Do you find yourself staring at the success of others and wishing you were more like them? Does it make you jealous or feel like you’re not enough? If you’ve said yes, you’ve experienced the comparison trap.
In this podcast episode, I interview Ian Anderson Gray about his experience with the comparison trap. We discuss things like self-doubt, how we measure ourselves, and the importance of God’s truth.
Ian is the founder of the Confident Live Marketing Academy and is the host of the Confident Live Marketing Podcast. He helps entrepreneurs to level up their impact, authority, and profits by using live video confidently. As well as being a geek, husband, and dad to two kids, Ian is also a professional singer and lives near Manchester in the UK.
Ian was also a guest on episode 45, where we discussed the imposter syndrome, the wicked cousin to the comparison trap. Ian also has a fun giveaway ending on February 4, 2021.
We also explored comparison back on Day 46 of this Gratitude Challenge.
Be sure to listen to the very end for Ian’s fun new jingle for Man in the Pew.
Key Comparison Takeaways
#1: Comparison gets us focused on the wrong metrics.
When we compare ourselves to others, we can get focused on vanity metrics or wrongly measuring ourselves against someone who’s in a different stage of business or life.
For example, it’s not fair for a brand-new live-video show to compare itself to a show that’s run for 500 episodes. Nor is it right for a father with small children to compare himself to a man whose children are all grown.
But we do it anyway. One question to keep in mind is whether we really even want what they have.
#2: Immerse yourself in God’s vision for your life.
In Psalm 73, the psalmist gets mesmerized by the apparent success of the wicked. And then he draws near to God and realizes the vanity of their wealth, understanding that it will all perish.
The comparison trap lures our eyes away from the truth of God’s word and his vision for our lives. Therefore, part of the remedy is to talk to God daily to hear his words of affirmation and get a clear vision of what he wants for you.
If the comparison trap is a lie, we need to discover the truth. The best place is through God’s word. Immerse yourself in the Bible daily.
#3: Count the small blessings not comparisons.
It’s easy to lose sight of the blessings we have when we compare ourselves to others. This envy can lead us on a downward spiral toward despair. The way back up is to offer small words of thanks every day.
Angus Nelson developed a way to repeat truths and affirmations that we discussed on Day 62.
Ian suggests that it’s also important to regularly acknowledge and affirm successes in your business. Instead of comparing your business to what you’re not, rejoice in what you have accomplished.
#4: Thank others regularly without giving in to comparison.
Ian recommends that we stop thanking people on social media. He was inspired by a post from Mark Schaefer with a similar message.
While provocative titles, neither of them actually means we shouldn’t thank others. Instead, they encourage us to be specific with our words. Don’t just say thank you.
#5: When you thank others, don’t expect a response in return.
Reciprocity can undermine gratitude in a heartbeat. Genuine thankfulness doesn’t expect anything in return. Just like love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5 NIV), it also keeps no record of rights that need to repaid. We can never repay God for our salvation, nor should we be in the game of keeping tabs on who owes us. Give thanks for the pure joy of blessing others.
#6: Appreciate who God made you to be.
When we compare ourselves to our competitors, it’s easy to lose sight of our uniqueness. God designed us with a one-of-a-kind mold, so we do him a disservice when we wish we were more like someone else.
Instead, seek to be the best version of yourself. Likewise, learn to appreciate the uniqueness of your competitors. Ian described how he’s learned to appreciate Molly Mahoney and Luria Petrucci, two people in his industry. He doesn’t see them as the competition but as co-opetition, a made-up word that is a combination of cooperation and competition.
#7: Be careful who you allow to speak into your life.
The comparison trap can cause you to listen to the wrong voices to determine your measure of success. After God, be sure to surround yourself with grateful people who will speak the truth with love.
Look at your customer base or friend base, and identify one person each day (or weekly) to be thankful for. BONUS: Identify a competitor or someone you compare yourself with, and send them an affirming note.
Lord, I thank you for setting me free from sin, condemnation, and comparison. Forgive me for questioning how you made me, and teach me to be grateful. Open my eyes to find ways to be thankful every day, especially for what you’ve done in my life, my business, and my close relationships. Help me today to pray for my competition and those who fuel my comparison muscles. Open my ears to hear your words of affirmation and truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
5 Love Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks