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Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling of being behind when you come across someone on social media whose content, confidence, or business seems miles ahead of yours?
No matter how much action you have put in for your business or the challenges you overcame that day, you suddenly forget about your progress and start feeling like perhaps you need to do more, you are not doing it fast enough, or you need to do it better.
I definitely experience this feeling at times and today, I delve into the topic of “feeling behind” and how I navigate through it.
I’ll guide you through my process of overcoming this feeling so that you can move forward with action, confidence, and the understanding that you are exactly where you need to be today to become the person and business owner you aspire to become.
My recent self-doubt experience
I recently went through a personal self-doubt lesson while preparing to launch my podcast.
Long story short, I thought the whole process would be faster, and I’d be able to launch within two months.
I took a podcasting course where some fellow students shared their success stories, mentioning that they had managed to launch their podcasts in just a matter of days. Others took a couple of weeks, and others took months. As a driven entrepreneur, I naturally put myself in the “quick-launch” category.
If others can do it in two days or two weeks, it shouldn’t be a problem for me, right? Well, I was wrong!
The truth is, I’m not a very technical person. I mean, when it comes to content creation and video editing – no problem. But when it comes to computer programs, a whole new level of overwhelm kicks in as soon as I see all the buttons.
If you’ve ever been on a Zoom call with me, you know what I am talking about. I’m that person always asking: “Can you hear me? Can you see me?”
And that’s precisely the issue I encountered when I tried to record my podcast for the first time. (And the second, and the third and the fourth time too!)
You might think, “That’s not really that difficult.” You’re right. It might not be difficult for some people. And that’s precisely the point.
Just because something isn’t challenging for someone else, it doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult for you or me. And that’s okay.
Just because someone else is doing it faster or better, it does not mean we can’t get to that level.
Progress varies for each person, and comparing ourselves to others only leads to self-doubt and feeling like we might not be good enough to do this. Clearly, this is not true – we just may need a little more time, practice, perhaps education and patience with ourselves.
I was unnecessarily putting pressure on myself and getting frustrated because I couldn’t figure things out as quickly as I had hoped based on the stranger’s progress. Silly, isn’t it?
Take a step back
When I feel overwhelmed by a lack of progress and those feelings of “being behind” creep in, I know it’s time to step away from the task I am currently doing.
I find a quiet spot, usually on the living room floor, take a deep breath, and ask myself if I feel overwhelmed because I’m blowing things out of proportion. And you know what? Most of the time, I am.
Most of the time, I realize that I create this whole dramatic story in my head just because I’m not seeing immediate results in something I am currently working on, I am dealing with short-term challenges, or I am struggling with something technical.
Stepping away and asking yourself why you are REALLY feeling this way right now helps to put things into perspective.
Identify your next proactive steps
The funny thing about “feeling behind” is that we usually already know what we need to do. But we feel this way because we are comparing our current situation to someone else’s results.
To get out of the spiral loop of self-doubt thoughts, I grab a piece of paper and write the next three action steps I need to do to move forward toward my current goal. Then I go into action mode.
When you focus on implementing your action plan, you know you are being proactive and getting closer to your goals.
And if there is a part of the process I find incredibly challenging and time-consuming that is holding me back, I ask myself: “Could I delegate this task to someone else? Is there another way to do this, or do I have to clear out my schedule to learn specific skills so I can move forward?”
For example, I often delegate small technical tasks that would take me days to figure out and make me feel useless to contractors. In other cases, when I need to learn something (for example: how to take better photos for my business), I look for educational resources or training to learn it, implement it and move on. Seeking help instead of trying to figure it out myself when I really have no idea where to start always leads to solutions and a proactive approach.
Set boundaries with your social media
Confession: I mute people I love on Instagram all the time for my sanity!
Don’t get me wrong; I have no problem with people sharing their huge successes and results. It motivates me, shows me what’s possible and pushes me forward. But when I mute them, I choose when I consume that content. I don’t get bombarded on my feed all the time.
It’s great to consume content that motivates and inspires us. But, if you are in the season where you struggle with self-doubt and start internalizing those messages that hurt your confidence and performance – it’s time to set boundaries.
By setting boundaries and focusing on taking action instead of constantly seeking new information, we can overcome the negative impact of comparison and regain control over our own progress.
Remember, it’s not about how fast others are moving. It’s about staying true to your journey and taking action steps that move you closer to your current goals.
I wanted to share this with you because I believe you struggle with negative comparison and “feeling behind” emotions sometimes too. That is why I created this community and started the podcast in the first place —to let you know that you’re not alone. It’s normal to experience these feelings from time to time on our entrepreneurial journey. Together, we can navigate through the challenges, support each other, and remind ourselves that we’re all in this together.
Tune in to the show for more details here.