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I'm saying this to you today so that I can remind myself:
You are the only competition that matters.
When you're running ragged during the busy season, it's easy to start to feel like you'll never measure up to your own expectations. Barely on top of email? I see you. Hitting snooze so you can eek out another minute before your 6:00 am call? I see you.
When your day feels full of friction, it can be easy to start looking at others (including everyone else's highlight reel ) and wonder how others are seemingly so on top of their shit. You might ask why you're not getting the same opportunities, feeling fulfilled in your career, or just generally breezing through your life and work with perfect hair.
(No shade, I just really need a haircut).
Comparing what you have and what you've built to those around you is a bullet train to disappointment. When your busy looking at others, you miss out on seeing what's really happening and the wins you should be celebrating.
And who doesn't need a little celebrating while we watch the world burn?
YOUR SOLE COMPETITION
When you choose to compete with only yourself, you are moving toward defining what success looks like for you. Because at the end of the day, if you don't see your self as successful, no amount of other people's admiration is going to make you feel like a success.
It may sound like a cliché, but I love the belief that there are only two people you need to think about when you are making decisions:
Your past self
Your future self
When you imagine your childhood self, all your core wishes and hopes and dreams come into focus. I like to ask whether my seven year old self would want to do something as a way to tackle my 35 year old self's anxieties.
At the other end, satisfying my future self sometimes looks like pushing myself to finally take action on something that I know I'll be proud of trying as a seventy year old. (See, finally taking that art class).
When you reframe from comparing to others to comparing to yourself, you can stop wasting time pursuing passions, goals, or anything else that don't actually bring you joy.
Does social media make you sad? Ditching it altogether might not be as effective as curating your feed . (video + article)
Making your seven year old self happy is sometimes about breaking old patterns via reparenting . (workshop)
Second-guessing who you are? Revisit your values with these journal prompts. (article)
Turn your inner critic on her head and make her your friend . (video)
Want to feel more connected? Consider joining one of our Boss-to-Boss cohorts. These peer networks are designed to foster community in our inherently competitive world.