These three actionable affirmations will help you combat self-defeat and connect with your unique power.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
So then, shouldn’t we do our best to keep our minds free from the debris of self-doubt?
It’s not that this pursuit is particularly easy. Every week at least, we read a new “list” article that reminds us of all the things we “should” be doing for our businesses and ourselves. Or another Entrepreneur Mag post zips through our social timeline, telling us “how to” become the absolute “best” or “top” female founder we can possibly be if we’d only do these few things differently, tweak this, add this to that, and take away all the rest.
It gets tiresome, really. Without the firmest of resolve, a fempreneur can easily find herself heels over head, sputtering for air, trying to make sense of her latest feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and of course, the inevitable envy.
So how do we make sense out of the senselessness of comparing ourselves to others?
I offer the following three affirmations to help you activate your personal power, conquer self-doubt, and build better self-awareness to become the fiercest entrepreneur you have it in you to be.
Stop Comparing Yourself: Try These 3 Actionable Affirmations to Spark Your Unique Power & Trigger Total Happiness
1. “I am not my flaws.”
It seems very basic and New Age, I suppose, but it’s important, so we start here.
All too often, we get caught up comparing ourselves to others in the strangest of ways, which carries over to our products, our marketing, and our businesses overall.
The problem is that these sneaky jabs are much less true “comparisons” than ways to reflect on our feelings of inadequacy about some aspect of our lives.
Take something as innocent as reading your daily dose of business blogs. As exciting as it is to learn something new, we tend to want to implement things right away. That can be fine if it’s a new CRM and we’ve been searching for months. It’s not fine or realistic if it’s an entire marketing strategy overhaul.
So then, we either jump into a new project too quickly, adding another serving to our plate full of 23.7 unfinished items—or we feel inadequate, disorganized, and fatally flawed, beating ourselves up because we believe that we “should” have.
But that’s just it.
There’s always a new peer to meet or tool to discover that seems to “one-up” whatever we’re currently doing. We cannot keep letting these new findings undermine existing accomplishments and strengths.
Remember: You are a composite of your “flaws,” yes, plus all the things that make you great.
Harness the power of changing your perspective to focus more on the beauty and virtue of your uniqueness.
“You will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal. There really is only one, and that is this: To fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being.” —Oprah Winfrey, CEO of OWN
2. “All fair comparisons consider the good and the bad.”
So, all right, it happens… We sometimes compare ourselves, our businesses, and our achievements to others’.
But are we seeing only the things that we envy, and not the total picture?
Our brains are amazing organs that, even now, modern science cannot fully explain or understand. Asking questions and making comparisons is how the brain makes sense of the world.
So then, we must train the brain to ask the right questions, and make fair comparisons, to avoid sabotaging our self-confidence.
Consider the following imbalanced comparisons and note how they can be transformed into empowering, productive thinking.
Comparison: “Sasha is so involved—she’s been to every one of her son’s football games.”
But does that make Sasha a “better parent”? Maybe her family doesn’t eat together, so this is her way of bonding with her son. Perhaps her son doesn’t care at all if she attends his games, if only he could get her to spend more time with him and less on work whenever he’s around.
We don’t know anyone else’s family dynamics, only what they choose to reveal to the public. And you can bet that what they choose are generally not their most troubling flaws.
Think about what you do do amazingly well that your own family obviously appreciates.
Comparison: “Kendra has 8,450 Twitter followers, but just joined a year ago, and, boy, are they active! Why can’t I get that level of engagement?”
Maybe Kendra bought her followers. Maybe they’re not even her target market, so are ultimately non-beneficial to her business. And are the followers only “engaging,” or are they also becoming leads for her business?
Or maybe Kendra is completely killing it on Twitter… but it’s irrelevant, because her website isn’t converting social traffic to useful leads.
Plus, asking yourself “Why can’t I” questions presupposes that you cannot do the thing to which you aspire”. It’s self-defeating. A more useful phrasing? “What can I start doing today to increase my Twitter engagement?”
Everyone has a unique set of business challenges, and no one is perfect in every area. Think of one thing you’re killing (or nearly killing) in business, and get with a results coach to see how you can rock it out even further.
Comparison: “How does Michael find time to run for an hour each day before work? It’s all I can do to get in 30 minutes!”
Well, maybe you stay up a half-hour later prepping lunches for tomorrow, and Michael’s family eats McDonald’s every day. Maybe your body needs eight hours of sleep to feel rested, and Michael’s only needs six.
Too often, we get stuck comparing apples to screwdrivers and wrecking our motivation.
Do you truly want to begin working out for an hour? Then a more empowering question would be, “Where can I fit an extra 30 minutes of activity in during the day—even if it’s not all at once?”
This more productive phrasing feeds your encouragement and inspires action.
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” —Amelia Earhart
3. “When I’m being my authentic self, I attract what I deserve.”
When you’re authentically you, people take notice. You attract like-minded people who will later become best business partners, advocates, and clients.
When you’re not being yourself, you attract the wrong clients and uncomfortable opportunities.
Online, your website is your most accurate representation of you. Or it should be. Is it filled with unsubstantiated claims and grandiosity to make your business look bigger than it is? Or does it reflect the humble confidence of the founder, who takes obvious comfort in her company’s unique strengths?
When you try to be something or someone you’re not, you’re not at the top of your game. Something feels “off” with you. You may even feel like a sell-out, or a little dirty. There’s no need to push yourself to be something you aren’t when it means compromising who you are.
That’s a different concept, however, than pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, once said, “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.”
Take on the things you’ve never done before with confidence and courage. It doesn’t mean you won’t have fear; it means you push through the fear to get to the goal. This willingness to press on, despite being scared witless, is one of the top characteristics of the most successful people.
Realize, though, that it’s okay to take on only the things that fit who you are. It doesn’t mean taking on any and everything that has proven successful for other businesses.
Hate what your voice sounds like on wax? It’s okay not to start a podcast. Or if you really believe it’s a smart move, hire a voiceover professional whose voice you do love.
Does socializing in giant rooms of strangers give you the absolute willies? Then forego local networking events and try network through Twitter chats or LinkedIn groups.
There really is an alternative for everything you could possibly imagine. Whatever you choose, stay true to what fits with who YOU are, and everything else will fall in line.
“True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
You’re as powerful as anyone else in business, or in your life, with the potential to appear even more powerful by following your authentic path.
Whenever you start comparing yourself or your business to others, I hope you revisit this article to reaffirm what you already knew:
You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggonit, people like you.
Please share this with a friend to empower her, too.
Did this article help you? Do you have another affirmation you use regularly to combat self-doubt and fire up your confidence? Please share with us in the comments.