Teachers in Business

How to Get OUT of Comparison Mode

April 20, 2021 Sara Torpey Season 1 Episode 22
Teachers in Business
How to Get OUT of Comparison Mode
Show Notes Transcript

One of the most common causes of my clients getting stuck is being in COMPARISON mode.

We have all heard about ‘compare and despair’ and it really is a thing. Its something we have all met at some point in our work - and it really can (and does) paralyze people and impede forward progress.

For me, there are two flavors of comparison mode that paralyze people.

Today we’re going to talk about the two flavors - how to notice if they are happening to you, and how to move OUT of this spot, and get unstuck, especially when this mode has become your normal.


Welcome to the podcast. So this week, we're going to talk about comparison mode. One of the most common causes of my clients getting stuck, and really like not reaching their goals time and time again, a lot of times when people come to me, and they're not getting where they want to go, part of the reason, or at least, a big part of the reason in some cases is that they're stuck in comparison mode. And we have all heard about compare and despair. At some point, it really is the thing, you know what I know, it's something we've all met at some point in our work, and it really can and does paralyze for progress. it impedes people from growing. And it's a lot easier to fix than you think. The key is, for me understanding that there are two flavors of comparison mode. And I think so often, we just handle one of them instead of both. So today, we're going to talk about the two flavors of comparison. And we're going to notice how they were going to notice if they're happening to you what they look like when they're happening to you, and how to move out from them and get unstuck. If they are especially it's hard. When this mode has become normal. It's really difficult. It's like when you're in a bad habit, and you have to start a new one, it's it can be challenging to start a new habit, especially when you've been somebody who compares consistently, you know, all along, and it's a new habit. Before we do that, I have a couple of celebrations to share with clients in the last few weeks. There are two different kinds of celebrations, but both really big deals, and I want to shout them out. The first is one of my clients has this goal of building a consistent business, it's something she says all the time into her a consistent business is one that brings in money every month in a predictable way. And one of the ways she's really hard on herself, is because she constantly feels like she's not living up to this goal as of consistency. In the last week, it turns out, what she realized is actually she is and she's been for like six months, she realized that she already has a consistent business, the business she has right now has made money every month predictably for the last six months. She's doing it, she has a consistent business. And that's a huge deal. It is not necessarily the money, she wants it to be every month yet, which is why we're working together. But the idea that she is consistent already is a huge realization. And it's one I think that is really instructive for the rest of us. It's actually after she and I talked about it, I walked away and went and you know, did some work on my own about how I am already doing things that I'm aiming for without really realizing it, because I think we all are. So you might ask yourself, How am I already doing the thing I'm dreaming of? And I bet you are and you just don't know it yet. I mean, I found some ways I was she found some ways she was in its you get to be like, Oh, wait, I am already here. Oh, right. It's a big realization. The second one is, is really about money and numbers. Listen, I'm a you know me. I'm a big believer in knowing your numbers and talking about money, it's important to be aware if you are a business owner of the money you're making, and not or one way or the other. So in talking about numbers, I have really moved one of my clients to being much more aware of what she's got coming in and out. And happily, she just actually renewed for another round next week, another round of coaching, which is super exciting. But what she figured out in the last few weeks is that she made right around $20,000 and all of 20. And so far in 2021, she's made nearly the same a little last 18,000. So basically what she discovered and looking at her numbers, is she has made the same amount of money and a third of the time. And the only reason she knows that is because she's looking at her numbers. And now she's like, Oh, what a difference. What we're going to look at together is like making that more efficient for her and continuing that growth. right because she's got a big number goal this year. But knowing your numbers is half the battle here. If you don't know what's coming in, you can't possibly know you know, how it compares to where you've been, or, or the kinds of progress you're really making. So Now let's talk about comparison mode. And I'm apologize in the background of you, your dogs because they're talking to each other.

