Hi makers, Michelle from Two Brothers Blankets here! In today’s world, it can sometimes feel like shares and likes are what determine a person’s talents and abilities. With social media at our fingertips, it can be easy to compare and start to feel like we aren’t good enough. As makers and entrepreneurs, we tend to not only compare our lives, but our work and businesses as well. This is what I call the Comparison Trap, and it’s not a fun place to be. I'm excited to be a guest on the Our Maker Life blog today to share 5 tips to avoid this Comparison Trap so you can produce and grow in your own unique way, and have fun doing it!
1) Use Social Media as a Learning Tool
There are so many amazing entrepreneurs that I look up to and admire. Sometimes it seems like the ones I follow have it all together on social media and have thousands of followers! When following these entrepreneurs, I could easily get caught into the lie that I must be doing something wrong or that I’m not good enough. Instead, I try to use their Instagram feeds, Pinterest boards, and websites as learning tools! I examine what kind of content they are posting that produces great engagement. I see if there’s a trend in when they post. I take any and all advice they give about running a business to heart. If they are someone that I admire and look up to, then I want to learn as much as I can from them! I use that information to figure out what I can do to help my business grow and flourish.
2) Focus on Your Specific Goals
I’m a list maker. Every day I make a list. Every month I make a bigger list. So, when I find myself getting caught up in comparing myself to others, I usually take that time to make a new list of goals. When I’m focused on my goals and what I want, I have less time to think about what others are achieving. I make a list of short term goals that I can easily accomplish, and a list of bigger, long term goals that will take more time and effort. Having them written down on paper makes them more tangible. Plus, the feeling I get when I cross out a goal that I’ve reached is one of the most amazing feelings ever!
3) Be Genuine
This is good advice for day to day life and social media. Our Instagram feeds might be curated to look gorgeous, but that doesn’t mean we have to be. Being genuine and authentic, both in real life and on social media, gives others the opportunity to relate and connect to you. You will then begin to create genuine relationships, and even business partnerships. I’m not saying spill your deepest, darkest secrets and feelings out on the Internet every single day of your life. But it is ok to admit your struggles or to share how much joy something gives you.
4) Focus on Your Priorities
When I start to fall into the Comparison Trap I refocus on what my priorities are and what’s important to me. I ask myself, why am I doing this? Why did I start a business? Who am I doing it for? If I have a certain quote or mantra I love, I repeat it to myself. I listen to my favorite motivational speaker. I just remind myself of what’s important and what’s not. At the end of the day, you must be doing what you do for you and those you love. If it doesn’t make you happy, it is never going to be good enough anyway. Get back to your why, and the rest will fall into place.
5) Practice Gratitude
One of my favorite entrepreneurs and authors, Rachel Hollis, says that you can’t be angry, sad or upset while you are practicing gratitude. If you’re thinking about all the amazing things you are blessed with and thankful for, there’s no room for unhappy feelings. I can account for this personally. Just recently, every morning, I’ve started listing at least 5 things that I am grateful for. I try to think of different things every day. This practice really helps me to see that, while I may not have accomplished all of my goals yet, I have so much to be thankful for, and I am truly blessed. When you practice gratitude, you won’t have the time or desire to compare yourself to others.
I hope these tips help you to stay far away from the Comparison Trap and stay focused on what you love to do. Follow your dreams and be grateful for what you have, and always remember, you are amazing, just the way you are!