The habit we stick to every day that isn’t benefiting us at all is going on social media and looking at the people who are on a “higher level” than us. “How’d they get there so fast” or “They must’ve got lucky” are the phrases we say to ourselves when looking at the people. These people seem to be our competition for whatever reason and it has become our life goal to surpass these people.
What you have to keep in mind are the original goals that you've already had planned out in your head. The goals that you’ve had since you were a child or the goals you’ve been committed to for most of your adult life are the goals that I’m talking about.
Even if you’ve just started your own business or side hustle you may look at your competition and feel left out. This happens to everyone who starts out with their new hobby or craft; it’s not that we despise these people, but we get envious of what they have. We want their status, we want their disposable income or we want the freedom that they’ve created for themselves.
It wasn’t an easy journey for them so why do you think it’s going to be for you? Growth takes time and in order to get these things that you want like status, money, and freedom, you have to work for it. Plus it will feel a whole lot better working for those things than them, magically appearing to you when you wake up tomorrow. Even if you were to get everything you wanted when it comes to your business, do you think you could really handle it at this point in your life?
The truth is people with a lot of status can barely manage themselves when they do have it and at times wish that they didn't have so much of it. Be thankful for the privacy and the low status you have now. Work on yourself and your business without worrying about your competition, you will get a lot farther than you would’ve ever imagined.
They’re Probably Not Thinking About You
How often do you think your competitors think about you? They have other things to focus on like future plans for their business and what they can do now in order to help their business grow. You should learn from your competitors in this sense.
It's important to know that people are not looking at you all of the time. Have you ever had a day where you stepped out of the house and you were feeling really self-conscious about yourself? It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. You feel like people are staring at you everywhere you go.
The more you start to look at them the more they start to look at you, but in reality, they’re not really concerned about it. People have errands they have to run and responsibilities to take care of, if they’re not your friends and family then they’re probably not concerned that much about you.
Even your friends and family are not thinking of you every second of the day. They have personal things that they have to take care of and have to make sure they're doing good with themselves as well.
Now apply this to your side hustle, if you think that everyone is laughing at what you’re doing or your competition is trying to figure out ways to keep you down then you’re wrong. Nobody is watching you that closely, if anything they’re probably looking at you as just another human being trying to tackle down their responsibilities for the day.
How would you ever know when your competition is actually thinking about you anyway? Have they made a statement on social media where they explicitly said that they didn’t like you? Have they actually reached out to you personally to let you know how they feel?
Probably not, so don’t focus on your competitors, if you really feel like you have haters then just use that as motivation to make your business better and to prove them wrong.
You Need to Focus On Getting Better
No matter how much competition you have, that doesn’t mean you can’t get better. Being able to focus on getting better only, is a mindset that only some people have. People who cannot adopt this mindset tend to get left behind and they seem to burn out right when they get started.
In order to start getting better at what you do, you need to keep things simple. Start by setting some goals for what you want to do with your business and learn how you can accomplish them one by one. Goals are good to have but when you set out too many at one time, life starts to get stressful and you tend to lose focus on your main goal.
Having too many goals at once put’s your energy into too many places at the same time. This is where fatigue starts to set in, you get tired more easily and you lose motivation for the things you love the most. Set small, clear goals that are realistic and can be done by you. Don’t base your goals on what you think someone else can do, make your goals based on your personal attributes.
You have to fair with yourself when making goals, if you set a goal that you think can be done by someone like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson within a matter of weeks, it may take you months or even years to accomplish because you don’t have the same mindset as he does when it comes to goals.
Getting better also starts with the thoughts that are in your head. Are these thoughts positive or negative on your journey to success? Be real with yourself at all times but don’t forget to give yourself some encouragement every now and then. It’s easier to focus on getting better for your own satisfaction than having to get better for others' satisfaction.
What you may think is a big accomplishment may be small to someone else but that’s okay because it’s you that you’re worried about, not your competition.
Accept Delayed Gratification
If you’re anxious about passing your competition then become accepting of delayed gratification. If you’re not familiar with this term then you may be more familiar with the term instant gratification that everyone seems to use and want nowadays.
With instant gratification, you’re expecting some type of return right away from minimal input. When it comes to social media, we tend to use it as instant gratification when we post a picture and receive likes two minutes after posting it.
When it comes to your side hustle or business, you need to be comfortable with delayed gratification where you don’t see a return until later on in your success journey.
For example, if you’re starting a YouTube channel this year try not to worry about getting a whole lot of subscribers within the first few months of posting. Instead, put in the work now of uploading consistently and look at the number of subscribers you have after a few years in, even if you don’t see the subscriber count that you thought you wanted to see, you will still have a huge amount of growth when it comes to your knowledge of the platform and editing skills.
Lose sight of your competition and let them do their own thing. Focus on how you can get better and don’t let the surrounding noise stop you. I’ll leave you with a quote from Tina Fey that says “Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions … do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”