 

This, as I said, is a huge problem for so many of my clients, it's a big part of how and where they get stuck. And as I see it, there are really two key versions. The first is the version that the internet talks about all the time, it is the scrolling your feed, seeing what other people are up to thinking the grass is greener over there, and they know something I don't they have the secret, I have to find the secret. And if this is you, what it looks like is, you're always being pulled a million other different ways you feel like, you know, if I just take that course, she'll be able to fix me, if I just download that freebie, if I change my pricing to be more like hers, if I change my structure to be more like hers, someone else's way is right in your way is wrong. But so much of this input is external. So it's an external input, coming from what you're looking at inside your brain. You know, this is you this is something we all do. But some of us are more susceptible to doing a lot of this than others. So if this is a stumbling block for you, what do you do? What I want to suggest you today is something that I often suggest to clients, and it is called an input diet. And what this actually means, you know, is basically that you turn down the noise the world around us, the amount of stuff we have coming out us at us at any given moment, is can be quite loud. And what I asked my clients to do is to really turn the volume all the way down. So I asked them to, for just a short period of time often it's like two weeks to just cold, stop reading all the emails, stop scrolling their feed without purpose. Stop downloading the freebies step all the podcast step all the YouTube videos, just stop two weeks. It is terrifying for them, especially if you're somebody who consumes a lot of information. It's scary. They think like oh my god, what if I miss that that thing? What if that thing that's going to fix me comes in and I miss it entirely and crap.

 

They also like find a couple days in that they don't they don't know what to do with themselves. They're so used to spending all their time taking in all this stuff. And they're like, Well, what do I do now like now I have all this time. But what happens is at the end of the two weeks, so often, first they feel like they can breathe again, which is a big deal. Because you know, like not having so much input. Pardon me yelling at the dogs

 

Let’s see if I can edit that out. I don't know if I have the skills to do that yet, though. So maybe you'll hear this bird, maybe you won't. But so by the end of the two weeks, they often feel like they can breathe again, which is a huge relief, but also like seven out of 10 times more often than not. Whatever it is they've been stuck on, all of a sudden they have a plan. It's crazy. Because what happened is they finally quieted the external noise down for long enough, consistently enough that their internal natural genius could come through. It's like, poof, here it is. It's magic. It's like, Oh, I know what I'm going to do. So often, we'll get to the end of that second week, and we'll meet for coaching. And they'll be like, Oh, you know what, I figured it out. I go, did you What happened? And they'll go, You know what? I don't know. I just like all of a sudden it came together? Well, yeah. Because suddenly you can hear yourself again, it's not magic. It's literally turning down the volume on the external stuff and the volume up on you. And that's a huge deal. So this is one version of compare. But there are actually two. I think we spend a lot of time thinking about this. What I think of as the more obvious version, the external coming at us, but I also think there's a really sneaky version that we don't talk about so much. It is internal comparison mode. And I think it's maybe the most dangerous thing it is certainly the stickiest thing for my clients it is the stickiest thing for me and for colleagues in this is what I think of as internal comparison mode. So it is I should be further along. I should know how to do this by now. I should be able to do it by myself. I could be doing so much better. What have other people figured out that I haven't How come they know the secret? Why don't I yet that should be me. She shouldn't be getting that opportunity. I should. Basically it's a very sneaky, sneaky quiet way of telling yourself you're doing it wrong. You're not far enough. You're not smart enough. You're not good enough in all the ways And when you're thinking like this, when this stuff is going on in the back of your brain, it is so hard to grow and make progress. Because basically, this blocks out all the light. It's like putting seedlings in a window with a shroom. There is no food for them to grow. There's no positive in there. It's just the sneaky crappy thoughts about hire not enough. What's happening here is we are comparing ourselves to an ideal. I, it's funny, I'm thinking about this, this week, because I did this last week, like, I just did this to myself, I was talking with colleagues about, like, where it is I'm trying to get in, like, why I feel hung up about that goal and why it feels so sticky. And in talking to them, you know, one of them said, like,

