Five Ways to Avoid the Comparison Trap


Have you ever thought about how comparison can trap you in the print industry? When we compare ourselves to others, we put ourselves in a trap of thinking “I am not good enough” or “I am not making enough progress.” Instead, we need to avoid the comparison trap to maintain a state of contentment with ourselves.

I am not saying that we should stay away from healthy comparison by looking at what others are achieving as a benchmark or a learning opportunity. However, to use others as a measure of your own self-worth can not only deal your self-esteem a blow, but can also keep you from setting a unique course that makes you different from others.

Here are five ways to help you avoid the comparison trap in the print industry:

Create a Clear Vision

The first step is to create a clear vision for your print business or for yourself as a salesperson or CSR. What do you want to become? What would you be so excited about that you would do it for free? What type of work, customers, or products excite you?

Establish a Plan and a Path

The next step is to write down your plan for how you will reach your vision for your print company or for yourself personally. Ask others for their input on the most efficient way to reach your vision and consider incorporating those ideas into your plan. If you have a mastermind group or people you trust, then ask them for their opinions and—this is the hard part—just listen to the feedback you get without becoming defensive.

Execute The Plan

This is the most important step in avoiding comparison. When you are busy executing, you do not have the time to compare your business or yourself to others. This is also an important step because a lack of execution is the biggest reason for not reaching your vision and goals. Vision and goal setting tends to be easier than execution.

Review Weekly

Review your progress weekly to assess how you’re coming along on goals and projects from the previous week. This is an opportunity to feel good about the progress you are making instead of feeling bad about not being as good as others.

Set Your Plan for the Coming Week

After you review your previous week, set your actions for the coming week. If possible, put those items on your calendar to lock them in as you would any other appointment. If an action is on your calendar it is more likely to get accomplished.

Comparison is a normal human trait. It can bring us down or spur us on depending on how we utilize it. If we stay focused on our own goals and continually monitor our progress we can avoid the comparison trap.

What do you do to avoid the comparison trap?


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