The Danger of Comparison - podcast interview with Jessica FearnleyHello everyone and welcome back! Today on the Vibe Shifting Show I’ve got part two of my interview with business coach Jessica Fearnley and we’re talking about why it’s so important to get clear on your own, personal definition of success and stop comparing yourself to anyone else. In today’s episode, Jessica also shares her most powerful tip for moving your dreams forward and creating success!

If you missed last week’s episode, part one of my interview with Jessica, we discussed the impact of scarcity mindset issues on both health and business, and about breaking out of those issues (and the societal paradigm of fear that feeds them) by learning to celebrate your unique differences and walk your own path. You can catch that episode right here.

This Expert Series Guest Interview Has Two Parts:
1714 Overcoming Scarcity Mindset and Fear
1715 The Danger of Comparison

 Show Notes – Danger of Comparison

Jessica: And so it is this idea of just accepting who you are as a person and what you’re like as a person. That has been massive for me. For whatever reason, I just have lower energy than a lot of people around me. I am quite an introvert anyway. And I’m kind of, if you do personality testing… it’s being really fascinating this year because I’ve been doing personality tests with my mastermind business group.

We did one, kind of for one program that started in March, and we’ve just done another one this month because the program is restarted. And I actually am normally an extrovert, but went introverted in March, and now I’m back to being extrovert again. Which, I didn’t even realize that you could change that much. But I think different things go on in your kind of personality and your psyche at different times in your life.

Understanding and Accepting Who You Are

Jessica: So, really, it’s just important to have that understanding of yourself, that insight of who you are and what you’re like. And just be willing to set a pace of life that you can cope with.

I think before I got ill, I was often looking around at other people and saying “they’re doing this, I should do it, too”, “they have this kind of career, I should it do it, too”.

When you #AcceptYourself as you are, you can start making decisions that help you build the life that you need in order to really #flourish. Click To Tweet

If you can get to a point where you just accept, do you know what? That career is great but I just, I don’t really want it because I don’t enjoy it and it doesn’t make me feel healthy. If you can get to that point where you just, you acknowledge that about yourself and you make peace with that, then you can start to make decisions that actually help you build the life that you need in order to really flourish.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Nathalie: That I think is a critical point, what you were just talking about there. About realizing and accepting that you as an individual may be different from the other people around you. What you were saying there about I should be doing this because so-and-so is doing this and the other people are doing this, and this expert says I should do that, and that expert says we need to do this. And we get so tangled up in that.

Beware Internet Memes About Success

There was a quote, something that floated across my Pinterest feed way, way, way long ago. And it just… it made me feel awful. It was something along the lines of “you have exactly as many hours in the day as Einstein and Marie Curie and, like, Richard Branson”.

It was just all these people, right? These super-successful people throughout history, and it just said you have the exact amount of time in your day as all these people, therefore you have no excuses for not being, you know, some famous awesome person.

And it was predominantly males that were in this list, but Marie Curie was in there as well. And I just remember… it just made me feel awful because I had not accomplished anything that would stack up against the accomplishments of these other people. And you know, it’s right, we all have 24 hours in a day, and blah blah blah.

But then I looked at this particular list, and I was looking at it and thinking, oh wait a minute. We may have the same amount of hours in the day but I don’t think any of the people on this list, most of these people either didn’t have children, or were definitely not the primary caregivers. Most of these people had help in their lives, in terms of, you know, cleaning or whatever.

You can't compare yourself to other people because you don't know what the background is. It’s like apples and oranges. #SuccessTips Click To Tweet

You Don’t Know Anyone Else’s Full Story

Nathalie: And I think a lot of people, we do this to ourselves, and I know there is a lot of… There are some very high level business experts that are out there in the entrepreneurial field right now. And some of them… there is one in particular that had young kids. I have two, she had three. And she was flitting all over the place doing all these really cool things, with her 7 figure business and stuff, and I’m like “what the heck am I doing wrong?”. I mean, I… the comparison!

And then I realized, I saw another post that she put out, but she had… she has a personal chef. She even, at the very beginning, before she became famous for what she does, she had help in terms of family who were always there to look after her kids if she needed care. She had cleaners coming in to look after her house.

And it was just like, OK. You can’t compare yourself to other people because you don’t know what the background is. So if you’re in a situation where you don’t have any of that kind of help or assistance or back up, and you’re comparing yourself to somebody who did and does have all of that, you’ve got far more stringent demands on your time and your ability to do what you’re doing, than somebody like that has. So you can’t, it’s like apples and oranges.

