Why I'm comparing myself to other people

So Comparison is a thing isn’t it?

Do you ever look at other people and think ‘oh I wish I could be like them’ or ‘I wish I could have what they have’? We all do it. Whether it’s a different body, house, car, life! For me it’s business. Because I’m slightly obsessed with my business and making it work and pushing it forward, I love and can’t help myself looking at other people’s businesses and comparing my own to theirs. In some ways this is good because I’ve learnt loads from seeing how other people operate, what their strategies are and how they are growing. But there’s a negative side too. I would find myself thinking, ‘I’ll never make the kind of sales they’re making’ or ‘I bet they had loads of money to start their business’ Kind of creating a limit for myself and putting myself in a different category to those who I would see as really successful.

So I had a revelation about this that I want to share with you. I’ve been listening to lots of Mel Robbins books recently on Audible. She’s a coach (follow her, she’s brilliant) and her audio books are of her coaching people who feel stuck, and helping them move forward. I’ve mentioned them before I think, but they are so worth a listen. She kept talking about ‘Growth Mindset’ in these conversations she was having, and mentioning a book by Carol Dweck called Mindset. So last week I started listening to it and it’s really changed my…..mindset!

So let me try and explain a growth mindset to you, bearing in mind I’m not an expect, just an enthusiast! So it gets talked a lot about in schools, that children should be trained and encouraged to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset, which in reality is the difference between a child saying ‘I am no good at Maths’ (fixed mindset) to saying things like ‘I’m not good at maths yet’ or ‘I struggle sometimes with maths but I know if I get help I can get better and be good at maths’. A growth mindset is about believing that your skills and talents are not fixed, that you have the power to change them, to get better at something. In the book the example of gifted and talented children is used a lot, where they have been told growing up that they are clever and talented, but when a challenge comes that they struggle with, they often give up or don’t know how to move forward, telling themselves, ‘I must not be clever enough’. Because they have always been given a fixed mindset view of ‘you are just clever/talented’ rather than learning that, to get anywhere requires hard work, and effort, and you won’t always be good at everything, but you can get better at everything if you try.

So you can see how having a fixed mindset can be massively limiting for us? I think I generally thought I had a growth mindset approach to life, and this is for sure what I try communicate to my children but it’s not a black and white thing. We can have a growth mindset in one area of our lives but be fixed in another. I was letting fixed mindset thoughts limit my view of my business and get me down. I was thinking I’ll never be as good a business person as them, my business will never look as successful as that. Where as what I should have been telling myself was ‘I just need to keep working hard, trying things and persevering and I can achieve what they have achieved’ I can actually use comparison then in a good way, to be inspired by other people and get signposts and guidance as to which things to try, and which direction to go in (in the context of fully going my own way, paving my own path and doing something no-ones ever done before right?!) In this context, comparison can be a tool to setting goals and working out what it is you want to achieve for yourself.

Because what a growth mindset does for you is remind you that you can do whatever it is you dream! If you put your mind to it and WORK FLIPPING HARD!!!! It might not happen as quickly as you want (which is always my frustration!) but you can make steps towards your dreams, and you don’t have to put limitations on yourself by saying anything that starts with a ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’ll never’ Start adding that YET to those sentences because with hard work and a belief in yourself you can! I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m saying it’s possible and that if you’ve been telling yourself you can’t, you can start by changing your mindset. Reading this book and having this revelation really blew the roof off my aspirations and dreams for my business and what I believed I could do, the potential I could see in myself and my business! And i thought i had pretty high hopes before, now I feel unstoppable, and ready to keep putting in the hard work to achieve my dreams! It’s really opened my eyes to anything being possible.

I’m not saying your dreams are going to land in your lap instantly, you will aim for things and not reach them, and you just have to try again, try something new, keep learning, never give up! All of this feels very connected to something else I learnt recently, about goals and the importance of having them. People who have a goal or a vision or a purpose they are pursuing, are happier people. And importantly, research has shown that it’s not achieving the goal that makes you happy, it’s just having a goal. Having something to aim towards, to work towards, whether that goal shifts and changes as you learn and grow, and try things and fail, and pick yourself back up again and redirect, the important thing is having a goal. But you can’t have a goal, unless you have that tiny seed of belief in yourself that you can do it? Which is where a growth mindset comes in!

So I know this is long but I’m excited about this for me and for you! People with a growth mindset are at peace with failure, because it’s just another learning opportunity. They are open minded and keen to always learn, and they believe in their own ability to make things happen. This is the type of person I want to be and to encourage my children to be! In short, people with a growth mindset are happier! I also realised that a lot of the encouragements I put on my products, are growth mindset encouragements! So this made me happy! Never Give Up. Try Again. Yes She Can.

So my advice to you. Read this book, Mindset by Carol Dweck. And listen to Mel Robbins, Take Control of your Life. It’s good, good stuff!

And to celebrate my revelation I’ve put my Never Give Up kit on special offer in my shop :)

Chloe Hardisty