138. [Ry + Lisa] on How We Handle Comparison

Written By:


Ryann Nicole

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Episode Transcript


Hello, everybody. Welcome back. I have Lisa here for another episode on our, I guess, dynamic duo where we do one part on her show, one part on my show. We were just over on her show talking about jealousy and comparison in our social lives. And now we’re going to come over and we’re going to talk about jealousy and comparison in our businesses. So I feel like we have both done a lot of work around being okay with jealousy and comparison in social life, but now that business is kind of the thing that we’re in right now, and it’s a newer thing, at least for me, it’s something that I feel like I’m still kind of doing some work around. And so we’re going to dive into jealousy and comparison when it comes to business stuff, because even though, you know, I’m a therapist, we talk the talk, it’s hard to walk the walk. And I’m here to be honest with you guys. Lisa’s here to be honest with you guys so we can talk about how we’re managing this real time.


Yeah, it’s hard. Like you said, we’re both newer, but it is so hard. I think it’s something that kind of caught me off guard. I didn’t think it would be as prevalent as it is.


And I do think that obviously social media plays such a huge role. If it was just creating my own business and I’m just seeing other people’s business cards or seeing other therapists, you know, on the street in their office and whatever, that would be a different deal. But now we have the social media element involved in it and it brings a whole other level. I feel like we have to start this episode off with just a little bit of background. So Lisa, will you tell us like how you decided to go into private practice, like what that transition was like for you?


So private practice was always something I wanted to get into, but I was kind of told as a dietician like, oh that’s something you do like maybe when you’re older, when you have experience, it’s something that like you do instead of, quote unquote, retiring from the classic dietetic world. So it was in the back of my mind, and I had a couple professors who had their own private practices, but they were like, oh, it’s because I have all this experience. And it was kind of told to me that you couldn’t do this until you had, quote unquote, experience. Well, then COVID happened, and the job that I had was no longer available. So I was like, oh, okay, what do I do? 

And I kind of jumped head first into private practice because I figured everyone’s at home, everyone is doing things virtually, so I might as well be one of those people. And if this is something that I do on the side and I end up getting another like classic job, amazing. If I go into this full time, amazing. But I went in with like no thoughts. Like I was just, I’m going to see where this goes. And it ended up like I’ve been in my private practice full time now. And it was so rewarding, is so rewarding, but there were so many learning curves because I was never taught how to do any of this. Like I don’t know how to run a business. I know how to be a dietician. And that to me was like, oh my gosh, now I’m wearing all these hats. And it’s so overwhelming. I was just so nervous that I would do something wrong, like legally and get in trouble, have someone sue me, malpractice, like all of that. And I had really no idea how to approach having a private practice. And I slowly learned from a lot of trial and error and a lot of Googling and paying for a lot of business coaches. And I would say it’s still something that I’m like not 100% comfortable with.


I was very much the same. Did you feel like when you started doing this, because this is where I was, looking at other people that already had developed their private practice and being like, Oh my God, this looks so easy. Like, why am I not doing it? And then when you see all of the things that go in behind the scenes, having that comparison of like, but they make it look so easy, or it feels so easy for them. Why is it so difficult for me?


Oh, 100%. When I first started out, I was like, I’m gonna follow so many people in the intuitive eating space, and now that’s great, but it’s also so harmful to how you think about your own business. You turn into a very negative person because you’re just comparing, oh, well, so-and-so just launched and filled their program in four hours, or so-and-so pays this much and they make this and everyone’s always bragging about how much money they make in a month. And if you’re in the business world, like a 10 K month, I don’t know why, but a 10 K month is what people strive for. And that’s like a huge number. 

And starting out, I thought it would just be so easy to hit. Like I thought it was just going to like fall into my lap. And that’s not the case whatsoever. But everyone always talks about how much money they’ve made, how much money they make when they’re not doing anything, how fast they sold a program. So then you feel like you should be doing that. And when you can’t, you just feel like you’re not good enough and your business is not. I always thought my business was never big enough. I kept calling it like, it’s just a baby business. So again, like so much stuff we could unpack there too, because we’re back on that like enough topic.


And I know for me in the beginning, it was looking at so many of these other accounts and being like, that is so smart, or they know so much more than me, or I guess this could be a conversation of the imposter syndrome. And that’s where the jealousy and comparison came in, where it’s like, look at what they’re doing, or look at what they just taught, or look at the programs that they have, or look at what they’ve created. And I could never think of that. So like, am I going to be even on their level? Like, is this even doable for me? And then trying so hard to fit this mold, and I guess that kind of goes back to the conversation that we just had on your podcast of trying to make myself into somebody that I was never meant to be. Like I know in the beginning for me, like I’ll totally call myself out.

