You know, it’s inevitable that every once in a while you’re going to be blindsided by comparison. Even if you’re practiced at avoiding it, it can still creep in. Some time in your journey you’re going to stumble across someone who is doing something similar to what you’re doing or worse, what you want to be doing. When this happens there is a flood of emotion that starts with anger and wraps up somewhere in the realm of fear. And our first reaction as humans, is to run. To give up. To look at the closeness of these similar ideas and think about how we’re not enough and how we never will be.
I want to pop this pity party bubble for you. Because I’ve been to that party today even, so you know I know what I’m talking about. I’m 100% qualified to talk about the comparison pity party. That party is LAME-SAUCE! They only serve old Cheetos and flat Bud Light. No bueno.
So here’s the deal:
First, seeing someone doing something similar to what you do is not confirmation that you should stop. It’s confirmation that you’re on to something. It’s proof of concept. It means that there are other people out there who want what you are making. What awesome news, right? Keep going.
Second, the immediate reaction to this situation is anger and fear because we think they’re taking something away from us. Like there’s not enough people in the world to like us both. This is a scarcity mindset and it will cause your ideas to fail. Usually because it will make you quit. My friend Dave likes to say, ”If I take a big breath right now, does that mean you have any less air to breathe?”
Third, if you want to be doing something, start. I’m writing that for myself to read later. If you’re a photographer and you want to be photographing weddings in amazing locations, start. If you want to be coaching and teaching people what you’ve learned, start. If you want to be able to work from anywhere, start. Start building the life you want because you really can design it. It’s not something that’s reserved for the people you look up to as if they’re on another level or have a “very particular set of skills” that you can’t learn. You have what you need to start.
So don’t look at other people and think “Man, I wish I was doing that.” If that thought pops into your head today, get out a pen and paper and write down 100 ways to make “that” happen. Because there’s only one thing on the list of things that are stopping “that” thing from becoming a reality: You.
Comparison happens in your head —> feeds our tendency towards safety —> which feeds our belief in scarcity —> which makes us retreat and protect.
This mindset will stop you from doing your best work. The work you are meant to do. It will keep you where you are. Don’t let it.