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Now, we’ve had this conversation before in these daily growth hacks but it keeps coming up in conversations that I have with business owners. Just this morning, I was talking to a client of mine who owns a business and hit his target goals, hit his target goals for the end of his 30 days. Now, with each of my clients, I set a 90-day game, 90-day goals around their businesses and their personal lives. Now, this particular individual hit his goals early. Now, by all stretches of the imagination or anybody’s standards, he should be elated. These goals aren’t easy to hit. We don’t set something that just anybody could do. These are big goals that are going to move the needle.

For him particularly, his goals allowed him more freedom in his life, more financial freedom. He was helping more people. It also allowed him to pay his staff more and give his staff kind of the life of their dreams, something that had been hanging on him for years at this point, and he hit it. It was a high-five type moment but you could see the weight on him. I finally said, “Jeez, what’s going on? Give yourself a pat on the back.” He looked at me and said, “Doug, I just, I don’t know if I’m doing enough. Am I? Am I doing enough here?”

I was like, “Wow. These are the goals we set and you hit them.” “Yeah. Is it enough?” “How does it feel for you? If it feels good, then, yeah, it’s enough. When we set the goals, these were the numbers. This was your dream numbers to hit, and you did it. Awesome job.” When we talked to him, he said, “Doug, I know the people that you’re working with. I know the other coaching clients that you have and they’re all playing at this top, top level. I just don’t feel like I’m there.”

That’s when I realized sharing the story sometimes that I share about other clients that I have and the successes that they’re doing rather than sharing the whole picture of what they’re going through and where they started from was actually causing him to feel worse about himself. You see, what he didn’t realize, when he was comparing himself to these people, he didn’t realize, one is you shouldn’t compare yourself, but, two, he didn’t know their struggles. He didn’t know that one person was struggling deeply in their relationships, while another actually was struggling in their business, and another on their health. He didn’t see that their journeys … He didn’t know that a couple of these clients have been with me for several years and moving on, will continue because they keep hitting their goals and they keep expanding.

He’s a new coaching client of mine and he knows who some of these people are and so what he felt was comparing himself was the way to do it and it felt like, “Hey, I’m not enough because I’m not playing at the level that these other people are playing at.” The truth is, is he had leapfrogged many of them when they started off at that level and he had done so much that he should be out celebrating. He should be celebrating the gifts that he’s giving, not only to himself and his family but to other families of clients that he has, as well as his staff. It was a moment of celebration, which was almost a moment of sadness and tears because he felt he wasn’t enough. He felt he wasn’t doing enough.

Now, haven’t we all been there? Haven’t we all been there in the areas of our five to thrive? Maybe not felt we were smart enough. Maybe we felt like in our body that we weren’t good looking enough. I mean, I remember back growing up by the beach my whole life in Southern California, this is me tan. All my friends in my yearbooks would write, “Have a great summer. Get a tan.” It stuck with me. I’ll tell you I’ve tried everything you can imagine. Being a Southern California kid, you would think that I never saw the sun. The truth is I would get burnt so easily that I would actually blister. I would do that much because I was always outside playing. I was always outside doing sports and activities but I was also on this quest as I got older. Hormones were kicking in that I always want to get tan. I just wasn’t enough.

In the area of our relationships, how many of us think that “Wow, I’m just not enough and so I need to hold onto this relationship because if they leave me, that’s my identity”? Gosh, I see that so many times. Powerful men and powerful women, strong but yet crumble at the idea of not being enough in the area of relationships. Not living up to your parents’ standards, not living up to the standards that others have set for you because you feel like you’re just not enough, not loving yourself. In the area of our soul, I mean, how many times I can’t tell you that I don’t meditate enough. I don’t do this enough and comparing myself to my friends and my circle of influence who happen to be people playing at a very high level and always said, “Wow, you meditate for two hours a day. Wow, I’m not doing enough here,” and feeling bad about myself and catching myself in that.

We all do it. In business, gosh, that’s the area I play in a lot especially with coaching. When I talk to my coaching clients and I’m doing that initial consultation and maybe you can resonate with this, they’re constantly comparing themselves to friends of theirs that own businesses and Frank has a seven-figure business and I have a six-figure and somebody else has got an eight-figure business. I can tell you what, I get to look under the hood of these businesses and I can tell you they don’t all run the way that you think they do. Some run very smoothly, some don’t. Perception is very different.

Why do we compare ourselves? We compare ourselves because we’re looking for acceptance. We’re looking for the norm, so we can be accepted and therefore, we can give our self self-love. The reality is that we need to stop comparing ourselves. Not only this coaching client of mine, this business owner who should be celebrating the victories that he has, I’m so proud of him for all that he’s accomplished, but also me, maybe even you. Maybe I can try that on.

What I’m going to encourage you to do right now, wherever you are, if you’re driving, that’s great. Wait till you get home and stop but if you are at a place where you can grab a pen and paper, I want you to write out your five to thrive. In those five areas, I want you to write out where are you comparing yourself to somebody else? Where are you comparing yourself to others? Maybe you’re like me and I found myself in this position where I compare myself to my future self, where I should be, using should too much. I’m comparing my standards rather than enjoying and celebrating the moment, enjoying where I am and enjoying the journey that takes me on there.

This will allow you to have more freedom, more freedom to help other people, more freedom to love yourself, more freedom to enjoy the moment and celebrate your own victories. Stop comparing yourself. Grab your journal. Write out your five to thrive. Where in your five to thrive anywhere are you in the land of comparison? Now, what I want you to do is scrap that because you don’t know the other person’s story and you don’t know their journey just like they don’t know yours. If we get rid of that, what freedom does that give you? I want you to take action right now.

That’s it for me today. Go over to authorofyourownstory.com. Get in the Author of Your Own Story University. Have deeper level conversations like this where we can really deep dive into longer conversations and in-depth topics. We will get worksheets and MP3 player, meditations, as well as having other guest experts come in and share their stories so you can continue to grow. Go out and inspire someone by being yourself and not comparing yourself to others and living the author of your own story way. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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