Tag: comparison


How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to others! Comparing yourself can be destructive to your self-esteem, detrimental in the pursuit of your purpose, and downright depressing!

Yet, you probably find yourself playing the comparison game quite often. Does it tend to happen most when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? Yeah, that’s what I suspected.

We all know logically that (most) people only post their best moments in life on social media, and edit out their worst moments. But emotionally it’s hard for us to remember this. As a result, we end up comparing our worst to someone else’s best, while forgetting others also have a worst.

If you don’t learn how to stop comparing yourself to others, you will never reach your own potential.

So how can you stop? Let’s look at the following case study to find out.

Stop Comparing Yourself (A Case Study)

Artists of any medium (performing artists like dancers, actors, singers and songwriters and visual artists like painters, sculptors, and photographers) tend to be much harder on themselves and compare themselves more to others than non-artists do.

Jessica* was no exception. I met Jessica when I was giving a presentation on the topic of personal branding at the Nashville Arts & Business Council. She was a songwriter attending the event along side various other artists, including everyone from graffiti artists to jewelry makers.

After I led the group through the three phases of my personal branding program, Jessica broke down in tears. She quickly let the group know her tears were happy tears.

She explained how she’d been comparing herself to all the other songwriters in Nashville since she moved to town to pursue her passion for music. And now, this program helped her see she doesn’t have to compare herself to her competition. She said it taught her how to better pinpoint her own uniqueness.

Jessica felt relief and was freed from the damage she’d been doing to her self-esteem with unnecessary comparison.

How you can stop comparing yourself to others

While artists might compare themselves more to their peers than you do, I’m sure you find yourself doing so more often than you’d like. So what are some things you can do to stop?

One, when you get the urge to pick up your phone and start scrolling and comparing, instead put your phone down and go find something to do that will make you forget to check your phone.

This could be something you enjoy so much you easily lose yourself in it. Like, reading a new book, taking a walk, writing in your journal, making something with your hands, trying a new hobby, etc.

stop comparing yourself

Two, realize everyone has a unique way of doing the same things others do. When you do those things in your own unique way, no one else can do them like you can. It’s like having your own thumbprint on your process.

Three, discover the things you’re good at and how you do them uniquely. If you need help discovering what you’re good at, I encourage you to check out my personal branding program for yourself. You can go through it in one of three ways:

  1. Purchase the paperback book on Amazon.
  2. Get the book for free with purchase of the on-demand video course.
  3. Get personalized one-on-coaching to help you with your specific needs and questions on discovering your unique skills and developing your personal brand.

Restore your self-esteem by being productive in the pursuit of your passion and purpose instead of wasting your time comparing yourself to others!

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*Name has been changed for privacy.

stop comparing yourself

Do You Want to Be More Confident in Your Career?

Whenever I meet with a potential career coaching client, one of the first questions I ask is, 

“What do you wish you had more of: time, money, or confidence?”

The majority of people respond with confidence as their top choice.

Confidence seems to elude so many people. 

Why is this?


Why does confidence elude us?

K. Ann Renninger, a professor at Swarthmore College has reported that, before the age of 8, children will try anything. 

It’s between the ages of 8 and 12 they start to compare themselves with their peers and then continue to do so throughout much of their adult life.

 If they’re not as good as their peers at something, they become insecure.

And insecurity is the opposite of confidence.


I find Renninger’s report fascinating. You’d think the older we get the more confident we’d become. 

I mean, the older we are, the more we know, and the more we’ve learned from our experiences.

But it’s so easy to fall into the comparison game. Especially in today’s culture when everyone posts their “best” on social media for all of us to see. 

Rarely do you see an Instagram post of someone looking or feeling their worst.

Therefore we often end up comparing our worst to others’ best, which is like comparing apples to oranges.


Career comparisons destroy confidence

I’ve found in my career coaching that comparison is also likely to increase when a person is going through a career transition. This includes:

  • When applying and interviewing for a new job against other candidates.
  • When competing for a promotion against another co-worker.
  • When starting a business that’s in competition with another business.

This is likely why so many of the people I talk to are craving more confidence.

This is especially so when they’ve tried to approach their career transition on their own and aren’t seeing anything come to fruition.

Either their resume is not getting them the interview, or their interview is not getting them the job offer. 

Their lack of negotiation skills is keeping them from landing the big promotion.

