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Career: How to Step Out of the Comparison Spiral
Are hotbeds for competitive thinking and self-comparison.
Career 09 Nov 2021

The creative industries – perhaps more so than any other – are hotbeds for competitive thinking and self-comparison.

It can feel like everyone else is better at networking, selling more work, exhibiting in more important spaces, getting more opportunities, is better liked, has more followers, the list could go on forever.

We’ve all been in that space where you can’t get out of a spiral of comparing yourself to everyone else, you can’t think straight, and you feel like quitting everything you’re working on and starting afresh – maybe moving to the mountains to become a goat.

So we’re here to give you some advice on how to snap out of that overwhelming need to compare yourself to others, which might otherwise spin you out into despair.

Make a Gratitude List

Where these are small things or larger, career-related things, this will help to remind you that you’ve got it pretty good. And focussing on these happy things will keep you content throughout challenging times ahead.

Set Realistic Goals for Short/Mid-term

Rather than berating yourself for feeling jealous of other people’s achievements – ask yourself, what doable goal can you set to help you reach what you’re trying to achieve? So you think that so-and-so is better connected than you? Set a goal to introduce yourself to three useful network contacts this month via DM. Write this list down, and your proactivity will be soothing

Get off Social Media For a Bit

We all know it’s a highlight reel, and no one’s life is as perfect as it looks online. And yet we still compare ourselves to it as if everyone is achieving their goals 24/7. Turn off your phone when you find you’re in a comparison spiral and take a breather. Eat some toast. Isn’t that nice? Life is nice, don’t give yourself up for the hustle.

Set Some Perspective

Are you at the very end of your life? Probably not. Do you have friends and family who love you? Probably. Will people talk about how well-connected you were at your funeral? Definitely not. Will you be remembered for your good spirit and the impact you have on others? Definitely. It’s all about perspective baby.

Talk to Yourself Like You’re Talking to Your Bestie

We wouldn’t dream about putting our best friend down in the same way that we put ourselves down. If you weren’t you, what elements of your career would you praise yourself for? You’re doing so much better than you give yourself credit for.

Ask for Advice

Rather than wallowing in self-doubt, ask those who you think are doing “better” than you for tips. They’ll appreciate the compliment, it’ll strengthen your network, and it might give you some things to work on to help. You get to where you want to be.

Author: Verity Babbs

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