When asked to write a blog post for the Diamond Initiative after speaking about self-worth at their last event, I had no idea where to start or what to focus on. My industry is unusual to say the least, as an international circus performer and events manager, convincing others I am a serious business woman feels like donning a costume. Fortunately, exploring my knowledge and experiences to discuss self-worth at the event, made the parallels of my work with that of others more apparent. I did have something to offer and the will to do so.
My biggest battle is with myself, my confidence and my desperation to do well. Most specifically the comparisons I make to the work of those beautiful, colourful, talented people around me. Which brings me to the topic of this blog post…
Unhealthy versus healthy comparison.
With our – often intensive – use of social media, personally and in business, we have a steady and constant insight into the work and personal lives, lifestyles, diets, wardrobes, hobbies and so much more of our online peers and idols. Regularly encountering celebrations of their most recent successes!
On a positive day; we see success and celebrate too, we engage with the posts or photos, and we take inspiration from these incredible individuals. On those occasional days where we have a darker outlook however, it becomes easy to compare and become self-critical. To envy those friends and colleagues we adored the day before. Whether it may be because we are struggling, suffering or simply suffocating under an ever increasing workload, or just because that morning cup of coffee (or tea!) just didn’t quite compensate for our lack of sleep last night… This can have a truly negative impact on our productivity and self-image.
Unhealthy comparison is often the root of our doubts and failings. We forget that social media and even casual conversations with colleagues boast only the best of their work. We forget that all business people have failed, will fail and are concerned about failing. We forget others are doubting themselves as much as we are ourselves. We, essentially, forget to read between the lines!
That is not to say that we should be cheered by the doubts and failings of others. But it is important to remember that we are all failing and succeeding together. We are all succeeding each and every day that we get out of bed and carry on. Business as usual. Good or bad.
Now you may be surprised after all that to read that, I think, frequently, comparison CAN be good for us! And the key to using comparison to our advantage is focusing our energy correctly so that it is “healthy comparison”.
To conclude, here are some tips to live-to-work by:
– Manage social media time effectively. Do not spend toolong online and try to avoid it when you are feeling low or over-tired.
– Manage who you engage with and specifically when you are able to engage with them. Do not feel guilty for taking time away from everyone else to care for yourself. YOU are your business.
– When you do engage, be positive and supportive. It will help to encourage your own positive thinking as well as encouraging that quality in others. You reap what you sew, and the support of your peers and idols is vastly helpful on good days and bad!
– When you see success, try to think back to your last success and your plans for your next… Not solely about what you see in front of you.
– Focus any negativity into determination and discipline to keep upor improve.
– Finally… As best you can… Be inspired instead of envious!
If you would like to see what exactly it is that I do, please feel free to follow my work at the links below. Contact me with links to your social media pages and I can return the favour… Let us celebrate each other’s successes!