I’m Sorry for What I Thought When I Looked at Your Website

HA! See, she isn’t perfect. Her site isn’t even formatted correctly.”

I’d like to tell you I had a better reaction, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I’m committed to telling you the truth, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Last week, my friend Jen, sent me the website of a woman she’d heard on a podcast. She does the same kind of work that I do (public speaking, message delivery, communication, etc.)

When her picture popped up on my phone, I felt every ounce of my competitiveness come out.  I immediately began playing the comparison game.

I pulled up her website.  I wanted to see if her content was “better” than mine.  What experience does she have? (Does she have more than me?). I wanted to see if there was anything that I “beat her” at doing (what the heck does that even mean?).”

“Her picture looks better than mine”  was my first thought.

I found that she has an accomplished background, lots of videos and plenty of useful content.

Comparison envy got real, real fast.

I started to feel bad about what I have on my website and what I’ve done. I thought “Man, I’m not  in the  same league as this woman.” 

So naturally, I looked for what was wrong with her website to make me feel better about myself.

I felt only a slight sense of satisfaction when I noticed that her site wasn’t formulated well for phone viewing.

The feeling didn’t last long. My thoughts moved quickly to:

Who do you think you are to teach speaking and presence when there are people who have more experience and talent than you?

Her background is in politics and media; you’re just a speech pathologist, come on Alex, who are you kidding?

You’ve never been on t.v. like her.

UGH.

Has this ever happened to you?

There have been times when I would’ve walked around all day with these thoughts running through my head, making me feel like a pile of dog poo.  I would’ve spent my time focused on why the comparison thoughts were right and gathered evidence to prove it. I would’ve beaten myself up further for having the thoughts in the first place.

Feelings of comparison, competitiveness, envy, jealousy, etc. are part of the human condition. How we deal with these feelings determines how much of our lives we get to enjoy.

We could spend a lot of time attempting to figure out why comparison problems happen.  Maybe they’re a “women’s issue,” or perhaps I’m just some wacko-nut job who needs to get a life (don’t answer if you agree with the latter). This is a blog, though, and we’ll have to save our thoughts for an extended conversation later.

I gave myself 10 minutes of “comparison woe time,” and then asked myself these questions:

1.) Is what I’m thinking true?

While there’s was accuracy in my thoughts about Carol’s level of experience and content library, her experience and content don’t negate mine. We can both be great at our jobs, in spite of our different backgrounds.

2.) Does it matter?

No.  There’s enough work out there for all of us if we continually give our best.  Focusing on what someone else is doing takes away precious time from the people we serve.

3.) What can I learn and appreciate from her work?

It doesn’t take long for comparison envy to quickly turn someone else into a villain. Which is ridiculous when you think about it because I didn’t know her.  I only knew what her website showed.  And, there are all kinds of things I can learn from her.

My day was saved.

Your’s can be too.  The next time you find yourself in a spot where comparison problems are ruining your day, ask yourself these questions and remember that the work you’re doing is unique because you’re the one doing it.

 

P.S.

I’d love to know if you’ve experienced something similar. Leave a comment below and share your experience comparison problems.

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