Or, their inability to articulate their personal brand is preventing them from getting their business off the ground.

Instead of looking for help to improve in these areas which can build their confidence, they start looking around wondering what their competition has that they don’t have. 

This is a waste of time and it breeds further insecurity.

More insecurity means less confidence. 

Less confidence means less career opportunities because no one wants to hire, promote, or invest in someone who isn’t confident.

And so the cycle begins.


Jamie’s Story

Jamie came to me feeling very defeated. On a scale of 1–10, her confidence level was at a 4, an all-time low for her.

That’s because she hadn’t been able to find a job in two and a half years. 

I’m surprised her confidence wasn’t even lower. 

Jamie was a in her late 20s/early 30s, a veteran who had proudly served her country, possessed an MBA, and had started her own animal rescue non-profit. Obviously she had mad skills!

But for some reason she wasn’t able to land a job offer, or sometimes even an interview, despite the fact she was applying to companies that claim they like to hire veterans.

Jamie’s comment to me was,

“Obviously I’m doing something wrong, but I haven’t been able to figure out what that is. Maybe you can show me.”

She knew there was something she was missing. She just didn’t know what that was. After two and a half years she recognized her need for someone to point out her blind spots and show her the way.


Jamie’s career “makeover”

When I began working with Jamie, it quickly became apparent that she just needed to make some small tweaks on her resume and learn some new interview skills she’d never previously learned.

There were some things she’d included on her resume that she thought were assets but instead were being viewed as liabilities by recruiters and hiring managers. I had her remove those from her resume immediately.

Just a couple days later Jamie got a call for an interview. Her first in several years. 

I spent a few sessions preparing her for the interview, teaching her the interview skills she lacked and doing mock interviews with her while providing feedback on how to improve.

Jamie:

“I had no idea until now what I’ve been doing wrong all this time!”

Me:

“Given what you’ve learned in these sessions, where on the scale of 1–10 is your confidence level now?”

Jamie:

“At least an 8!”


A week later, Jamie got the job offer. 

In fact, the gentleman who offered her the job commented,

“By the way, you gave a really good interview. I have a family member who has a job interview coming up. Do you think you could help her prepare for it?”


It doesn’t stop there.

After Jamie accepted the job offer, it was time to shift focus. 

I told her with her remaining sessions we could start positioning her for promotion at her new company if that was her goal. 

She said it was, but was told in her interview that new employees aren’t typically promoted until they’ve served a full 12 months. 

I told her that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning now. We worked on the things she needed to do in her first 90 days and within her first six months on the job.

Nine months later, Jamie was already being considered for promotion.


How to increase your confidence

Jamie’s confidence started to grow after she admitted she didn’t know what she was doing wrong and sought help. It was this help that increased her confidence.

Undoubtedly, her new-found confidence carried over into her interview, resulting in a job offer and eventually a promotion! 

So if you’re struggling with confidence in your own career, whether it’s due to unemployment, being passed over for promotion, or stagnation in your business, try the following:

1. Pretend like you’re 7 years old again and stop comparing yourself to others. 

You can’t compare your journey to someone else’s because everyone is designed to have their own journey. 

Comparison is unproductive, so stop wasting your time and energy. 

If the only thing that helps you do this is avoiding social media, then do so. 


2. Admit what you don’t know. 

If you’re trying the same cookie-cutter approach to the job search or following the free career advice you Googled that’s as old as the Internet itself and you’re not seeing results, chances are there’s something else you should be doing that you’re totally unaware of. 

Admit it to yourself when things aren’t working.


3. Seek help. 

Especially if you haven’t interviewed or been through a career change in several years. 

Some things have probably changed since you last had to look for a job or last asked for a promotion. Starting a business of your own also has unique challenges in this current market. 

Seek experts who have experience in coaching others in career transition to reveal any blind spots you may have. They can help you make necessary changes and improvements to your approach.


4. Recognize your uniqueness. 

Your experiences and accomplishments make you unique from others who possess the same skills as you. 

It’s these unique experiences and how you articulate them in your job search, performance review, or client meetings that will help you market yourself. 


In conclusion

Doing the above will build your confidence and therefore break the cycle of low self-confidence. 

Don’t let two and half years go by like Jamie did. 

Click here to start now!

