How to Avoid Comparing Yourself to Other Freelancers
Comparing yourself to others is a losing battle. We’re all guilty of it, whether we see someone we wish we could look like on the street or whether we read an income report from another blogger and wish we could be just as successful. Although comparison can be a useful tool from time to time to gauge your own progress, it’s important to remember that all freelancers have different skills, different areas of expertise, and different markets that they work in. For these reasons, it’s really not fair to compare yourself to others as it’s highly unlikely that someone else will match your exact same niche, experience, and skill.
If you find yourself in the comparison trap more often than you’d like here’s how to combat it:
1. Make a List of Your Accomplishments
Rarely do freelancers and entrepreneurs applaud themselves for a job well done. We’re so accustomed to pursuing the next project, raising our income, and working with new people. However, it’s important to take a step back from time to time and remember how far you’ve come. Think back to your early days of freelancing. Have you raised your rates since then? Earned the business of more and more clients? Been recognized in the media? If so, write it down! Then, every time you have feelings of being inadequate, reference it and remind yourself how how far you’ve come.
2. Confide in Other Freelancers
Sometimes all we need is to know we aren’t alone. I frequently talk to other freelancers and small business owners when I’m having a hard time or comparing myself to others. It’s very helpful to speak with other freelancers who have experienced the same emotions. It seems that in any business where there is so much self-promotion and social media attention, comparison is inevitable. By speaking with others in similar businesses, you can learn that no one has their business perfectly put together. Regardless of how great someone’s business page looks on social media or how many clients they seem to have, everyone struggles with feelings of inadequacy from time to time.
3. Take a Break
As freelancers, we spend a lot of time on the Internet. This is the prime place to compare yourself to others and even worse, it’s the perfect place for people to only show the best sides of their life and their business. When you start to feel overwhelmed or down about your business, it’s time to step away from the Internet. If you can work without being connected online, try that for a few hours. I always find that I write much faster and more focused when I am not connected to wifi. The same might be true for you.
You can also take a much bigger break in the form of a weekend vacation without your laptop (gasp!) You’d be surprised how rejuvenated you feel with a few days away from your computer.
Ultimately, comparing yourself to others is a normal part of life, but if you want to combat it, try some of the tips and tricks mentioned above.
Do you struggle with the comparison trap? What are some ways you try to avoid it?