Do you ever compare yourself to other therapists?
Comparisons - we all do it, and it's tough. We look around and see people that are richer, prettier, thinner, more successful, happier and somehow better.
I hear it all the time in the counselling room and I bet you do too - other people don’t feel like this, or why can’t I just let this go like other people, or when other people have x happen, they deal with it okay.
And I say how do you know? You’ve no idea what’s going on in their lives, you’ve no idea how they arrive in their current situation.
It’s exactly the same with therapists...
We see posts on social media about other therapists being more successful, getting more clients, more quickly and it can feel like a slap in the face when you’re struggling to get your practice established.
On a head level, you know you shouldn't compare. But on a heart level you're screaming 'why not me - what's wrong with me?!?'
STOP THAT! There is NOTHING wrong with you!
Read 'How to beat imposter syndrome' NOW!
It's time to stop comparing ourselves to other therapists, because when we don’t use a level playing field, we don’t compare like for like. And there's a reason for this - we have absolutely no idea about the person we are comparing ourselves with!
You know nothing about their circumstances:
Comparisons get you nowhere. All that happens is you start feeling bad about yourself.
Can comparisons ever be helpful?
Yes! Seeing people being successful can be very inspiring and drive you forward. After all, if they can do it, you can.
But for the most part, comparisons don't help and ultimately cause resentment and bad feeling.
What to do instead
Comparisons strip us of our individuality, so I recommend really getting in touch with your skills and qualities.
So play to your strengths - if you're outgoing, then network. If you like writing, blog. If your active on social media, use that. Take the path of least resistance, do the thing that you find easiest and least stressful and get really good at that, and then add something else.
Also, keep a track of all your successes, every tiny thing, every small step forward. Consistency is key, so small things done regularly add up.
If you're on social media and see a thread about number of clients, scroll past and avoid the whole topic.
Here’s the truth about starting up in business: for the majority of people, it’s going to take time to get established.
You can reduce the time it takes to get known by consistent marketing using blogging, social media and making your website attractive and SEO friendly, but it will take time for word to get around.
And attracting clients is an ongoing process, and if you are new to being self employed then it will take time to learn about starting and maintaining a practice.
Invest some time and money into learning how to market your practice, it’s a worthwhile investment and tax deductible, and will boost your skills and confidence.
So please, do yourself a favour and stop comparing yourself to other counsellors, it’ll only make you feel bad.
Remember, there are people out there that need you and what you offer.
Keep going, keep the faith - you can totally do this!
But if you need more help, check out the Grow Your Private Practice club