An odd title for my blog this week and yet a key one. Joy or enjoying what we do is often self-sabotaged.
This past weekend I was tuned in to the online conference by the Professional Speakers Association. As ever with these type of events real nuggets occasionally turn up which stay with you. One of the speakers had been dealt a huge curve ball in life when an accident at work left him with life-changing injuries. He found his trajectory in life radically altered as a severed spinal cord confined him to a wheelchair and a life around farming was now out of the question. He has turned himself into a sought after speaker, coach, and trainer. With the challenges he now faced it would have been tempting to compare himself to others. Chad had this to say about comparison quoting from, what is attributed to, President Theodore Roosevelt:
“Comparison is the thief of all joy.”
What is it about comparison which robs you of joy? Has that been your experience?
Comparing yourself with others is fairly universal. Comparison itself is not what robs you of your joy. The issue is who are you comparing yourself to and why? Marketeers leverage this idea of ‘FOMO’, or the Fear of Missing Out. Phrases such as: Take advantage of this offer by midnight to secure this price or these bonuses are always flying around us. You know how it goes.
Comparison to those you think are succeeding, particularly when you believe you are not, can become a toxic thought problem. It comes down to the narrative that you are playing out in your mind. Comparison cuts in when you believe someone else can do what you are doing better than you. Fear and imposter syndrome can take over and before you know where you are you have undermined your confidence, feel rubbish about yourself, and you have lost your joy.
You can use comparison to your advantage, but it requires you to change the message. When the thought enters your mind – “I am not good enough or they are much better at this than I am,” then switch the narrative.
At this point you need to look back and see how far you have come. It may be you are not as good as motivational speaker Tony Robbins at speaking. But are you making progress? Are you better in your speaking than last year? Are you learning from what you are doing? You need to admit you are a work in progress. Are you getting better, more professional, upgrading your knowledge? If the answer is yes, then you’re heading in the right direction and the results will take care of themselves.
If you suffer with this problem, it is important to change your thoughts and mindset before you find yourself heading down this unhelpful rabbit hole and being robbed of your joy:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Steve Furtick
Keep Your Joy.
Remember you can pick up your copy of my new book here.