Someone said to me this week how well they think my businesses are doing and how much progress I’m making in such a short space of time. It was very well-intentioned, but it threw me a little because, honestly, I don’t feel like it’s true! There’s so much I want to accomplish and I always feel like I’m just about making tiny baby steps, but never getting to the finish line.
Plus, while I may be doing a lot, so far I haven’t achieved any of my big goals.
However, if I’m kinder to myself, I realise I am making progress towards my goals every single day. And that’s important.
What this means to me
There are two things I took from this:
- The version I’m presenting to the world isn’t an entirely accurate reflection of how things are. (Although I am definitely not trying to deceive anyone – hence this post.)
- The reason I feel like I’m not doing really well, despite making great progress, is because I’m comparing myself to other people and what they’ve done.
I wanted to share this little story, because many of us put ourselves under tremendous pressure to do things, to ‘achieve’ and to show up in a certain way. Often that pressure comes (at least in part) from comparing ourselves to others.
The problem with comparing yourself to others
I look at other people and they seem to be achieving so much and taking their businesses from A to B in such a short space of time. Yet, some of these same people, think the same about me.
I’m sure all of us, however well we’re doing, look at someone else and think they’re doing it better. Whether that’s achieving more, having a better work/life balance, earning more money, getting more publicity, or simply getting more done!
This is a good point to mention, your goal doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else’s either. You don’t have to want to be a millionaire, or have a business empire, or feel in any way bad for not wanting that.
Staying in your own lane
Remember, what’s right for me might not be right for you (and vice versa).
So, I guess this is just to say, when you look at someone else and think how well they’re doing (particularly if you’re comparing yourself in a negative way), remember that:
a, it will have come with some sacrifice, which you may not see.
B, the reality may not be the same as the Instagram post!
There’s always a side to the story that you don’t see
In my example, trying to do a lot, all of the time, comes at a cost. I get up early to work most mornings, I work during nap times and I work when the kids go to bed in the evening.
This means I don’t have much time for my husband, I’m not exercising as much as I’d like (not helped by the fact it’s so dark at the moment) and, no matter how much I sleep, I always feel tired and run down.
(I know this isn’t good – and I’m working to change things.)
But it does lead me to think, this is all about perspective, because who’d honestly want that? (I’m pretty sure the person who thought I was doing really well wouldn’t.)
There’s no such thing as an overnight success
We see a lot of ‘overnight successes’ on social media. When you get the back story, it almost always turns out that there were years of hard work before the success and the catapult to ‘fame’!
Plus, things aren’t always as rosy as they look on Instagram. Unless you know the ins and outs of someone’s business, plus their personal goals, you don’t really know quite how well they’re doing. We could all edit our feeds to make ourselves look like a success, but this definitely doesn’t mean that we are! (See above for my example of this!)
Celebrate your wins – don’t diminish them
Finally, I want to be very clear. I’m not for a moment saying people (including you and I!) shouldn’t share and celebrate our successes. I just want to say:
‘Please don’t let other people’s success diminish yours.’
There is room for absolutely all of us to be doing well. Just because someone else has done something impressive, doesn’t make your achievement any less amazing. Have a wonderful week!
And, promise me you won’t let anyone else make you feel bad (either intentionally, or otherwise) about what you are (or aren’t) doing, what your goals are and what you’ve achieved. You are amazing, you’re doing the best you can, and even small wins should be celebrated.