We are all guilty of playing the comparison game to some degree. Heck, as a marketer, I am always encouraging my clients to know who their competition is, monitor them, and learn from them. So it is no wonder that sometimes, comparing our company's growth, success, and achievements against other more experienced companies leads to complicated mental health issues. Today, let's look at what we can do to correct and overcome this.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness, I am sharing a small series on the effects that marketing and social media can have on our mental health. Over the past 3 weeks, I touched on different ways both the consumption and content creation of marketing messages can have an impact on our mental health. Today we wrap up the series looking at how playing the comparison game of our business against the success and accomplishments of others can be harmful.
Comparisonitis is a term that refers to the tendency to compare oneself to others. And our case, it is comparing our business to that of someone else similar to us. It is a form of social comparison, which is defined as comparing oneself with others. The term was coined in 1975 by psychiatrist Dr. Haim G. Ginott and psychologist Dr. Peter Suedfeld in their book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care."
Comparisonitis is considered a significant cause of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, stress, and feelings of inadequacy. It tends to compare oneself with others to determine one's self-worth. It'sIt's a trap that many people fall into, and it can have adverse effects on mental well-being. Here are some ways that you can overcome comparisonitis:
Case Study One: How to Fight The Comparison Game by Being More Self-Aware
The comparison game is a game that we all play. We compare ourselves to others and frequently find ourselves feeling inadequate. But it doesn't have to be this way.
We need to be more self-aware and understand that we are our own people with talents, strengths, weaknesses, and skills. We are not the same as anyone else, and we should not try to be.
As small business owners, the same goes for our individual companies. We have put our heart and soul into our business, and if we did it right and didn't just copy and paste someone else's design, our business is unique and special. Each company has a different story, a different journey, and its own unique proposition. While other companies may offer similar services or products, it isn't yours, with its own sets of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. So be sure to take the time and reflect on that. No, your business isn't XYZ company making more money than you right now, but it is YOUR company, and it will grow at its own pace.
It is okay if you don't have what it takes to do something or excel at something because there are many other things that you can do just as well or better than someone else can do them.
Case Study Two: How To Be a Better Person by Putting Other People First
Another issue with the comparison game is that it creates the sense of winners vs. losers, us vs. them. Someone is bound to end up on top or better than the other. When it comes to knowing and understanding your competitors as a business owner, the goal isn't so you can be better than them. The goal also isn't to feel defeated because they are seemingly better than you at the moment. The goal is to simply know and understand their tactics and see what you can apply to your own business to improve. However, we often fall quickly into that trap of weighing the value of the differences. Often times it is to see how that business isn't as organized, efficient or talented as yours. And sometimes, those may actually be true, but how you use that information and process that knowledge makes a difference in your mental and emotional health.
One way to avoid this negative aspect is to consider them as more of a mentor and put them first. Below, l give you a few tips on being a better person by putting other people first.
1. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Is that business younger and less experienced than your own? Have a smaller staff and fewer resources?
2. Be kind to others. If they are a fairly new company, what can you do to help them succeed? Yes, the business world can be competitive if you're fighting for the same customers. Realistically speaking, can your one business take on all the area clients? This newer company may turn into a strategic asset if you approach it right.
3. Think about what the other person might want or need. No matter where we are on our journey to running our own business, there are always struggles and hurdles to overcome. We are all working on something.
4. Be mindful of your actions and words. Watch what you say about your competitors. You want to build bridges and form connections, not walls, and shut out opportunities for collaboration and growth.
And if at this time, you are actually the smaller, newer company and could use the help and guidance getting started, don'tdon't look at your competitors as giants here to snuff you out or hold you down. Learn from them, gain wisdom and see what you can apply to your own business.
Case Study Three - The Comparison Game And Depression
The Comparison Game is a game that we play with ourselves. It'sIt's a game where we compare our lives to other people's and find ourselves coming up short. The Comparison Game is not just about what we have but also about what we don't have.
The Comparison Game can be detrimental to our mental health because it sets us up for failure by constantly reminding us of what we don't have and what other people do have.
Next, we will spend some time discussing how the comparison game can lead to depression.
As I mentioned earlier, we are all at different stages of growth in our business. Some are just brand new and barely have an idea of what we want to market and sell. Others have been doing this for over 25 years and have evolved their companies several times. We all can compare our success to others and feel like we come up short no matter what stage. That is why I believe in not measuring my success by someone else's ruler but creating my own goals and vision for where I think I should be. Sometimes, those goals aren't realistic, but that was because I lacked wisdom. As I go through this journey, I learn more about my limitations, resources, and abilities and create new goals and objectives based on where I have been and what I am trying to accomplish.
Comparing your brand to others is a common mistake that many marketers make. If you want to grow your business, you should stop comparing yourself to other brands.
In marketing, it's easy to compare yourself to other brands and feel like you're not doing well enough. But the truth is that by comparing yourself to others, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
The best way for marketers or entrepreneurs to grow their business is by focusing on themselves and their own brand. They should do what they can do best and not worry about what others are doing.