When you see another therapist succeeding in her business, how do you feel? A little jealous? A little resentful? Happy for her? Maybe you see her photo pop up and you think, “That therapist seems so successful. Who does she think she is? I don’t like looking at her smiling face in photos!” You’ve got to have an answer to those thoughts, because feeling GOOD about her success will help you succeed in your business. I’ll tell you a few ways that I deal with my own competitive thoughts when they arise.
All kinds of thoughts become available to us. Competitive and zero-sum thinking are all around us. You might think, “the more she succeeds, the less clients there will be for me.” Don’t take your competitive thoughts personally. They are just thoughts. When you believe your competitive thoughts, you’ll find reasons why they are true. You may even ask other people to join you in your competitive thoughts. Then you get to hear “Yes, I can’t stand her either!” Oh, that can be so fun!
I think competitive thinking hurts you and your business. When you keep those thoughts going, you hurt your own chance at success. You define success as other than you, rather than something you identify with. This thinking keeps you anxious rather than calm or expansive. Perhaps sometimes anxiety can move us towards action, but we’re more authentic and effective when we’re calm.
So what can you do when you feel jealous or competitive?
1. Choose to be happy for the other therapist.
You can choose to be happy or at least neutral about another therapist’s success. Gretchen Rubin, the author of “The Happiness Project,” has said, “People succeed in groups.” When one person in your field succeeds, it makes it more likely that you can too. Is this truer than the theory that some people succeed and others fail? Not necessarily, but it sure is more pleasant. When another therapist succeeds in her business, could you imagine taking that as a sign that you could succeed too?
2. Notice how you’re different from the other therapist.
Sally Hogshead, author of“Fascinate,” has said, “Different is better than better.” I really like to lean on The Superpower Method™ to help with this. You’re unique as a therapist. The more you know that, and know how to use it, the more you don’t really have to worry about competing. When you’re aware of your superpower, you look at any other successful therapist, and you can move away from jealousy and competitiveness and towards a thought like “look how they are doing their thing and making it work.”
What about healthy competition? What if you want to be the best, so you use competition to push you? If that works for you, great! But I don’t think it works well for many of us. I see how competitiveness works well in sports where there’s going to be one winner and one loser. In the therapy community, we know that our work helps people. We want MORE people to get help, and we do better work when we support each other.
If you’re ready to use uncover your superpower and build a unique practice, apply for a free and confidential 20-minute phone consultation now.