4 Steps To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
In this week’s episode, Jennifer shares tips and strategies to stop comparing where you are in your real estate business, with where others are in theirs. She’ll give you 4 strategies to learn how to stop caring about what others are doing and how to focus more on your own business so that you can start getting the results you’re hoping for.
Hello hello, welcome back to the women rocking real estate podcast, I’m Jen Percival and so happy you’ve decided to join me and tune in today.
So before we get started, I just have to send a quick shout out and thank you to Elena who left me the following review on iTunes, which I thought was hilarious and so sweet. She said “After searching through 8-10 podcasts with dude-bro ego energy I finally found Jen and it was like the heavens opened. Her episodes are packed chock full of useful information and strategies that you can apply to your practice! She should have 1000 five star reviews….”.
Well thank you Elena, I’ll only be able to get to 1000 reviews when people like you take the time to write one on iTunes. So appreciate it.
Alright today I am going to be chatting about an issue that often, secretly permeates women in real estate’s psyche. I’m sure it permeates men’s too, but my experience is that it affects women more and had a bigger impact on their own sense of self-worth. I may be generalizing, but that’s just my experience.
That issue, is comparison. We are subconsciously obsessed with comparing ourselves to others. We compare our hair, our skin, our bodies, our clothes, our homes, our partners, our kids, our brains and the list goes on and on. So I guess it should come as no surprise, that on top of all that, we also compare our businesses. Rarely does anything good come of it. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. It is really hard to be happy in our own skin and present in our own lives and content with we are are in our business, when we are constantly comparing ourselves and where we’re at in our journey, to other people and where they’re at in theirs.
When we allow ourselves to get sucked into comparison it is, it takes all of our focus and energy AWAY from what we should be doing and puts it on something that will do nothing for us. Not only will it do nothing positive for us, it harms us profoundly. It causes us to second guess ourselves, it causes us to lose our sense of self worth, it makes us feel like crap and it suppresses our motivation. It’s pretty hard to feel inspired and hopeful and excited about the possibilities, when we’re feeling jealous and like we’re behind and not keeping up. It can feel like it’s a race and if we fall behind, we’re missing out and can’t catch up and that we’re losing business. And all of that junk, reinforces this mindset of scarcity. That there is a finite amount of business out there to be had and for every listing you don’t get, that the pie is getting smaller and smaller. And the more you subconsciously believe that, the more your confirmation bias kicks in and the more you notice all the business you’re not getting. It is a vicious cycle that you need to decide today, like right now, that you are not going to be a victim to it anymore. I can promise you, that it’s not serving you and I can pretty much guarantee it’s actually hindering you and hindering your growth.
So how do we go about ridding ourselves of this really unhealthy habit of comparing ourselves? Because that’s what it is, it’s a habit and one that many of us are not even consciously aware we’re doing. We’re more aware of it when comparing our looks and stuff like that, but when it comes to our businesses, it’s a little sneakier.
So the first step to eliminate this bad habit, is to forgive ourselves for doing it in the first place. We are only human after all and it’s only when we are aware of and continue to do things that we know are not good for us, that it’s a problem. But like I said, we’re not always as consciously aware of how we compare ourselves and our businesses, so how do we make ourselves more aware of when we’re doing it?
Step 1 – Pay Attention to Your Automatic Negative Thoughts.
The first step is to obviously pay attention to our thoughts. The problem, is that it can be difficult to notice thoughts because they’ve become automatic negative thoughts and unless we’re really tuned into our thoughts, which most of us aren’t, it can be difficult to notice them in the moment. But one of the things that makes it easier, is to pay attention to your feelings.
Emotions are always tied to a thought. You might not notice the thought, but chances are good that you’ll notice the feeling the thought gives you. So every time you notice that sudden pit in your stomach or feeling suddenly deflated, pay particular attention to what just happened and what you were thinking. You may have been scrolling through Instagram and noticed another agent in your trading area, posting one of their new listings. The time between a thought and a resulting emotion is like a nanosecond. It likely happened so fast, that you didn’t even notice the thought. Every time you experience this, write down what triggered it and whatever you were doing, stop doing that. Now if you’re thinking, Jen I’m not going to get off Instagram, well no of course not, but you can stop following whoever is making you feel like shit every time you see their posts.
Because here’s the thing, sure I can blow sunshine and roses and tell you that you should be happy for them and give their post a like and add a comment saying ‘congrats on your beautiful new listing!” Of course that’s something we should all strive for, but until you can genuinely get to that place, we need to protect ourselves a little. We need to get ourselves in a good healthy place and I’m sorry but a little avoidance goes a long way. So go easy on yourself and don’t add guilt to the list of emotions you’re already feeling.
So if you’re following a bunch of agents on Instagram and you’ve subscribed to a bunch of their newsletters and you go through the postcards in your mail everyday to see which agents are in the pile and you scroll to the bottom of every new listing on MLS to see who it was listed by, you have a problem.
Either one, you’re torturing yourself or two you’re wasting a lot of precious time paying attention to what other people are doing. And that time is being taken away from focusing on yourself and working on your own business.
