We all do it. Really, it's sometimes hard to get away from. Especially these days when we are bombarded by posts and images that detail all of the AMAZING THINGS that everyone has going on ALL THE TIME.
Personally, it can be a lot to take. Professionally, it can kill your business.
Writers are probably the worst to fall into this trap. Someone always seems to be writing more or a better subject or the same subject we're working on only they seem to be tackling it in a better way. I've actually unfollowed other authors on Facebook because their daily announcement that they had written 100 pages before noon made me feel like shit.
Because I was comparing my silly little five pages.
Once you fall into that trap, it's hard to climb out of it. You start constantly comparing yourself to others in the same industry who just seem to be so much more successful than you are until you eventually ask yourself this question:
WHY SHOULD I EVEN BOTHER?
I've been at networking events and met people who do something similar to what I do in digital marketing and when that happens, my stomach immediately clenches and I find myself grilling them on what they do until I find the one thing that I do differently. Then I can sigh with relief and say, "Well, they're not doing the same thing I am."
The truth is that it's virtually impossible to niche yourself to the point where you are truly the only person who does something similar to what you do; there is going to be someone out there who does something related, has a comparable writing style, or just generally thinks the same way you do.
And this may sound a little close-minded of me, but I say there's only one solution:
If what you're seeing isn't something that's compelling you into positive action, then it's not worth your attention. It's okay to unfollow a competitor because their highlight reels are making you feel like you're stuck or just get so tunnel-visioned that the only thing you're focusing on is your own message.
That doesn't make you weak. That makes you more attentive to your own goals.
Comparison will kill your momentum and generally doesn't help you at all - and that's true personally and professionally. The people who are truly secure in with themselves and their goals are the ones who are so fixated on what they're trying to accomplish that they really don't have the bandwidth to care about what someone else is doing.