Jessica: Yeah.

Nathalie: But you can’t expect yourself, or beat yourself up for not having gotten to where they’ve gotten when you haven’t had the resources to do that.

There’s More Than One Way to Define Success

Jessica: Definitely. And I think actually it goes beyond that as well, doesn’t it? Because I think there’s a certain narrative that says the only way to be successful in life is to be publicly, obviously, successful. To be well known, to be very wealthy.

And actually, I don’t want those things for myself, I don’t want those things for my business. I want it to fulfill me personally and I want it to be successful because it is satisfying to build something which means something to people, and means something to me.

But I think a really powerful part of just kind of… this whole not comparing yourself to others is just saying to yourself, do you know what? This is not a conveyor belt where you jump on at the beginning and then you pop out at the end exactly the same as someone else. Because we are all so unique from each other.

Knowing what #success means to YOU means you’re less likely to get knocked off course with counterproductive comparisons. Click To Tweet

Knowing What’s Important to You

Jessica: So my definition of success might different to someone else’s. So that’s going to look different as it plays out and as it comes to fruition. Because we’re not all trying to be like these big name, Big Brown’s coaches, or you whatever field. We’re not trying to necessarily build that same vision and so I do feel…

Nathalie: And you know what? I think we need to give ourselves permission to not do that because there is so much pressure to become that, that we lose sight of that core… our core values, our why for doing what we’re doing in the first place. We lose sight of what is important to us and why we’re creating the thing we’re creating because we get sucked into this, “Okay, this is what successful business people look like, and everybody has to be doing this.”

Everyone’s Life is Messy

Jessica: Well that’s the thing. And I’ve spoken to several people recently in entrepreneurial circles, and you know, it can feel like I think, certain big name coaches, they get so big that almost, it just becomes like this whole other level of existence. And they’re living a celebrity life, and there’s so much scrutiny on them because of their social media accounts and stuff like that.

And I don’t know. Personally, I don’t want to live my life through social media. I think you always have to remember that what you see on social media does not necessarily mean that everything is perfect behind the scenes all the time.

You know, we all know that life is messy and stuff happens and things are complicated and difficult and painful and everyone has that. That’s universal to all humans.

Nathalie: Yeah.

The Vibe Shifting Show Interviews Jessica Fearnley - Part 2

The Danger of Living Through Instagram

Jessica: Though actually, I think we like to kind of create this narrative of if I create the perfect business and I just keep building it bigger and bigger and bigger, I will get loads of money and I’ll be really happy, and social media will make me feel really happy.

But social media is a dangerous thing. It can be dangerous to live our lives through Instagram because it can be so artificial. And it creates this kind of picture of the world where you think “Well, their life is perfect. Why does mine feel so messy?” And it’s exactly that comparison that’s the issue.

Nathalie: Because I didn’t use the right filter on the photograph…

The danger with #SocialMedia is that we become passive spectators of other people’s lives, rather than living our own. Click To Tweet

Jessica: Right. Exactly. And instead of enjoying a moment with your family you’re then thinking “Oh, I’ll take a photo ’cause this would make a lovely Instagram shot.” And it’s just like, that is not what life is supposed to be like.

And if we’re all looking at all these pictures so beautifully presented from other people’s lives. And if that photo actually makes someone else feel worse about themselves, I kind of, I don’t want to be perpetuating that in the way that I live my life. You know, that isn’t a positive thing because it just creates this really unhealthy cycle of other people kind of feeding off that misery that it causes them.

Scarcity, Abundance, and Social Media

Jessica: I read a statistic recently saying that mental health problems are on the up because of social media. And so often we go onto it because we’re bored and we want something to do and we come off it feeling completely rubbish.

And I think scarcity and abundance plays a really big role in that because, so often, social media feeds the scarcity beliefs that we have. And it’s, you know, it’s like we were saying with watching the news, reading the news, it’s that same dynamic at work.

Social Media Perpetuates Impossible Standards

It’s telling us something which we already feel to be true and it backs that up but it doesn’t do in a healthy way. It doesn’t make us feel better about ourselves. It makes us feel worse and that’s why I think you have to be really firm with yourself about this comparison stuff.

We have to just say “Do you know what? What I see on social media does not represent the full picture in anyone’s life whether it’s mine or someone else’s, and so I shouldn’t treat it as if it does.”

