Do you feel like a fraud?
Something I regularly come across at the events I host and in the online space (in fact wherever amazing women in business hang out!) is the fact that many of us, at times, feel like total frauds.
Imposter syndrome is actually a thing, and I wrote about it here. While I’m pretty bored of the phrase itself, I also know that tonnes of female founders feel like they are not worthy of success; that they’re going to get “found out”.
I think a lot of this stems from the way social media perpetuates this need for validation from others. We need more “likes” and more followers to feel like we are worth something. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to one another and it’s all too tempting to check on what your competitors are up to.
And it’s when we’re feeling our lowest that we can be the most berating of ourselves and total gluttons for punishment. I’ve got a friend who recently confessed to bouts of – what she refers to as – sadism. She explained that she scrolls through social media, punishing herself by looking at these strangers’ perfect lives and all they’ve accomplished. Telling herself over and over how she’s never going to achieve as much as them. And that’s not helpful to her mental health, or her business!
So how can we steer away from this weird obsession with comparison?
Since I started my first business I’ve learned to manage my competitive nature and to stop feeding the comparison fire with fuel.
So here are some ideas to help you on your business journey, so you can achieve success on your own terms; knowing that you got there because you’re a Brilliant Business Builder, not because you wanted to “beat” your old college friends at life.
Keep the comparison within
Take a little time everyday to reflect and look at how far you’ve come, how much progress you’ve made, how your business has grown. Be thankful for all you have and remember the times when you didn’t and be grateful for your lot in life. I talk about keeping a record of your success here.
Focus on your path
If athletes spent their races looking at what competitors were up to, what would happen? They’d stumble and fall. You have to get laser-focused on YOUR goals. No one else’s. Stay in your lane, keep your eyes ahead and you’ll reach your goals. It doesn’t matter if anyone gets somewhere before you because their goal isn’t going to be exactly the same as yours.
The advice I gave to my friend is the same I’m giving to you: curate your feed. Stop scrolling through the people whose posts make you feel insignificant or unworthy. Not only is it daft to compare your life to the best bits of someone else’s journey, it’s just plain cruel! You deserve better. Take time to unfollow accounts (or mute them!) and start following accounts that inspire your creativity. Find people who radiate positivity and boost your motivation and when you’re feeling low or something’s gone awry head there instead of unrealistic influencer accounts!
Take it easy on yourself
We’re our own biggest critics, so please try and quiet that inner voice that tells you you’re not enough. Find evidence that proves you’re awesome. Make a mood board to gaze at in your workspace, or carry round a little collage in your purse of things you’ve done that rock. Remind yourself that you are wonderful, unique and that you ARE a Brilliant Business Builder!
As Theodore Roosevelt quite rightly said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. If you’re busy looking at what your competitors are doing you’ll lose the love of why you started in the first place!
So stay on your own path, have a digitial detox (well, as much as you can as a business…) and look at how far you’ve come on this entrepreneurial journey!
I can’t wait to hear how much better you feel after following these easy steps to stopping the comparison.