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5 Ways to Avoid Compare and Despair Syndrome

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Disagreement between two friends

Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to other people?

When it comes to the online world, we see everyone’s biggest hits. Weddings. Huge business breakthroughs. Vacation photos. It’s so easy to get lost in everyone else’s good news. Most of the time, seeing all this stuff is pretty harmless, but occasionally it has a harsher effect.

You sit down to write a blog post, and you decide to stop by Facebook and see what’s up. Cat photos. Engagements. And then you see it. That person who seems to have it all. They have the followers. They have the clients. Everything seems to be working for them.

What do you do when someone else is doing the same thing as you on a bigger scale? How do you keep doing what you do when it seems like other people are doing it better, or at least it seems like more people know about it?

Here are five tips for getting rid of the jealousies once and for all:

1. Get clear about what makes YOU different

A lot of the time, we compare ourselves to people when we have no business doing so.

Obviously we all know that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and one person can’t have all the clients, but often we don’t think about it that way.

Most people start businesses because they believe they have something truly unique and special to offer. What is it? What makes you different? What do you do that someone else can’t? Maybe you’re really good with one specific type of person who needs what you’re selling. Maybe you cater to an audience that doesn’t get a lot of attention.

This is why defining a niche is so important. People who work with a very specific type of person struggle with jealousy a lot less because they don’t have anyone to really compare themselves to, so they just spend more time doing their work.

So if you find that you struggle with this a lot, it might be time to start getting more specific about who you serve. (Click to Tweet!)

Think about your audience as a whole — can you get even more specific? For example, if you do tech help, maybe you could focus on helping classes. If you do marketing or copywriting, maybe you could focus on product descriptions or Kickstarter campaigns.

Also try to get out of your existing social circles. Can you bring your skills to an industry that doesn’t have anyone like you in it? Yoga for CEOs! Marketing for veterans!

2. Decide what you want

Make sure you’re being clear about what you want. If this is ultimately what you want to do with your life, there are two choices: watch someone else do the things you want to do, or do things your way and make a difference.

So, which one do you want more?

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. If your goal is to be famous or to be known and you don’t have a reason for it, you shouldn’t be here. We’re here to make a difference, right?

Now that I know my goal is to help people, I have no choice but to keep going forward because I love my work more than my ego.

3. Create something awesome

Most of the time, we don’t necessarily want to be the other person, but there is something about their situation that we want for ourselves.

Best thing you can do? Do something that gets you closer to that goal.

Maybe you admire the list size or fame of a peer. Instead of whining about it, Google “list-building” and see what comes up. Start writing a new book or freebie. Make the decision to hire a designer to help you rework your opt-in. Want more press? Check out a blog about PR. Buy a book.

Taking action always feels good and helps you forget what you were even upset about.

It also helps us face the fact that sometimes we don’t want to do what it takes to get the thing we might want.

4. Unplug

Unsubscribe from most of your blogs. It will dramatically decrease your capacity to get the jealousies.

Control your environment. Only keep the blogs that energize and inspire you. Do not read blogs just so you can compare yourselves to them.

5. Be grateful

Think about your clients and the people (even if there aren’t many) who love you right now. How awesome is that? You most likely have a few people who are excited about your stuff.

Get to know these folks better. Talk to them. Help them so that they will spread the word for you.

The best way to deal with the fact that there is someone out there doing things bigger? Go big for yourself. Do your work, and know that if you really love this work, you don’t have a choice but to keep going.

How about you? Do you suffer from compare and despair syndrome? How do you deal with it?

Shenee Howard is a brand BFF and income creation expert over at www.heyshenee.com. She will teach you how to be mind-blowingly awesome (and profitable) online because you are already AWESOME in person.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • treptalks

    This is a great article and can paralyze you if you get into the comparison cycle. It still happenes to me every once in a while and I have to talk myself out of it.

  • http://www.alisonelissa.com/ Career Coach, alisonelissa.com

    I often see my clients struggling with comparisons and feeling like they’re behind their peers, so I particularly appreciated this article’s perspective. My favorite point was your third idea of keeping your eyes on your own paper and getting to work on furthering your own goals.

  • http://www.alinterpretations.com/ @.l.interpretations

    Amen. TRUTH.

    I appreciate what makes ME different, so I had to learn to nurture it. #ell, I’m still nurturing it. But thanks for this great post!

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