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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

I need you to get your froofy socks and wrist sweatbands on because we're taking a trip to tennis town.

Whether you're an actual tennis fan, or you're more like me and only play tennis when it has the words "Virtua" or "Mario" before it, you likely know there are all sorts of tennis court types. We're talking grass, red clay, acrylic, and a bunch of others.

But back in 2012, the tennis world saw a revolution like it had never seen before. An entirely new surface - one that promised to change the game forever: blue clay.

And. Everyone. Hated it.

Blue clay tennis
At least it looked cool!

It was slippery, it was unpredictable, it was expensive, and it couldn't stand up to bad weather. Players who were world-class were suddenly falling down constantly due to its slickness. It sucked and was killed off the same year it was implemented. Compared to the standard surfaces, it was laughably bad.

While this comparison was pretty cut and dry, the comparisons we make between ourselves and other people are far far messier.

As creatives, it's extremely common that we think ourselves lesser to someone who's "doing better" than us.

But, we also inherently know that this comparison is pointless and counterproductive.

So how do we stop doing it?

When we compare ourselves to others

We tend to look at their successes and wonder why we're not at the same point. Why don't we have a cool new project to show off? Why don't we have a job when we've been working for so long? Why aren't we successful when everyone else is so much younger and less experienced?

It's an endless spiral that holds almost no upside… almost.

There is an upside to this jealousy, however

Which is that it can act as a rudder in our lives.

Any time we feel envy towards someone else, we can take it as a signal. If we're genuinely jealous of someone's progress, then we can ask ourselves if we actually want what they have.

If someone just scored a huge movie and you're jealous, maybe scoring big projects like that is something you'd like to do, but haven't explored at all yet.

Maybe you see someone else financially killing it and feel jealous, and realize that your business skills aren't what they should be to reach the same point as them. That could be a signal to start diving into the business side of your craft.

But even still, sometimes we just want to get rid of this comparison so it stops ruining our days. So how do we do that?

The way we get rid of jealousy is so so so so simple

But it can be quite difficult for most people to do.

This method I'm about to share works 100% of the time, and it works instantly. All you need to do is… do it.

At this point, I've shared this with thousands of people privately, especially through my premium online course and Slack mentorship group. Everyone who does this feels tons better afterward.

So here's the secret:

Compliment the person you're jealous of.

Yes, that's it.

Give a long, thoughtful email, Instagram DM, text, voice message, call, etc. to the person you're comparing yourself to. Let them know how impressed you are by their ability to do whatever it is they're doing.

Bonus points if you reveal how inspiring their work is and how their ridiculous success is whipping you into shape to dedicate yourself more to your path.

Double extra bonus points if you reveal that their success/younger age/etc actually makes you feel a bit uncomfortable and that you're now extra inspired simply due to their existence.

I promise, as soon as you send that message

The jealousy will disappear. They'll respond and love you, and you'll be best friends with the person you were just comparing yourself against.

In time, we'll inevitably get jealous of someone else in the future.

And so, we repeat this process for the rest of our lives.

"But Akash, you tin of Royal Danish butter cookies," you ask "what if I don't know them? I can't compliment someone I don't know! What if they send me to compliment jail?!"

The point of this is to compliment people whether you know them or not.

99.9% of the time, they're going to respond positively and you'll have a new friend you never would have gotten otherwise. You might even end up working together. I've seen it happen dozens of times.

And don't worry. I'll break you out of compliment jail every time.

If you need an idea on how to kickstart your compliments

You can write something like this. Tweak the hell out of this, and write something genuine.

If it feels easy and comfortable to send, then you're not digging deep enough. This should feel embarrassing and scary.

"Hey JubJub,

I've been following you for X number of years and am always impressed at how you keep killing it as a [their title]. The work you keep putting into your projects is always impressive, and you always manage to push the envelope in X, Y, and Z ways, and everyone always loves what you do, myself included.

I admit, your constant output has made me realize that I can be doing a lot more in my life to get the results I want. I've been doing X for Y number of years now, and I realize, thanks to your efforts, that I haven't gotten to where I want to be due to my lack of knowledge/willingness to learn Z topic. Thank you for illuminating that for me.

It's hugely inspirational to see you create such great things so consistently, and to do so without a filter or fear of failure is a skill you've inspired me to start cultivating.

Thanks so much! Your work is massively appreciated."

Send something like that, with your own phrasing and in your own way, and you'll be golden.

Don't ask questions and don't ask for a job. Just compliment them.

So let's summarize what we've talked about today:

  1. The comparisons we make to other people are very messy. Our thoughts on who's doing what better are completely subjective and live only in our heads.

  2. There is a singular upside to this jealousy and comparing: it can act as a rudder to what steps we may want to take next in our lives and careers.

  3. The way out of jealousy is to send a deep, thoughtful compliment to the people we're jealous of. It's that simple, and it works every time.

  4. I'll break you out of compliment jail, don't worry.

So instead of comparing ourselves to others just like tennis players compared red clay to blue

We simply need to send a compliment to the people we're envious of. The jealousy will disappear, and everything we do will feel so much easier and lighter.

And if you indeed do feel like it's time to up your business skills and put your career in a better place

Then sign up for my newsletter. It's the best place for anyone who wants to break into the game industry and completely upgrade their game audio career.

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