Are you stuck comparing yourself to other business owners? If you answered yes, you’re not alone – this is a common complaint among my clients. Being a business owner has its highs and lows, and sometimes, seeing others’ “wins” can leave you with a bit of jealousy or disappointment. We all have to work through feelings of envy at times in our lives. But, if you feel like you’re running an endless loop of negative thoughts through your mind about how poorly you’re doing, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate why you’re comparing yourself to other business owners.
Taking time for self-reflection and getting a different perspective on your own accomplishments will improve your sense of self-worth. Read on to find out why you compare yourself to other business owners and the negative impacts that can have. And, of course, strategies to end unhealthy comparisons for good.
Comparing Yourself to Other Business Owners: Why Are You Doing It?
First, you need to know that comparison is part of human nature. In fact, up to 10% of the average person’s thoughts are comparisons about intelligence, success, and looks – this is called Social Comparison Theory. The problem happens when we have trouble stopping. Or when we are always comparing ourselves to people, we perceive as more successful, attractive, or smarter than ourselves. We live in a society that values celebrity, status, wealth, and social media attention, and we are conditioned through marketing to desire these things, too. It’s impossible not to compare ourselves to others.
Comparing Yourself to Other Business Owners: Why It’s a Mistake
Now, we need to talk about how damaging comparison can be to your mental health. Constantly comparing yourself to other business owners causes you to dwell on negative thoughts and feelings. Over time, you may begin to internalize those feelings as not being good enough, not doing enough, or not having enough. This leads to frustration, anger, guilt, and depression. These feelings prevent you from recognizing your genuine worth and talent, and the successes you have achieved.
Comparing Yourself to Other Business Owners: How to Stop
It’s important to remember that these days, the majority of our interactions are online. With social media, we only see what people want us to see – the wins rather than the struggles or “losses.” All successful business owners experience challenges and unforeseen obstacles (whether they admit to it or not).
Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Adopting a spiritual practice can be game-changing if you’re comparing yourself to others (and it’s just plain helpful as a busy entrepreneur, too). Meditating and journaling, for example, can help you turn inward to explore insecurities, frustrations, and your own potential. Focusing on gratitude for what you’ve already built as an entrepreneur is also helpful. And, of course, creating a plan and staying focused on achieving your own business goals may help you avoid negative feelings around comparing yourself to other business owners.
Finally, a social media “fast” could be helpful. A recent statistic showed that “57% of people said that after going on social media they felt that someone they follow has a better life than they do.” You can’t compare your life to someone else’s “highlights reel” when you have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes. If you just can’t help but make comparisons to those beautiful, filtered (and perhaps outright fake) photos, take a break.
Being a businesswoman isn’t easy, and comparing yourself to other business owners will only make your journey more difficult. I encourage you to surround yourself with other successful women who will support you and celebrate with you. Having a network of like-minded professionals to share in your journey will do wonders for your business, and it will help you reclaim your personal power.
Remember, jealousy and envy are low-energy vibrations that can wear you down over time. This can have a negative impact on your emotions, your business, and even your health. The path we each take with building our businesses is a journey, and no two journeys are alike. This author echoes advice I’ve given many times over the years, “It is okay to admit if you feel envy and resentment at others’ success but start doing something about it. Surely it would be much better to look at these achievers and to be inspired by them rather than resentful of them?” The next time you recognize feelings of jealousy, give yourself some grace and realize that there must be something you admire about what another business owner has accomplished. Add that goal to your vision board and keep doing you, boo.
Successful women entrepreneurs grow with Catalyst. Book an introductory call today to learn more.