you know, why don't you ask your future version of yourself, which has always worked really well? Well, for me, like, it's a useful question to think like, what is the version of me who has already been there and done it? What does she think, but I had a really hard time connecting to that. And what I realized is because it's because recently, the future version of me that I've been trying to think of, basically like, is like the Pinterest worthy version of me. In man, she's not real. Like the version of myself that I imagined you're reaching that goal is someone who has it all together all the time, she looks put together all the time, all the things are pretty organized. It's like the pinworthy version of Sarah. And y'all the pin version, where the version of Sarah does not exist, it's really hard to connect to her because that's not how I roll, not like today, and it's probably never going to be how I roll. So it's a very, very difficult for me to picture. But all sudden, it became clear that I was holding myself to a pin worthy version of myself. That was what I was comparing myself to. And it was like, Oh, crap, I'm never gonna be her. Oh, oh, like, Oh, whoops. So when you find yourself really beating yourself up with him kernel comparison, what do you do? And I will say, for me, just like for you, just like for me, the first version is to notice, well, you have to see it like I did. You have to like, pause and be like, Oh, wait, you know? And if you're not sure, when you see yourself and you think like, Okay, I'm gonna be like this, it's gonna be like this when I get there. It's like, we will wait, what is actually there? What is the ideal version of this actually look like and what's real? What's true? For me, it's never going to be Pinterest worthy, I'm going to be messy. Like, I'm going to be in jeans and slippers like I am right now. And that's like, how I'm gonna roll. Not wearing shoes to my desk. I know, coaches that do that, like, I'm not her wearing slippers. And I have a huge floor mat, and I'm happy about it. The Sarah who reaches all her goals is not any more together than this Sara that lives here today. And that's a big deal. Because now it's not like I should be more together. I should have this by now. It's like, Oh, I'm doing this as me. And I'll still be me when I get there. Okay, that's fine. The second is really to start questioning and restating the shoulds. When you think like, oh, man, I should be past this now now, and I should know how to do this. Stop yourself, catch it, notice it and think like, should I? Why? Who says like if this was someone else, and they were asking me for advice, what I say to them, yeah, you should? Where would I share what I say? Like, Oh, you know what, sometimes we have to do things a bunch of times before we figure them out. Oh, probably the second version. And then once you're like, Oh, wait, I can be a little kinder to myself about this, then? what's the alternative? Like? What would you rather think? Instead of I should be past this? For me, there are two thoughts that really serve me in this kind of situation. The first is I'm exactly where I'm meant to be right in this moment. And there's sort of another version of that, which is, I'm exactly who my people need me to be right this moment. I'm exactly who they need right now, as I am right now. And then the other one that really helps me is to think like this is a 30 year journey. Because like, I'm not further along than I should be. This is a 30 year journey. If I have 30 years from now than today is just fine. It allows me to put it in perspective. So take a second like what do you want to think you get to decide. So those are like quickly the two versions of comparison, this external noise that comes at us in the internal noise that we feed ourselves both of are optional. You can go on an external noise diet and really pare it down. And you can question the internal noise. You can say to it like, Yeah, no, I don't believe you. And you can move forward as a result. All of a sudden, last week when I got myself on stuck out of like, well, what's that ideal? All sudden, it was like, oh, now I'm now I can move again. Now all's and I have these plans for challenges and all these kinds of interesting things, things fun things I'm gonna do in my group, I like plan for events last week, and I, all of a sudden, it was like, oh, it freed it, like, came unstuck from the mud. And off, I was on my movement again. And so listen, if this is you, and you're stuck, stuck, stuck, stuck stuck in this comparison mode, might be the external one might be internal, might be both, I certainly have both. I can help clients come to me so often in this mode, sometimes without even knowing it. And I know it's really hard to both see and catch and move through if you're not looking for it. comparison is one of those like Olympic level ninjas at holding us back. And what you need is somebody really experienced with it to be the outside eyes and ears and go like, hang on, do you see the comparison in there? Like, what's the standard you're holding yourself to, so that you can be like, Oh, it's just like learning a new skill. When you're going to a yoga class and someone's helping you fix your form, you may not get those nuances yourself. When somebody sort of turns your shoulder, you're like, Oh, that's how all that's how that's supposed to work. It works a lot different with an outside perspective. And it makes a huge difference. Because when you stop doing all the comparison, all the shoulds you make more money, truly, you make more progress in your business, you hit the goals, you make the money, I see it time and time again. When my clients I have one in particular in mind, when she at the end of last year finally decided like I'm just gonna do this my way. All of a sudden, she's she signed, you know, 30 new clients in the last four months. Like that's, that's a huge thing. But it really came from her putting out the comparisons and like taking them out of her headspace. And what I help her do now is not get back into that spin cycle. We had it off the past we see it's coming and we practice, really staying in her lane. Coaching changes all this and more. If you're ready to talk about coaching, you're ready to get out of comparison mode all the different ways and you're ready to actually make progress. Let's talk go to my website which is torpeycoaching.com and use my fun new calendar tool to book a time to talk together we should talk about coaching. If you're ready, I'd love to talk to you. I always have time for my my, my favorite people of which you're one. So that is comparing Have a great week. I'll talk to you next week.