The Comparison Trap and How to Avoid It.
You’re Falling into the Trap Again
So, you think you’re useless and destined to failure?
When you see your sister killing it in her business (or her life) and you’re stagnating in the “Why can’t I just get this together?” spiral, don’t you just want to chuck the whole damn thing in???
We all know the dangers of the Comparison Trap, but we still fall into it again and again.
Let’s use the example of building an online coaching business.
I recently spoke to a woman who just couldn’t understand my approach to business at all.
Which led me to do some personal inner value work, because although I know my priorities are different from that of many business owners, I still have to take care not to fall into that dark hole of comparison-based failure and inadequacy.
When this happens, the best remedy is to refer to your Value List. (If you don’t have one it’s time to write it and pin it up in a prominent position until you get it firmly entrenched in your soul).
How Your Value List Can Set You Free
Take me and my business for example.
I’m not chasing the 6-figure dream (and yes, I still have trouble admitting this – it’s got a whiff of not taking myself or my potential seriously enough which I do know, by the way, is absolute nonsense).
I know this because of my Value List.
- I value mindful, slow (non-stressful) living.
- I value quality time (lots of it) with my husband.
These two values alone will deeply impact what my business looks like and how I will operate within it.
And that’s okay.
In fact, that’s perfect (for me).
Loving Your Own Definition of Success
I may not have as big a business as some other people. I may not have as high an income as some other people.
But I may still have a SUCCESSFUL business – successful on my terms, according to my values.
I have other values that contribute to its success – diligence, commitment, perseverance, patience. (Never be embarrassed about listing your values and personal qualities – it does us good to say them out loud).
And in two years’ time I may have some new values that make it all look different again (that’s okay too because none of this has to be carved in stone!).
But ultimately, I’m doing this venture for me. I’m doing this because I enjoy it. I’m doing this to positively impact other people because I want to.
That is very different to people-pleasing by blindly trying to meet expectations of what my business and I should be, even if it doesn’t suit me or my lifestyle.
This is about my Choice, not my Ability or my Worth.
It’s not that I couldn’t do it a different way. It’s not that I’m not cut out for another route. And I’m certainly not “less than” because of the choices I’m making.
What I am seeking to do is to align the running of my business with my values, so I can live the life that matters to me most Now.
Is what you’re doing in alignment with your values? Only then will it truly be a success on your terms. And when you’re happy with your own definition of success, the Comparison Trap just drops right out of your life.