Nathalie: There is so much psychology behind this. And I know there’s been a lot of research done in that field of social media and what it does to people. But you’re right. I think it definitely does feed into this comparison problem that so many people are dealing with in their lives. And it fuels that fear that people have that they just will never be able to live up to the standards that so many see as universal standards, but aren’t really.

Quote about taking action

Stop Spectating and Start Doing!

Jessica: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I think… because of social media as well, so much of it is about silently watching what others are doing but not participating. Because it can be the endless scrolling through the news feed that can just be such a damaging thing for us.

And I think the most powerful way to get away from that is instead of, if you’re listening to this, and if you feel like your business is not doing what you want it to do, and you just wish that you could have the life that someone else on your Instagram has because their business is going so well, I think you just have to say “Right then. What do I want to actually be putting out for my business? What services, what products? What do I want to offer people?”

And instead of waiting and waiting until it feels like the right time, it feels like you got the absolute perfect offering for people, put something out now. Put something out that you’re ready to do. Put it out in a small way, but actually start doing and stop spectating.

Abundance is About Doing

Jessica: I think that’s the most powerful thing I have found. For those times… because it happens to everyone, I think, who has an online business because there are so many other people out there doing similar things. If you just sit there and take it all in and feel rubbish about yourself and what you’re doing, that will not get you to the point where you can actually realize the vision of your business.

Whereas I think if you can actually start putting your money on the table and saying “Right, I’m doing a launch. I’m putting a course out there, I’m putting a program out there, I am offering services, I’m doing it today.” That is so powerful. And I think that’s a really core thing about getting into this abundance mindset. Abundance is about doing, it is not about spectating.

Nathalie: It reminds me of that quote about “it will never be the right time, you just have to make this the right time.” Something along those lines.

Jessica: Yeah.

Nathalie: About “stop waiting for the right time, seize the moment and make the right time”, basically.

The best way to create #abundance and #success in life is to step off the sidelines, stop watching others, and start doing things yourself! Click To Tweet

Learning By Doing

Jessica: Exactly. I think if you don’t feel like you’re about to throw yourself off a cliff, metaphorically, with what you’re doing in business then, you know, you’re not doing it right. Because that is what every… I’m sure you’ve been through this as well, Nathalie. I remember when I first set up my Facebook group I just felt like “I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to do a Facebook group.” I just did it, you know. And I learned on the journey.

And particularly with launches. My first launch was absolutely tiny, but I’m so glad that it was because I had stuff that I needed to learn at that small stage about what was required, from the tech side but also at the front end. There just so much that I had to learn. And I’m glad that I didn’t put myself in a situation where I was kind of having, you know, hundreds of people through the doors and not really knowing what to do.

I think it’s perfect to just get out there and start practicing stuff and start making these mistakes. But actually be doing it in the here and now ,rather than just planning and then deciding not to and getting yourself all tied up in knots because you’re so busy looking at what other people are doing and feeling like you don’t measure up. I think when you can actually turn that into productive action, that’s when you just think well I don’t care what people think about my business because I love it and I’m doing it.

Worrying and Watching Wastes Time

Nathalie: Brilliant. I absolutely love that philosophy. Dip your toe in, test the waters, just get out there and get it… start working on it and revise as you go.

Jessica: That’s the thing I always say to people. If it goes completely wrong and it’s a really small Level, no one will know because they didn’t see it. It’s when… I think when you’re doing something really high level and it completely flops, that’s when you stand to lose, but really at the beginning stages if you’re just in a place where you’re thinking “Oh I want to do a launch and I’ve never done one.

Nathalie: Learn as you go.

Jessica: Exactly. If it falls completely flat, then no one will know. Just do the next thing that’s after that, you know? I just think we waste so much time worrying and watching and just feeling inadequate, when actually you get to a point where you feel adequate for the job by just jumping in there. So just do it.

Nathalie: Thank you so much for being with us today, Jessica. This has been so exciting having you here today and I’m so glad you made the time in your busy schedule to talk to us. Thank you.

Jessica: Oh, thank you for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Photo of Jessica FearnleyAbout Today’s Guest Expert:

Jessica Fearnley is a business coach who specializes in promoting work-life balance alongside business growth. She helps entrepreneurs and business owners who want to win back more of their time, effortlessly make more money, and work with better clients, all while reducing their stress levels and increasing their quality of life. Pick up Jessica’s free scarcity and abundance checklist, and connect with her on Facebook!

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