How To Avoid Competing With Your Friends
“You made how much money from your last freelance project?” I asked my friend after she told me what she got paid for a freelance writing assignment.
I couldn’t believe it.
I'd been working hard, and I thought I was good at writing ... but I began to question my skills, wondering if I even had what it took to be a freelancer.
There was jealousy, too, if I’m being honest. I thought my friend and I were equally good writers, but if we were, I'd be earning the kind of money she was making, right? This brought up a lot of doubt and negative self-talk.
Let’s face it—we’ve all found ourselves in competition with one of our friends (even secretly) at one point or another. Who has the better job? Who has the cutest kid? Who makes the most money?
The thing is, we’re all here for a reason. We all have gifts to share with the world, and there’s more than enough good to go around.
Rather than compete with your friends by comparing yourself, here are some things you can do instead:
1. Send blessings. (Remember, these are your friends!)
They're people you love and wish nothing, but good things for, right? So send blessings their way. When something good happens to them, rather than compare yourself or feel envious, say “bless you and your [insert their good fortune here].”
So, for example, if you really want to buy a new car and your friend gets a car first, you'd say, “bless you and your new car.” As Napoleon Hill says in Think and Grow Rich, bless others who have what you want to have.
2. Discover her path.
We’re all on our own paths, and while you might have a friend on a similar road to yours, it will never be exactly the same. Rather than feel bad that your friend has more success, for example, find out what her end game is.
For example, I have a good friend who is also a writing coach. She’s further ahead in her business than I am because she’s been at it longer. It would be easy for me to compare myself and think I’m not good enough or I'm not as good as she is. It would even be easy to be in competition with her because we both have a similar type of business.
But a few months ago, when I asked my friend what she wanted her business to become, what she told me was completely different than where I picture mine going. So while we have similar businesses, we're not going after the same things. This means we’re not technically competitors.
When you find out what your friends want for their lives, you will see that you do, in fact, have different paths. Then you’ll realize there’s nothing to compare or be in competition about.
3. Partner up.
If you and your friend have similar businesses or goals in life, why not partner up? Each of you brings your skill sets to the table, and see where you complement each other. That is the perfect starting place for a partnership. Or if you both have similar goals—like losing weight or giving up sugar—partner up to support each other in reaching the finish line.
My writing coach friend and I partnered up on a program called the Everyday Writer’s Retreat, and we’re each bringing our strengths to the table to support a group of writers who want to create a daily writing retreat in their lives.
My friend and I could have decided to be in competition with each other, and not share information or swap trade secrets, but we took a different route. We decided we could put our strengths together and create synergy so we can serve even more people in the world.
If you seem to have a lot of jealousy, you may need to dig deeper.
- Why is this bothering you?
- What are you really discontent about?
- Who or what are you resenting?
- Why are you resenting them/it?
- What’s the positive intention in your feeling envious or jealous?
Now that you’ve gotten to the core of why you’re feeling the way you are, you can begin to heal. Here are some ways to do that:
- Shift to gratitude. It’s impossible to be jealous when you’re being grateful.
- Love yourself. Make a list of all the things that make being you awesome. Whenever you’re feeling jealous, pull out the list and remember that you’re amazing, too.
In the end these are your friends we’re talking about! You want to be happy for them and love them (and yourself). Their success doesn’t make you less capable of achieving big things.
Jennifer Blanchard is an Author and Story Coach who helps serious emerging novelists who want to save time, be more effective storytellers and cut years off their learning curves, so they can write kick-ass books and get published faster. Grab her free eGuide--Find Your Story: The 6-Week Story Planning Process and start writing better stories. Catch her live on Periscope every week.