We have all heard the old adage “comparison is the thief of joy”. This is why the advice that is commonly touted within the entrepreneurial space is to not be intimidated or discouraged by comparing your results or journey with that of other people. Not only is common wisdom that this negatively impacts our mental and emotional well-being, but it is also a warning against the adverse effects that this can have on our productivity and progress. In other words, whilst spending time being distracted by watching somebody else’s business wins, we run the risk of forfeiting our own. However, what if a simple change of mindset could change what is commonly known as ‘comparisonitis’ from a business killer to an elixir? According to Kelsey Humphreys (motivational entertainer, author, speaker and host of the in-person talk show on success- “The Pursuit”), it can be in the following four ways:
#1 Comparisonitis can act as a compass
During her keynote speech in late 2017, Kelsey discussed a tip that she had received from Gretchen Reuben (a multiple New York Times best-seller) during their interview. It was: “One way to figure things out for yourself is to ask yourself, who do you envy?” According to Humphreys, the question of “Who am I jealous of?” is crucial “because that’s an indicator of what you really want”. This shows that comparisonitis can actually act as a compass regarding what we really want to be, do and have. In other words, it is simply a sign of what success truly means to us.
#2 Comparisonitis can help us to make necessary pivots
Much like literal compasses, comparisonitis can help us to correct our course. For example, as her speech continued, Kelsey Humphreys discussed how shining a light on who she was jealous of caused her to take inventory of her strengths; weaknesses and what she was most excited about. It was as a result of doing this that she asked herself “Okay, do I want to keep consulting or do I want to take a riskier move and start speaking?” and then made that change. Take home message? If comparisonitis may be a sign of what we really want, the worst thing that we could do is shoo those emotions away without first examining them. We must, therefore, resist the urge to dismiss jealousy and envy as negative emotions. We must also resist the temptation to have what is essentially the admiration for another person tainted by feelings such as inadequacy or resentment. Instead, like Humphreys, we should use these to make the changes necessary to achieve the results that we want.
#3 Comparisionitis can lead to collaboration
Asking herself who she envied and taking inventory of what she was most excited by not only led to Kelsey uncovering her new goals and changing directions accordingly, it also helped her to discover “who she wanted to talk to”. This is what led to collaborations with the likes of Tony Robbins which many, including myself, have come to love watching for the inspiration, education, and entertainment that they provide. This is also what skyrocketed her career.
Through this example, we see that jealousy (if harnessed positively) can lead to collaboration. We also see that collaboration is great for experiencing the benefits of synergy. “Synergy,” in a nutshell, means that when two (or more) individuals unite and join forces in order to achieve a given purpose, they will be able to produce something that is exponentially greater than they ever could have done by themselves. Key take away? The next time that you find yourself jealous of somebody, explore the possibility of working with them. You may just develop a mutually beneficial relationship and become better together. For, as they say, “teamwork makes the dreamwork!”
#4 Comparisonitis can lead to mentorship
During an interview with Lewis Howes (author, entrepreneur and host of the “The School of Greatness” podcast) both he and Kelsey agreed that they went into interviewing industry leaders and experts for partly “selfish reasons”. That is to say that they thought it would be “inspiring to learn from [these jealousy inducing] people”. With other adages within the entrepreneurial realm being “your network is your net worth” and “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” for example, this desire makes sense. It also shows that an added benefit of channeling comparisonitis positively is not just the opportunity for collaboration, but the mentoring and up-leveling that goes along with it- thereby allowing for the replication of their results.
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