 Like I was such a copycatter. Like I would look at all these other accounts and look at the people that were doing well and I’d be like, that’s what I’m gonna be or that’s what I’m gonna do or the way that they have things structured. Like that’s how I’m gonna have things structured and just feeling so inauthentic and thinking that was the right way to go and thinking that that was going to do it for me. And then still comparing and still feeling like I wasn’t enough or still feeling jealous that they were growing faster, they had these programs and I didn’t and just the cycle. For me, it was the classic, like I switched the obsession from food and numbers and body to business stuff.


For the longest time I was hung up on how many followers I had. I was like, I could never do what that person’s doing because their account has X amount of followers and I only have Y. And that held me back for a really long time because I was kind of in this funk like, what’s the point? If I can only reach the amount of followers I have and they can reach 10 times that, I’m never gonna have a business like hers. I’m never gonna sell out a program like that. Where in reality, you could have, like I have just over 2,000 followers. 

You could have 200,000 followers that don’t care about any of your programs or just following you. Or you could have 2,000 followers that truly are ideal followers and love what you’re saying and interact with you, but for the longest time I just thought the more followers the better, the more reach I’ll get, the more engagement I will get, and that’s like the answer to it. So I was copycatting, I was trying to just like latch on to these viral trends, I thought I had to like go viral. That’s just so not me. 

And finally I was like, I don’t care if so-and-so can do this and I can, you know, have what I have. Like, it comes down to, like, what we were saying before. Do you want that? Do you want a business that revolves a team of 10 and you’re working crazy hours and you have to have someone else do so many other pieces because there’s just not enough time in the day? Or do you want something in the middle or do you want the exact opposite? You have to figure out what it is going to look like, what amount of work you are comfortable putting in, and then realize that everyone’s business is going to be different. And that’s okay.


100%. And I think that you and I, being here together is a perfect example of, we have different numbers of followers, yes, but you have a very successful business. I have a successful business. And that is not the end-all be-all. For me, it took a really long time to realize that that follower number doesn’t equal business. I was so focused on getting that number up and then when I started actually working on my business, I realized that number doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you do not have the systems in place. It doesn’t matter if you’re not actually doing the business side of it. You’re just being an influencer. And my business coach was like, are you trying to be an influencer? Are you trying to like run a business? And that was like a big slap in the face because I was like, you’re totally right. Like I’m on this path of just focusing so much on getting more, getting more, getting more. But like, what is that actually doing for the business side of things? Because I can have all the followers in the world, but it doesn’t matter if like, I don’t have the systems to then bring them into my programs and my coaching.


And I think just like we were saying before, like Instagram being a highlight reel, our Instagrams are a highlight reel. Like you and I are very real on Instagram, but some people just show like, this is how successful I am. This is how much I’m doing. And you don’t know like all the parts of their story. And I used to be like that and just showing you know the good and feeling like I had to do these certain things to grow my follower count. 

And now I’m like I’m just going to be me and the people who like me and the people who want to follow me are going to follow me. And people who don’t have my vibe or like the things that I’m saying they don’t have to follow me or they can unfollow me and that’s fine. And that takes a lot of internal reflection of like, why am I doing this? What message am I putting out? Like you said, am I trying to be an influencer? Or am I trying to run a business and sell a program that’s going to improve people’s lives? Or am I just trying to get someone to like buy the protein bar or whatever it is that I ate for lunch?


And going back to what we discussed on your podcast, I mean, I’ve definitely had to implement a lot of the skills that I teach, a lot of the skills that I’ve learned in therapy to just keep things fresh, as obviously the human tendency is to compare and is to have your brain go there. And I know that that’s not something that serves me. And at the same time, it’s a lot easier said than done not to do and there are multiple times where I will have to remind myself like right like you’re comparing yourself to xyz person let’s look at what they’re doing let’s look at what their day probably looks like let’s look at everything that is going in behind the scenes especially now that you know more about what is going in behind the scenes because let me tell you…

Not to digress, but I remember I started my Instagram in COVID and it started on the thought process of, I see all these people doing this stuff with zero credentials, it looks so easy, why am I not doing it? I got so brutally humbled when I realized how not easy it is. And I think that my husband was very surprised when he too learned everything that goes behind the scenes of every single post, blog, podcast, program, da da da da. So anyways, when I started to look at the people that I was comparing myself to, I needed to remind myself of all the different things that they are doing, and asking myself, like, is that what I want to do? Is that how I want to spend my time? Like, is that what makes me happy? 

And sometimes I have to be like, no. So like, stop comparing yourself to this person. Like, let me give you a perfect example. I just had Colleen Christensen, no food rules on my account. She’s so successful. She has a huge following. And she does a lot of these very, very creative skit style reels and they are so cute and so fun and amazing. And I will catch myself being like, I should be doing that. Like I should be doing that. That’s going to help me. And then I’ll ask myself, Ryan, do you want to set up a skit like this? 

