I received an email from one of my many creative clients who was suffering. She acknowledged that it was self-inflicted. She had just been online and found an artist’s site she found enviable, which got her thoroughly depressed. The Internet makes it easier than ever to compare ourselves and our businesses to others.
I well remember that pain having once swum in those same self-flagellation waters. It happened to me at craft shows back in the 90’s when another artist’s booth would have me drooling with envy. It happened during my coaching certification process as I listened to CD recordings of master coaches helping clients. I want that! NOW!
Anyone else out there identifying? There’s some good information hidden in the pain of that envy. You become crystal clear about what it is you’d like to achieve in your business/life–an elegant website, numerous comments on a blog, hundreds or thousands of followers on twitter. It’s an opportunity to take a step back and figure out exactly what is so enviable. And what it might take to achieve that. These can become your goals if they’re really important. The suffering is definitely optional.
I’ve come to appreciate the bumper sticker wisdom recited by my friends:
- Compare and despair.
- Don’t compare your insides with anyone else’s outsides.
- You’re exactly where you need to be.
- Keep the focus on yourself.
Take as many of these as you’d like and comment in the morning.