Comparisonitis

“I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours First

“…Let’s compare scars. I’ll show you whose is worse.” These lyrics are more than just a popular Rise Against song. They speak to us as humans. People draw comparisons all the time. Our brains are wired for pictorial and pattern recognition and it gives us superiority over technology – for now. Yet, our comparisons go farther and deeper.

We are constantly looking at people and comparing them to ourselves. She’s prettier than I am. He’s taller than me. That painting is better than mine. That concept made more money. That story was more original. On and on we go. These comparisons have a way to make us deliberate for far too long and keep us absent from the action. I’m going to call this comparisonitis – the inaction due to comparing yourself or your abilities to others.

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You Are Unique

In my first post in the Wednesday Writer’s Workshop, a weekly column geared toward authors, I wrote an article called, How to Get Inspired and Write Your First Book. In the article, I mentioned some authors are unable to write their book because they compare their writing abilities to other authors. This was my issue for some time. I can attest that reading interwoven storylines by George R.R. Martin or memorable characters of Stephen King or the young hero’s journey by Suzanne Collins was cause for hesitation. I found myself paralyzed by the fact that I could not write like them. It was true. I couldn’t. However, that didn’t mean I could not achieve that skill with practice. These authors had been writing for years and honed their craft. I would get there if I practiced. In the meantime, I am still unique with my own voice and that’s all that matters.

The same is true for people starting a business. It’s easy to look around at the other businesses in our industries and think we could never do what they do. I’m starting an independent press in the age of Kindle Direct Publishing. I’m a dime a dozen. It’s easy for me to look at Sterling and Stone, the Creative Penn, or Grey Wolf and wonder how I can compare, much less compete with them. The reason I can is because I am different. I’m unique and so are you.

Ideas Are Worthless

Ideas are worthless and execution is what matters. Do you think Uber was the first ride-share service? Of course not. They, however, were the one with a plan and executed it to be the largest ridesharing service, and are putting cab companies out of business. The cabs were complacent and did not care to innovate or give more value to the customer. In turn, they are being forced to compete because of Uber’s proper execution of an idea.

The Challenge

Are you sitting on an idea but are frozen with inaction because someone else is already doing it? Get up and take action. It may take some time to learn. Perhaps your idea is a startup and you are just testing a plan. Maybe your business model is done and you are ready to engage. Do it. So what if there’s someone else already out there doing it. Go out and do it to the best of your ability. Learn, get better, and keep going. In the end, the market will decide.

The question of the day: What or who do you compare yourself to? Please comment below, Tweet us with the #dailydownload, or answer on Facebook.

Until tomorrow.

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