035: What About Me? Avoiding the Comparison Trap [Podcast]

Let's be honest for a moment. At times, we all want what other people have. We long for the fame and fortune we seem to be missing out on. We are envious. This envy often leads to guilt and shame. But is it always such a bad thing?

It’s easy to see someone else’s success and compare yourself to what you think you see. Their finished product looks great, they must have it together. “Why don’t I feel that confident or competent?” you wonder. 

Or maybe you see someone doing the same thing you're doing but experiencing far greater success. Why is that? What makes their work better than yours? On the surface, this kind of comparison feels detrimental. But perhaps, there's a way redeem this “trap” and use it for good.

Here's the truth:

Envy isn’t always bad. Complacency is. Envy is an indication of something you want, but don’t yet have. [Tweet that]

The hidden benefit of comparison is that you can use it to push forward. In this episode of The Portfolio Life, my co-host Andy Traub and I talk about how we both have struggled with comparison, what we’ve done about it, and how you can turn your comparison into motivation.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email, click here).

You can also listen at iTunes or on Stitcher.

Join us as we explore this tension between envy and motivation and why the two can go hand in hand. Admiring someone else's success gives you something to strive for. In other words, envy, with the right motivation, can help you succeed.

Many of us feel like we're competing with our friends or peers. But wanting to be better than everyone else is an empty pursuit. The real question is do we want to be better than we were yesterday?

Show highlights

In this episode we discuss:

  • Some questions you can ask yourself when you’re feeling jealous (so you don't get stuck in that “What about me?” trap)
  • The difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and why understanding this will change everything for you
  • How to use your envy to become a more productive person
  • Practical tips for intentional self-improvement, even when you're feeling jealousy or unworthy

Your job as a creative is to be a little bit better today than you were yesterday. (Tweet that)

Resources mentioned in the show

You can also sign up for an Audible membership (my preferred way to listen to audiobooks and how I am able to read several books each month) and get your first book for free (also an affiliate link).

I hope you enjoyed this week's episode. If you know someone who would benefit from it, feel free to download and share it. Since iTunes only cares about comparison, we'd appreciate it if you would leave a review on iTunes.

Note: My online course, Tribe Writers, opened for registration this week, along with a new bonus — my brand new course on blogging! This will be the last time this course is available until June 2015. Find out more by clicking here.

How do you deal with the comparison trap? Share in the comments.