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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Other Therapists
Episode 1565th October 2023 • The Grow Your Private Practice Show • Jane Travis
00:00:00 00:28:16

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It's human nature to compare ourselves with others. But this can have a detrimental effect on you, your confidence and your self-esteem.

And as a practice owner, this can also impact the success of your business. 

So what can you do if comparisons are knocking your confidence? How can you stop comparing yourself to other therapists?

In this podcast I share:

  • Why most comparisons aren't helpful
  • A situation when they are
  • And a practical exercise for you to boost your self-esteem

So take a look at why it's not usually helpful, and how to stop comparing yourself to other therapists 

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Check out my free and paid resources here janetravis.co.uk/starthere

Transcripts

Hi and welcome back. And if it's your first time here, I'm really pleased that you found us. I hope that you're okay today. Now, today we're going to be talking about something that to be honest, I think we all do. And I think that we can do it, you know, at different times for different reasons. So we're going to talk about comparisons.

[:

[00:00:54] And I used to think, well, you. don't know how other people are dealing with this. I think you'll find most of the people deal with this in the same way as you probably do. and it's exactly the same with therapists really, because we can tend, we have a tendency to compare ourselves with others, don't we?

[:

[00:01:49] So today, like I say, it's Monday when I've recorded this every week, I go live in the community with the Monday motivation call. So this is what I talked about today in today's Monday motivation call for, for members of the group. And I wanted to share this with you. Cause I think it's something that so many of us feel, But maybe we don't always talk about it. So I want to share with you a few thoughts that I have about comparisons and also something practical that you can do if you find that comparisons are holding you back. So I always, let me see if I'm going to start with. When we compare ourselves to others, so imagine that you've just started up your counselling practice, which you may well have done.

[:

[00:03:05] We don't know their life. We don't know. anything about them most of the time. So let's, for example, think about, you know, you, let's, for example, think about if you got your counselling qualification at the same time as somebody else did, you know, somebody else who was in your training group. And a year later, they're talking about the fact that they're at capacity got lots and lots of clients and you're thinking, well, hang on, I've only got four.

[:

[00:03:55] Maybe they've got a lot of friends that are all there supporting them, sharing their. Sharing their practice information, telling other people about it, you know, if you've got 50 people in your corner that can have a massive impact on how quickly you get started because 50 people all sharing your social media posts or putting out leaflets and business cards and telling everybody about you will have a massive impact on how many people, you know, find out about you.

[:

[00:04:45] You know, that. Sister, that person can be saying, Oh, well, actually my, my sister's just started as a counselor. And this sounds like just the sort of thing they work with. And so, you know, that sort of thing is a way that people grow their practice. Now that's brilliant. Obviously, if somebody's got that and that's going to help them to get started, but if you don't have that.

[:

[00:05:34] people who've been through some sort of illness and they need some extra help. So that person will have a network of other nurses and people in that profession that they know that they've probably heard about how passionate that person is about doing this, how much they've put into their training, how much they really want to help this particular type of person, and people will know that.

[:

[00:06:42] So you might look at other people and think, well, why are they doing so well? Well, you don't really know why, but it's probably because they've got these things working for them. I mean, it might also be that they've got money to invest in advertising, you know, maybe they've got, Some money put aside and they can therefore get a really nice new website done, or they can invest in getting some adverts done, or they can invest in something that it might be outside of your, your possibility at the moment.

[:

[00:07:43] That's great, isn't it? That would be fantastic. But what about if you're also working full time or you're working part time or you're a single parent, or you've got some sort of, illness, either some sort of physical illness or maybe your mental health is a bit ropey and it becomes difficult to, I say ropey, sorry, I hope that's not too disparaging, but I just think my mental health often gets a bit ropey.

[:

[00:08:29] Maybe they understand marketing. Maybe they've had a job in marketing, or maybe they know somebody that does. You'd make, you know, maybe their partner. Can make their website for them, or maybe a friend of theirs can really help them with some branding or something like that. And maybe you don't have that.

[:

[00:09:07] And I think for me, I always assume that people are very similar to me. I always think that other people are in a similar position to me. So if that was me in that situation, I'd be thinking, well, it wouldn't enter my head that they had loads of extra time or loads of extra help. I'd just assume that they've managed to work it all out.

[:

[00:09:52] Not extroverted. I'm a massive introvert and I find that difficult. And I know a lot of people find it very difficult to go out there, to talk about what they do. and that can have an impact as well. So all of these things are likely to make it, it doesn't mean you're not going to be successful. You can totally be successful, but it might just take a little bit longer as you have to work up to do some of these things.

[:

[00:10:35] And something else that can happen, and this, I've got personal experience of this, you know, maybe they live in a very central position and therefore appear high up in like searches on directories or just searches on Google. Now this has made an impact to my business over there. You know, for the time that I was working as a counsellor, because I live six miles.

[:

[00:11:20] You know, we all want to be on page one, but as time went on and they got to be more and more and more people training to be counsellors. My, my website didn't show on page one and it was the same on directories, if anybody was to put in a search for counsellors in Lincoln, I wouldn't show up on page one.

[:

[00:12:07] I think, I don't know for sure, but I assume so. So, like I say, with so many new councillors setting up, it's going to be harder and harder for you to show up in searches. So, Yeah, so, you know, comparisons really, they kind of get you nowhere because you are comparing your struggles to what you are seeing from other people.

[:

[00:12:46] You know, you're, you're not that person. You don't know anything about them. So all you do know is what's happening for you. And I think that, you know, you've got no idea whether what they're sharing is work. So this person might be sharing, you know, lots of social media. It might be sharing, they might be sharing lots of blogs, but you've got no idea.

