Stay in your lane!

To compare is to despair.
– Unknown

In the very distant past, I would often compare my financial productivity with that of other agents or teams in my marketplace. This activity turned out to be a juvenile game that I would never win!

There will always be other people who are doing “better” than us and those who are not. The trouble is, when we compare ourselves with someone who is doing “better,” it almost always results in discouragement. Conversely, when we observe someone who isn’t doing as well as we are, it can create a very flimsy sense of confidence. In business and in life, there exists a real threat to our emotional well-being whenever we engage in the comparison trap. And the penalty in business is that these comparisons usually result in poisoning our financial well. Whenever we place our attention on what someone else is doing or isn’t doing, we have, by definition, taken our focus away from our own goals, behavior, and most importantly, our core values.

Many years ago, I experienced one of those rare moments of extreme clarity in this arena. At that time, I was fixated upon besting another agent in my marketplace, who was doing “better” than I was. And to be honest, this guy wasn’t very likable; in fact, he had a reputation of being a shark, which was well-earned. I became obsessed with out-performing him and after two exhausting years, I didn’t even come close to reaching his level. I was fortunate to have a great coach at the time who bluntly told me that if I was focused on this guy, I would be giving myself zero chance of reaching my own goals and that I should put my focus where it belonged – on me! His words of wisdom unveiled that moment of extreme clarity – the fog had lifted!

What about “healthy competition,” you might ask? I’m all for it, if we’re competing against our own goals, and staying out of everyone else’s business. And as for my nemesis, once I committed to staying in own my lane, I occasionally caught a glimpse of him in my review mirror!

Do I understand the importance of staying in my own lane?

© John G. 2021

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