Comparisons in our Businesses and Ourselves

Sometimes we see the things others have or the success that they are experiencing and wonder,” Why can’t that be me?”  Have you ever had a moment like this?

It took a nice walk on a beach for me to come to the conclusion that I am enough right where I am in my business, imperfections and all, and to have the courage to embrace this thought.  I always knew that I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but I still did it, and probably still do on a daily basis.  I find myself browsing through Facebook and Instagram automatically comparing myself and my skills to those who have been in the industry for a long time or those who seem to have quick success in their business.  I also know that any kind of progress takes time, but it was in that moment on the beach that I realized that every day I am already making progress, and I will continue to make progress on where I would like my business, and my life, to be.

Have you ever wanted to (or maybe you have) walked along a beach to try and find the most perfect, intact shell?  I love to walk on beaches to find shells to add to my collection as memories of the place I traveled to. Sometimes there are already so many people at the beach, taking all of the shells I probably want (or in retrospect to social media, people are living the life that I want).  However, during this specific trip to the beach, after a moment of panic, I decided to take a closer look at the piles of leftover shells, to see what I could find.  When I dug deep enough, I still found some that were perfectly intact, but much smaller than the desired “perfect” shell, and I also found some of the most beautiful, unique, imperfect shells to bring home as well.  

It can be easy to feel anxious when you see others with something that you want.  We are probably often finding ourselves comparing where we are in our journey to others in their businesses or life, much like I did when I assumed that all of the people on the beach already got to the “good shells”. Seeing what others have, or the perception of what they have, can cause us to overlook the beauty in our own imperfections or the beauty in the world.

When was a time that you caught yourself comparing your life journey to those around you?  How did you combat these feelings?

We all go through times of comparison, whether it be in our work, our successes, or our life journeys.  We put much pressure on ourselves to be “perfect”, when in reality we are perfect with our imperfections.  There is beauty in what makes us unique, and just because we see others become successful doesn’t mean that we aren’t already having great success in our own small steps.  Sometimes it is difficult to say something positive about where we are at right now, without comparing ourselves to others, but just as I had to look closer in the piles of left-over shells, there is still progress in wherever you are at in life and courage in knowing you are right where you are supposed to be in this moment.

I challenge you to step back from those moments when you recognize you are comparing yourself to others.  I still have to work on this awareness, every single day.  My goal and purpose in my photography is to capture courage from behind the lens, and that also includes having my own courage to put my story out there.  In what way can we praise our everyday successes, our small, beautiful steps toward our main goal?  Maybe next time we find ourselves caught up in comparison, we can fill in this blank: “Look what I accomplished this week!  I am so proud of myself for ___________, and I am enough.”  How would you fill in the blank?