gives you a score from either 1 to 10 in 4 categories. One of these categories is called QuickStart. Your QuickStart score essentially tells you how fast you’re going to take action on an idea.
I am a three and honestly some days that seems a little high. I have friends who are nines which used to be the top of the scale before they revised it and took it up to ten.
They cannot understand how I don’t get an idea and immediately need to implement it. I do not understand how they can get an idea and not need to make ten thousand lists and have seven backup plans.
If I tried to compare my action-taking skills to theirs I would find myself woefully lacking.
And that’s why comparing yourself to others is hurting you. If you are a fat person do not compare yourself to a thin person. Do not hold a thin person’s success up against your own and use it as a measuring stick. Because there are biases at work against you that you cannot control and that means that your results will be different. The obstacles in your way are not the obstacles in their way.Because there are biases at work against you that you cannot control and that means that your results will be different. The obstacles in your way are not the obstacles in their way. Click To Tweet
The same goes for black people, disabled people, queer, people, trans people, and any other marginalized community. Do not compare yourself to society’s standard of perfection which happens to be thin, white, and pretty. And generally male.
It is not that success is not possible for you. It is. I know some pretty fucking incredible people of color and queer folks and trans women doing amazing fucking things and making the amount of money that I can only dream of at this point in my life.
I’m simply saying that success will look different for you. It’ll look different because of society’s biases and also because YOU are different. You are unique and so are your challenges, your circumstances, your obstacles. How you show up, how you best use your energy, how you approach and solve problems are different.
Please, stop comparing yourself to others. Because even if it’s not actively hurting you, it sure as hell isn’t serving you. Instead, it’s probably making you feel invisible and less than and stupid.Please, stop comparing yourself to others. Because even if it’s not actively hurting you, it sure as hell isn’t serving you. Click To Tweet
Take what you need from any program or freebie or course and leave the rest. Better yet, seek out programs from people who look and think like you. Then you’ll get even better results. But even then, you will still be unique. And that’s ok.
The sooner you realize that cookie cutter solutions don’t work because people are amazingly different the sooner you can find what works for you and put it to work in your life and your business to get the results you want.
Alright, that’s it for me today. Bye, y’all.