There’s so much that I love about the entrepreneurial spirit that I see in myself and others. I love that our minds work fast and creatively to get things done. I love that we work towards our passion by being confident, taking risks, and looking at how to make things better along the way. We cross our T’s and dot our I’s over and over again to try and do everything right before moving onto the next thing. We’re an unstoppable force, and love what we do. We are passionate. We are engaged. We are perfectionists.
Another thing about this spirit is the tendency to go into overdrive 99% of the time. We think of an idea, and strive to make it a reality as soon as possible. We find a goal, and aim to achieve. Once we reach it, we set another one that’s bigger and better.
And we often find inspiration in the competition.
And you know what? That’s not a crime.
Unless, it hurts your self-confidence.
For the past few months, I have been delaying starting my own business because I am worried about what others in the industry would think of me and my work. Being a newcomer is always tough, no matter how many times people reassure you how friendly everyone is in the industry. Aside from that, I have a million and one questions as to where to even begin! Don’t get me wrong, I have done my research and have listed out the appropriate steps, but the process can still be intimidating and overwhelming to say the least. And similar to the majority of the millennial population, I spend a good chunk of my time on social media, checking out seasoned industry professionals and the work that they have been producing.
If you don’t know me, this next tidbit is how my mind processed all that.
Wow, look at that. That is absolutely amazing. Can I do that? I don’t know. I wonder how long it took for her to get that designed? How far did she plan ahead? Is this innate? I couldn’t possibly do all this by myself. What will my clients think of me? They are going to expect so much, and there’s no way I can compare to them. Maybe I should lower my prices if I were to start. My services aren’t worth THAT much as of now since I’m starting out. Can I even do this? Maybe I should wait a bit longer. I mean, look at her work. I don’t think I can do this. I need to educate myself more. I don’t think I can do this just yet. Maybe next month. Or next year.
We’ve heard it before: the worst thing for your confidence is to compare yourself to someone else, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t stop doing it.
Then I came across this quote:
“Stop comparing someone else’s chapter 20 to your chapter 1”.
It resonated with me for hours, days even. How many of us are guilty of this? It is instinctive for us to compete in hopes to be the best; this sense of “Survival of the Fittest”, but is it necessary to constantly compare ourselves to one another? I get it, it’s hard not to, especially with social media offering numerous platforms for comparing everyone’s “highlights” to your “behind-the-scenes”. We compare and we beat ourselves down for it. Negative thoughts flood our heads and poison our creativity faster than quicksand, and the next thing we know, we become ungrateful and unhappy with ourselves.
“How did she get 10 clients in her first year and I can’t even manage to get my website up and running?”
“He started his company 6 months ago and he already has a million followers?!”
“How did she make it on 30 under 30 in such a short period of time?”
“How did he quit his 9-5 job in less than a year?”
The questions are never-ending.
Let’s admit it. We have all been guilty of being unsatisfied with results and wanting more. It’s the curse of “too much”. Having too much, doing too much, wanting too much.
So I thought, when will too much be enough?
As success chasers, we sometimes forget to stop and be grateful for the little things. We forget to celebrate every little victory. We forget to appreciate our hard work and effort. We forget to thank those around us who are cheering us on and supporting us through each success and failure.
If we are not happy with what we have now, chances are we will never be satisfied, no matter how much we gain.
So take a step back and breathe. We need to…
- Redirect our focus on ourselves. Don’t worry about what everyone is doing around us, especially those with the same passions and interests. There are hundreds, and even thousands of us out there in that same industry! Take that in, acknowledge it, and let it go.
- Keep in mind that our personalities are what set us apart. Our core values, our styles, and our authenticity are what should be the driving force of our goals and business.
- Remember why we started in the first place! The unglamourous behind-the-scenes are the true heart and soul of our businesses. They are what portray our determination, perseverance, and hard work.
Remember that saying about enjoying the journey rather than the destination? It’s time we apply this to our lives. The euphoric feeling at the end of the journey won’t last long if that’s what we are the most focused about. The truth is, once we have reached that destination, we will be faced with the next set of challenges and goals that we won’t be ready for.
Learn to live purposefully and happily with what we have and take what we have already achieved as our motivation to make it to the next step. Be proud of ourselves, and be grateful for who we have met and what we have learned along the way. So thank those around us, pour some bubbly, and take the day off. That’s an order.