Now I had this conversation once with one of my coaching clients. She knew every single agent and which listing they all had at any given time and what marketing they were doing. She was obsessed and literally spent hours a day basically stalking them. When I challenged her on it, her excuse was that it was helping her know what her competition was up to. Ok and how is that helping you? Well now I know what I should be doing to be different. Ok so what are you doing to be different? Well I don’t know yet, I need to come up with ideas. Do you see the illogical logic? If your competitors – do a side note about calling them competitors are doing something innovative, you can’t copy them. That’s called a me too strategy and it’s lame. To truly differentiate yourself, you need to be a trail blazer, not a trail imitator! Now I’m not suggesting you have to be innovative and come up with completely creative and unique ideas. You can copy people, you just can’t copy those in your trading area. So if you’re going to try to justify stalking agents as competitive research, invest that time in researching innovative agents in other cities, provinces, states or countries for that matter. If you’re paying too much attention to what other agents are doing around you and it’s making you feel crappy, don’t justify it to yourself under the guise of research. It’s called pain seeking and it’s not healthy.
So if it truly doesn’t bother you at all, then by all means follow other agents and be super supportive! However before we move on, I will quickly flag something to watch out for. You may not feel jealous or envious of other agents that are doing well, but if you ever find yourself being judgy of them or their marketing for instance, that’s often just jealousy in disguise.
So by all means, be genuinely supportive, but don’t be supportive in public and then judge them in private.
Ok just to quickly recap where we are. If we’re trying stop comparing ourselves and where we’re at in our businesses, Step 1 is to bring an awareness to our thoughts and to use our emotions as a guide and
Step 2 – Avoid doing things that trigger those negative thoughts and emotions.
Step 3 – Re-framing our views on success.
Step 3 is all about re-framing our views on success and how we get there and comparing ourselves to our perception of how others got there.
When people become successful, the results tend to be highly visible and easy to compare to ourselves, but we don’t see the process of how they became successful and all of the work that went into it. We just see the end result.
So we look at other realtors who have listings all over the place and it seems like they came out of nowhere and now they’re everywhere. Well that success very likely didn’t happen overnight. What we can’t see is the 100s of hours they invested in writing blogs for over a year. Or the 100s of doors they knocked on or the networking that they did for years prior to getting into real estate where they built up a massive sphere of influence. Or that they just inherited their mother’s business who had been in real estate for 35 years. We just see the end result and can’t understand what they did to become successful ‘so fast’.
One of my favourite books that everyone needs to read if they haven’t already is Atomic Habits by James Clear. One of the best insights from this book is what he calls the Plateau Of Latent Potential. This concept is best shown with a graphic, so I will put a link to it in the show notes for this episode.
Basically you have a results axis along the bottom and then you have the time axis going up and down. We often expect progress on anything to be linear in a straight line and we also hope it comes quickly. In reality though the results of our efforts are often delayed. It’s not usually until months or sometimes even years later that we realize the true value of the previous work we have done. This can result in what he calls the valley of disappointment where we feel discouraged after putting in months of hard work without experiencing any results and often we give up. However the work was not wasted. It is simply being stored. You just haven’t hit the breakthrough moment where these two lines cross. You haven’t got momentum yet.
Remember that mastery requires patience. All big things come from small beginnings. I know it can be super frustrating when you don’t see the results of your hard work right away. It doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. But that is the hallmark of any compounding process, the results are delayed.
So step 3 is about reframing your mindset about success. If you put the work in consistently, and you don’t give up, success will come. You just have to get through that valley of disappointment when it doesn’t happen as fast you want it to or as fast as you thought it would. Remember that it’s also not enough to just want it really badly and say your affirmations every day and then sit around and wait for it to happen. You have to make it happen. You have to do the work and take the actions and you have to keep your head down and put your blinders on and just keep at it.
Step 4 – We won’t be distracted by comparison, if we are captivated by purpose.
Alright, last but not least is step number 4 and this is best summarized with one of my favourite quotes “We won’t be distracted by comparison, if we are captivated by purpose.” Can I get an amen?
I can genuinely say that I have don’t have an iota of time to notice what anyone else is doing in real estate around me. It’s not that I don’t care, I probably would if I paid attention to it. But I don’t notice it, because I am too focused on my purpose and captivated is the perfect word to describe it. I know where I’m going and all my energy and attention is on that and that alone. I really feel like one of those horses with blinders on. It’s not a race though. Your only competition is who you were yesterday and if you can seriously embrace that and just focus on yourself and what you’re doing, not only will you feel better about yourself, but you will get so much more shit done.
So I already know what my word will be for 2021 and it’s Purpose. On a side note, my word for 2020 was transform and that came about in all the wrong ways. Anyways Purpose is my word and I truly believe it’s the answer to so many problems. It addresses motivation and inspiration and distraction and overwhelm and comparison. When we have purpose, we are focused, we know where we’re going, we know how to get there and we don’t get distracted by shiny objects.
Purpose is the foundation of my goal setting system and my productivity plan and that is why I named my new real estate planner, Planned with Purpose. It’s going to be available for order very soon, so if you’re interested in using my method to set your goals and plan your year, months and days with purpose, you can sign up to order one. You can find a link in the details section of this episode or on my website under the shop tab.
Alright ladies just to recap today’s episode on how to overcome comparison it is. Step 1 is to bring an awareness to our thoughts and to use our emotions as a guide. Step 2 is to avoid doing things that trigger those negative thoughts and emotions. Step 3 is all about re-framing our views on success and how we get there and comparing ourselves to our perception of how others got there and lastly step 4 is that we won’t be distracted by comparison, if we are captivated by purpose.
That’s it for today. If you’re learning anything from this podcast and want to earn a little good karma, then I’d love for you to take a minute and leave me a quick rating and review on iTunes.
I will see you next week, same time same place and as always remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn.
Until next time.