Over the last few weeks, we chatted a lot about creating websites and being on social media. One of the biggest things that these topics can bring up is comparison.
It’s easy to look at another yoga teacher’s website and think why doesn’t mine look like that? or why does his / hers look so much better than mine?
Or to look at another yoga entrepreneur’s Instagram account and think why don’t I have that many followers? or why didn’t I think to take a photo like that?
We’ve all been there, myself included.
But, as with our yoga practice, comparison can be really harmful. It truly can be the thief of joy, and that is true both on and off the mat.
So, how do we look at other teachers website’s and social media accounts and not compare ourselves?
I approach it the same way that I approach comparison in my yoga practice. We’ve all been in a yoga class with someone who is way better than us physically. It’s easy to get distracted by that super flexible yogi who pikes into pincha as if it was their day job, and leave the class feeling like a bad practitioner and a worthless teacher.
We have a choice about how we choose to react to this situation though, just as we have a choice about how we react to another yoga teachers website or social media account.
Let’s continue with this example to understand how we can eliminate comparison from our businesses.
1. Shift your mindset
You could look at that yogi piking into pincha and allow it to directly affect your day, or even worse, your outlook on your teaching.
Or, you could look at what said yogi can do with his or her body exactly as it is: a physical movement that you know to be super challenging. You could choose to feel impressed and inspired that they can do that.
If you shift your mindset, you leave the class feeling inspired to get on your mat and build up your own strength in hopes of achieving the same thing. Or, alternatively, you admire from a distance knowing that that isn’t something you ever hope to achieve.
So what if we shifted our mindset when it comes to our business?
You come across a beautiful, clean, organized website that leaves you feeling like your website is a piece of garbage.
You could feel bad about yourself and your website and resolve your business to being a failure OR you could identify what you love about that website and use it as inspiration to make some changes to your own website.
You could look at an Instagram account with a lot of followers and feel resentful, OR you could use it as fuel to improve your own social media accounts. You could use it as fuel to do research about getting a bigger following, taking nicer photos, and using hashtags intelligently.
The difference between judging and comparing ourselves harshly can be as simple as shifting the way that we think about the situation.
2. Be honest about what you want
I mentioned it earlier, but getting clear with what you really want is key. Do you want to pike up into pincha? Is that your goal as a yoga practitioner or as a yoga teacher?
If so, great. Move forward with identifying tangible goals in how you can get there. But if not, be honest with yourself.
It’s easy to look at other people’s success and want it for ourselves. It’s harder to identify what we truly define as success, and there is absolutely not right or wrong with this.
So what if we were honest about what we wanted out of our business?
Yoga Girl has 2 million followers on Instagram. Kino MacGregor has 1 million. Do you honestly want that? Do you want to be a famous Instagram yogi?
If yes, identify what you will need to do to get there. But if that’s not your goal, be honest with yourself about it. It’s okay not to want that.
When I first started an Instagram account for yoga, I was of the mindset that I wanted a big following, but after doing some research on how most people get there (follow/unfollow programs and automatic comments done by a bot), I decided that wasn’t for me. I would rather have 200 people who actually like what I’m doing than 2000 who know nothing about me.
Sit down and get clear about what your goals with your business are. Why did you create a website and how do you want it to serve you? Why did you decide to be on social media, and, once again, how do you want it to serve your business?
3. Turn inwards for gratification, not outwards
This is huge. I know it’s hard not to get distracted by someone in class doing something super badass (especially if they are close to you in the room), but if we were truly focused inwards, we probably wouldn’t even notice what anyone else in the room was doing.
Can you relate to that experience of turning so deeply inwards that you actually forget there are other people in the room? Those are some of the best practices!
What if we applied that to our business?
What if we weren’t so focused on what everyone else around us was doing? What if we weren’t constantly looking at other yoga teachers Facebook pages and Facebook groups and Instagram profiles to see how we compare to them?
What if we we allowed our confidence and gratification to come from within, instead of depending on other people to provide it for us?
I know, this is hard, especially if, like me, you like networking.
I love the connection I get from yoga groups on Facebook and the ideas I get from following along other yoga businesses on Instagram. What I don’t like is allowing how I feel about my business to be riding on how many likes I get on a photo or a post, or how many people listen to a podcast episode or read a blog post.
Just like with my yoga practice, I prefer to turn inwards and to allow my gratification come from reaching goals that I’ve laid out for myself, and from accomplishing tasks that were particularly challenging for me.
How do we practice non-comparison in our business?
Whenever you feel the urge to compare in your business, come back to how you would deal with comparison in your yoga practice. Remember to shift your mindset, be honest with what you want, and always, always turn inwards for gratification.
And don’t forget that when we are free from comparison, we are much more free to enjoy our successes both on and off the mat.
Have a question or comment? I would love to hear from you! Reach out to me here.