comparison trap : the habit of measuring your life against others; jealous evaluation leading to stress or anxiety
When building or running an online business, falling into the comparison trap is a frequent occurrence for freelancers.
Looking over your shoulder will have you falling over often. Trust me, love, I’ve been there. It’s a losing battle that many are guilty of…in business and in life.
While it’s natural to look to your competitors for inspiration and motivation, it’s so easy to get carried away in comparing yourself — leaving you unfulfilled, unhappy, and unsatisfied.
The good news is that if you fall into the freelance comparison trap, You, yes YOU!, can break free from it and build a truly fulfilling life and business. Here are six easy ways to escape the trap…
1. Be Aware of What Provokes You
Falling into the comparison trap doesn’t just happen randomly. Something likely provoked you!
Were you scrolling through a Facebook Group, watching Instagram Stories, stalking your competitor’s website, or chatting with a friend?
Try to take note of when you begin to feel discouraged and fall down the rabbit hole of comparison. Who were you with? What were you reading? When were you scrolling?
If it’s social media that provokes you, set up a time to solely dedicate yourself to scrolling through social media while in a positive mindset. Tell yourself that you’re looking for inspiration and motivation, and sign out as soon as you start feeling down.
If you’re provoked by a family member or friend, be mindful of the conversations that you have and set boundaries in your relationship. Try sharing how you’re feeling, and you may be surprised at how imperfect they actually are. They may even be feeling the same way towards you too!
Being aware of what provokes you to fall into the comparison trap is just one key to breaking out of it.
2. Turn Envy into Motivation
Too often, we see so many women allow their feelings of inferiority to get in the way of reaching their dreams and goals. They become too afraid to pursue new opportunities because they doubt their abilities.
But, love, I’m here to tell you to not stop before you even start. Instead, use the person you envy’s success as your own motivation.
If you see she’s just landed her dream client, perhaps you should be pursuing and reaching out to yours! She just launched a stunning website? Start building and creating yours!
Let other people’s successes inspire and motivate you, rather than discourage you. Someone else’s success does not equal your failure.
3. Compare Yourself with Your Own Past
Oftentimes, we fall into the comparison trap when we compare the best of another freelancer to the worst of ourselves. However, it’s important to remember that other business owners aren’t readily sharing their pitfalls and epic failures with you. Likely, they’re just sharing the highlights!
So, if you’re starting out on your freelancing journey or are going through a slow business period, it’s just not fair to compare yourself to other business owners who are thriving. Simply, you’re in a completely different stage of business and life… and no comparison is even accurate.
Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, compare yourself to… well, yourself.
Look at everything you’ve accomplished, learned, overcome in the past few months or years. Compare yourself to who you used to be and evaluate how much you’ve grown. Your only “competition” is you, your goals, and your ambition!
4. Create Intentional Goals
If you don’t have a destination in mind, it’s tough to draw a map to get where you want to go. So, set personal objectives and goals that are based on what YOU personally want to reach, rather than on what other people have accomplished.
Regardless of what your goals are, they should be your roadmap for navigating your freelance career. They’ll help you stay focused on YOUR OWN dreams and prevent your vision from getting clouded by what everyone else is doing.
Ask yourself questions like:
- “What really matters most to me in life?”
- “What would bring more joy and happiness into my life?”
- “What does my ideal day look like?”
- “What are my secret passions and dreams?”
5. Celebrate Your Success
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what everybody else is succeeding at that we forget to recognize our own accomplishments.
Maybe you made the decision to pursue building an online business, or finally got your website up and running? Or, perhaps, you’ve landed your dream client and are ready to go full-time?
Whatever it is, I’m 100% certain that you’ve already achieved great things in your freelancing career, regardless of where you are at in your journey. So, stop letting your mind become filled with what others are accomplishing and start celebrating your own wins… no matter how big or small!
Taking the time to celebrate yourself feels oh-so good and will certainly pull you out of the comparison trap.
6. Take a Break
As freelancers, we spend a tooon of time on the Internet — which, as I’m sure you know, is the prime place to compare yourself to others. So, when you start to feel overwhelmed or down about your online business, step away from your work and dig into something that inspires you.
By taking the time to rest, relax, and rejuice, your mind will clear and your confidence will replenish.
Falling into the freelance comparison trap is completely normal and so easy to do. However, by taking action to climb out or prevent falling in, your business and personal life will see so much more success and you will be so much happier.
Most importantly, love, remember to be kind to yourself. You are amazing, unique, and are going to reach your goals and dreams – this is YOUR journey!