[:

[00:13:25] There's ways of doing it. You know, you've got to know about who you want to attract, what their interests are, and you need to put. Blogs and social media posts out there that will reflect on what those people need. So you don't know whether what they're putting out there is actually bringing them the clients.

[:

[00:14:04] Now that can be useful if that drives you forward and becomes inspirational. So if you look at them and you think, wow, they're doing well, and you think, well, I'm going to give them a ring. I'm going to give them a ring and ask them what they're doing. That can be really, really useful content. But I would say that the majority of the time, these comparisons can just cause unrealistic comparisons and give you unrealistic expectations of what it's possible for you to do.

[:

[00:15:00] But to acknowledge all the, you know, the training and the information and stuff that you know about counselling that you bring with yourself when you're in the counselling room. And this really can help if you're not feeling good enough, if you feel that everybody else is better than you. This is really something that's good to do.

[:

[00:15:40] So if that sounds a bit like you, get a paper and pen and do this. And what I want you to do. is to have a think of all the things that you've done, all the training, all the courses. So add up the number of hours training that you've had. So you've got things like your introduction to counseling. Many people start with that.

[:

[00:16:26] You can't help yourself. You want to learn about all these different things. So think about the time that you've spent getting different qualifications, different certifications, you know, think about the CPD that you've attended. Think about all of the books that you've read. Now, I bet that as a counsellor, you've got loads of books on your bookshelf.

[:

[00:17:12] You know, it becomes knowledge that's then in your brain. You can also think about the number of clients that you've seen, you know, whether if you're new to counseling or if you've been doing this for 10 years, you will still have had quite a lot of clients that you've seen. So think about how many clients that you've seen, because every single client that you see, every client hour that you spend sitting with somebody else.

[:

[00:18:00] You are practicing them and getting better and better and better at it. And that is not just with the clients that you've seen as a private practitioner. What about the placement hours that you've worked? I know many counselors have a placement that goes on far longer than they necessarily have to.

[:

[00:18:35] And again, it's not just the thing, you know, the title of the workshop, you're learning more about yourself. You're learning more about how that can help your client. So that's loads and loads of extra information that you're getting from that. And to think about supervision, see, I used to learn loads from my supervision.

[:

[00:19:19] And so you're getting a whole load of new ideas and new knowledge from your supervisor. And that's golden, isn't it? It's really, really great. Also think about things like, you know, all of the YouTube videos that you've watched, all of the , TED talks that you've watched, think about the documentaries that you've watched, think about the things on Netflix that are looking at, you know, Brené Brown, for example, and different things like that, not just that, think about discussions that you've had with other therapists, you know, as therapists, we are, We do tend to discuss things a lot, don't we?

[:

[00:20:14] about your own life learning, okay? Think about your childhood, you know, your friendships, your relationships, the family politics that you've experienced. You will have had to go through upsets, disappointments. You will have experienced anger. You will have experienced love, joy, happiness. You will have experienced, maybe you've experienced trauma, maybe you've experienced loss.

[:

[00:21:13] You have. All of that, finally, just think about, are there any awards or successes that you've had? You know, maybe you're accredited. Maybe you've had some other sorts of award. Maybe you've written a book. Think about anything else that you've maybe done or that you've been proud of. Maybe you've been on the radio or something like that, or being on a podcast.

[:

[00:22:05] And I want you to step back and have a look at it because what you've got there is a very varied, A very varied sort of knowledge base, and it's peculiar to you. It's all about you. There's nobody else around that's going to have this exact mix of knowledge, this exact mix of experience, and the sort of passion that you have.

[:

[00:22:51] And they never, ever will be. You can't compare what they're putting out there with what you're going to put out there because you've got your own experiences, you know, that's all completely unique to you. And you know what? This kind of makes me feel quite, I don't know. I feel quite passionate about this because I'm no stranger to getting comparisonitis.

[:

[00:23:35] I can see other people out there sometimes doing the same sort of thing that I do. And I can think to myself, Oh my God, look at them. They're better than me. They're so much better than me. Oh, I wish I'd done it like that. I wish I'd done it that way. And I could get jealous or envious or, you know, definitely I'd get comparisonitis and, you know, it's.

[:

[00:24:25] So what do I mean by that? I mean, I don't look at what other people are doing. So other people that work with therapists are out there. There's lots of other people that do that. I don't go and check what they're doing. I don't go and read their blogs. I don't check out their website. I don't check out their social media.

[:

[00:25:12] So what I would suggest that you do is really have a bit of a think about that. You know, does that sound at all similar to how it is for you? I mean, we're all different, obviously, but. equally, we're all the same in a lot of ways, aren't we? So if you find that, you know, you start looking at what other people doing and that has an impact on your self esteem, then there's something you can do about that.

[:

[00:26:08] Damn fantastic. And just let that help to grow your self esteem so that you don't need to go and check what other people are doing. You can just focus on what you need to do to grow your practice and help the people that you want to help.

[:

[00:26:46] I was so scared of going on social media and now I can do it. No problem. Or it might be that you think, well, six months ago, I was too frightened to. to write a blog and put a blog post out there, but now I can do it. No problem. You know, that's where the comparison can be really useful. It's a chance for you to see how much, how far you're going and how those little, you know, those little steps of really added up and how much you're moving forward.

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[00:27:41] And that's then going to really make a difference to how you feel about yourself. And I'd love to know how you get on. So please let me know.

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[00:28:09] And you'll be the first to know when I release new content. So, you know, go ahead and hit that subscribe button now, and let's continue to grow your private practice together. You take care. Bye bye.

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