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How to Build Confidence and Achieve Goals

confidence

With Every Great Purpose Comes Passion…and Challenge

When I decided to focus my career coaching skills on helping people pursue their passions, it was with the belief that passion yields purpose. The passions divinely instilled in each of us give us the ability to carry out our unique purpose on this earth, despite the challenges that come with our pursuit of purpose. And every great purpose will always include challenges. Passion is the spark that ignites our purpose. It’s also the grit that keeps us moving in our purpose despite obstacles or the temptation to give up.

Beware of the Lure of the “Easy Life”

When I started promoting paNASH’s services, I got a lot of followers on Instagram from those who assumed I was doing similar work to theirs. But they were promoting something different. Something writer Tom Kuegler refers to as:

“The digital nomad/laptop millionaire infomercial of the hot couple sitting on the beach sipping Mai-Tai’s and checking their PayPal account every 3rd drink only to find thousands of dollars rolling right in.”

They promised if I followed their cute little finger-pointing emojis to the posted link, they’d tell me how they achieved the “easy life” and how I could too. I could follow their cookie-cutter formula and spend the rest of my life laying around on a beach chair. As much as I love the beach and enjoy much-needed relaxation, I think I’d get bored doing that every day. Just like how the newly-retired 65-year-old discovers playing golf everyday gets pretty boring after a few weeks.

Eventually we long to be productive. And there’s no cookie-cutter formula to help us discover our unique purpose or know how we should be productive. There are various methods to figuring it out. Some are more tried-and-true than others. But we each have a different path to discovering our purpose.

One of my clients described the coaching I provided her this way:

“Going through our coaching sessions is like taking my car through the car wash. The car wash gets all the dirt and bugs off the windshield, making it clearer to see what’s ahead of me. I’m the one who still has to drive the car in my own direction. But at least now I can see where I’m going and feel refreshed. I have so much more clarity about my career path and my path in life.”

The Universal Desire for Purpose

Last week, I got to witness true passion and the universal desire for purpose. I found myself in the middle of the Amazon jungle gathered with pastors from small villages situated along the vast Amazon River. These pastors have a deep passion for providing care to the forgotten people of the Amazon. Their purpose is to show God’s love to their fellow natives and to share the Gospel, regardless of the challenge or the sacrifice. Through their actions, they let their people know that even though they’re isolated from the rest of the world, they’re not forgotten.

To fulfill this purpose, they traveled by boat, many for days at a time, to the annual  jungle pastors’ conference to learn things they can take back to their villages and their churches. The team I served on also had a long journey to the conference center in the Amazon jungle. We gave up the comforts of home such as air conditioning, hot water, and standard plumbing to teach them. But our sacrifices were unlike the sacrifices I heard of from the pastors and their wives.

purpose

Through those with the skill for translation, I heard the story of one woman who traveled nearly 36 hours to attend the conference. Her husband had to stay behind in their village to work his other job. She told us of her and her husband’s vision to build a new church in a poor far-away village. When we asked her how far away, she responded in thick Portuguese, “A seven-day boat trip.”

This is no seven-day river cruise on a luxury liner like the ones you see in those “don’t-you-want-my-life?” Instagram posts. She and her husband will soon take this long and treacherous journey in piranha-infested waters. It will require them to leave their grown children, perhaps never to see them again. This is real passion. Real purpose. Real nobility. With real challenges.

Don’t Play the Comparison Game

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the efforts of the passive income tribe. I’m sure they’ve faced struggles and challenges of their own because we all do in this lifetime. And perhaps their approach to work frees them up to pursue something more than just a lifestyle of permanent vacations. Something meaningful and purposeful that for whatever reason they choose not to share on their Instagram account.

The problem is when we start playing the comparison game. On one hand, If we compare our lifestyle to the glossy Instagram lifestyles, we can easily become jealous. On the other hand if we compare our contribution to the world to someone else’s greater contribution, we can experience feelings of worthlessness.

The goal is to focus on your own unique gifts and how they fit with your purpose. Don’t worry if your purpose seems small. In fact, one thing I kept hearing over and over last week was:

“You may never get to see or know the bigger impact your small role on this trip has made. But it’s much bigger than you think.”

I just had to do what I was equipped to do. And trust it was making a far-reaching difference throughout the Amazon whether it felt like it or not.

It took me up until a couple of years ago to fully understand my own purpose and how my God-given talents and past experience fit into that purpose. I realized my overall purpose is to increase productivity by helping people answer the call of their purpose. This is true in both my career and my volunteer service.

Sometimes this means helping people get “unstuck” in their fear of what they’re being called to. Other times it means helping them realize their talents and skills because they can’t see in themselves what others see in them. Oftentimes it means encouraging and cheering them on as they take their first wobbly step outside their comfort zone. All while providing them various tools to give life to their vision and accomplish their mission.

My purpose is not the same as yours or anyone else’s. Therefore, I have to focus on my own journey and not compare it to anyone else’s.

Nothing is Wasted

I was able to take what I do in my work here in the US and tweak it to fit a different audience in the Amazon jungle. (Something I never dreamed I’d be doing!) While what I was teaching didn’t require me to step out of my comfort zone, where and to whom did.

I went to the jungle to teach local pastors the importance of having a vision and a mission statement for their churches. While most churches in the US have such statements, this was a new concept for several of these pastors. I showed them how the mission statement can be used to help them make tough decisions their churches may face. I also showed them how to teach their individual congregation members to do the same for themselves. This is so they can make God-honoring decisions when facing the daily struggles of jungle life.

purpose

Presenting with my translator Harold Pinto

This class evolved from the tools I use with my clients in my coaching efforts and from the on-demand program Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.

And those tools and programs all evolved from my previous work with recording artists in the music industry. When helping my young artists develop their image and brand, many of them couldn’t tell me what made them unique from other aspiring artists. Therefore, before we could create an authentic image and brand for them and their music, we had to back up and figure out what made them unique. Since this happened so many times, I had to come up with a process for not only helping them figure this out, but also how to articulate it to their fan base and potential labels.

I no longer work in the music industry. But being able to trace back where my teaching came from confirmed that God doesn’t waste anything. I NEVER could’ve dreamed in a gazillion years God would take what I’d created in my previous role all the way from Music Row to as far as the remote villages of the Amazon jungle!

Embrace Challenge

When you’re faced with challenges, instead of running from them or becoming paralyzed by them, learn to embrace them because they can lead to a greater purpose. Don’t be fooled by all the “life’s-a-beach” Instagram posts. And certainly don’t compare your life to the carefully edited lives displayed on social media.

Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’ve reached a dead end. In fact, one of the pastors leading the Brazilian team of missionaries said this last week:

“Airplanes don’t lift off until they reach the end of the runway. When it seems like you’re at the end of your road, that’s when things are about to take off!” Pastor Filipe Santos

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Taking off from Miami to Manaus, Brazil

Be open to the ways your interests, talents and strengths can be used to fulfill your purpose in life. Let’s face it. We’d all be good at sitting in a lounge chair on a beach. But what kind of contribution would we make in this world if that’s all we did? How would we truly know what our purpose is on this beautiful earth if all we did was soak in its beauty without ever getting our feet wet or our hands dirty?

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The view of where we landed was Instagram-worthy, but there was more spiritual beauty to behold as our boat went deeper into the jungle. (Left: the Amazon River from the beach in Manaus; Right: a village served by Justice & Mercy Amazon)

Discover Your Purpose While Helping Others

paNASH is now donating 45% of the sales from the the on-demand program Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic to Justice & Mercy Amazon. Your purchase of the on-demand program will help pay for a pastor’s expenses to attend future conferences.

The conference provides these pastors with the training and education they otherwise would never find in the Amazon jungle. It fills the gap caused by a lack of opportunity for formal education. It also gives the pastors renewed energy and hope as they return to their villages where they wear many hats. Not only do they serve the spiritual needs of their village. They also oftentimes serve as the only provider of medical care to their people. And some also serve as farmers to provide agriculture and food to their people.

The pastors have limited financial resources to make the long trip to the conference, but once they arrive, they learn many new things to take back to their villages to better the lives of their communities. The jungle pastors’ conference is the centerpiece of all the work Justice & Mercy does in the Amazon. This includes medical assistance, child sponsorship, emergency food relief, support for special needs kids, mission trips and training, and school construction.

Purpose

Therefore, when you purchase this on-demand program, not only will you learn how to better your own life by creating a purposeful mission statement to live by, you’ll also help Justice & Mercy accomplish their mission and achieve the above results.

You can also help by purchasing a copy of my second book, SUP: Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard for only $12. I personally will donate 100% of the profits from book sales to Justice & Mercy Amazon and mission trip expenses.

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