And I’m like, absolutely freaking not. There are a million other things I would rather do than set up a skit like this. That is not my thing. That is her thing. And so I need to remind myself, Ryan, you are not her. You do not have to be her. And so stop comparing yourself to her because you don’t want to do that. It’s wasted energy.


Yeah. Pulling off of that, for me, when I started, of course, followed every single intuitive eating person I could ever find. And then your feed is just full of what everyone else is doing. So then when I would sit down and try to create content, my mind would just be blank because all I’m doing is thinking about, okay well so-and-so did this and I liked this but she did that and I don’t want to copy. Like I had no creativity when it came to brainstorming ideas. So finally I had to be really real with myself and be like pick 10 people that not only you like their content but they make you feel good and you don’t get that comparison-y vibe or that jealousy vibe you’re just like oh I love what so-and-so is doing. 

Those 10 people I actually put them on my favorites list so they come up more and a lot of other people I muted or I unfollowed because I was like, this is not healthy for me. This is not going to improve my business, how I feel about my business. And just like you do with like other accounts that you follow or friends, like I had to go through that tough love and be like, if they’re not making me feel good about myself and where I’m at in my business right now, they don’t need to pop up on my feed. Like they just don’t need to. And once I did that and I started having more positive influence, I think that was an easy switch. I was able to be more creative, I was able to kind of take like a trend, but apply like my own way, my vibe to it. And that was just like not happening before.


I so appreciate you saying that, because I feel like a huge part of it too is just calling yourself out, right? Which is a huge element of healing your relationship with food and body is taking yourself out of denial and calling yourself out for the behaviors that you’re engaging in that aren’t serving you and still applying that to other elements of your life. And I remember doing things like there were like five accounts of people that were right around the same following as me and then they would have this like massive growth. 

And I remember like obsessively going to their profile, like multiple times a day, and looking at where their follower count were, and looking at it, and looking at it, and looking at it. And I was like, Ryan, you are doing the same thing that you used to do with the scale. Like, stop, stop, we are not doing this. Having that moment of, this is not serving you. So you need to get rid of it. You need to mute them. You need to take it away because this is not a healthy behavior and acknowledging that, but I also am sharing that because I want you guys to hear that like, even though we do so much of this work and even though it can feel like when it comes to food or body, we’re healed and we have all of the skills and all of the knowledge, also human and it doesn’t mean that these old behaviors don’t transfer over to new things. 

And looking at that and looking at what is this really about or recently I’ve had to have this moment of just like heart to heart with myself where when I find myself comparing myself to other accounts or other businesses and being like, Ryan, you have like a successful business, like you have these amazing programs and amazing clients. So like, what is this really about? Like, what is, you know, just getting bigger to get bigger really about and like looking at going back to our values and going back to what are you making this mean? And what is it that you’re really after? 

And taking that step back and having that conversation with myself to like all the stuff that I used to have to do around food and body, it’s like, whoa, okay, like this is coming up here. And it’s one of those things where it’s like, it doesn’t go away, you just get better at calling yourself out and you get better at managing it. But it’s just a part of it. Like literally the other day, I DM’d Lisa and I was like, I have to mute this girl. Like, I know it’s because I’m jealous. And I’m totally calling myself out for that because I’m just irritated at her level of success that she’s boasting about and at the same time I’m jealous I’m gonna own that and I’m gonna mute her because this is not serving me at this moment.


And it’s funny because you messaged me that and I was like yeah I’ve been feeling the same way. I had already had her stories muted so I was like something, something told me like you just need to mute the posts now that’s it because again mine with that specific creator mine was more like I was past the jealousy phase I was in the like angry pissed off why are you sharing this stage and that was like whoa Lisa like just leave it you don’t know her you’re not friends with her there’s no reason to follow and have her things show up on your feed, so I just let it go.

 And that is hard to give yourself that tough love, but sometimes it’s necessary, whether you have your own business and you’re comparing to other business owners, or maybe it’s in a job setting and you’re comparing someone who maybe got a promotion and you didn’t, or got, you know, this new job and you didn’t. Just taking that step back and being like, do I want everything that involves that thing. And if I do, that’s okay. I don’t have to get it at the same time that that person does. Like if we think about you and I, we started our Instagrams around the same time. And like our following count is very different and that’s okay. 

I will say every time you tag me, I get in a little nice bump in my following count. I’m not mad about it. But like Ryann and I’s platforms are very different from like a number perspective. But like you said, we both have amazing clients, we both have these super successful businesses, and we get to work together, where that might not be the case if you only focused on people who had the same amount of followers as you.


100% 100%. I mean, long ramble short, if you take anything away from this, I think that it is just a reminder that we too are also human and we too also very much struggle with jealousy in comparison. It is a very natural human tendency and at the same time, it is using those skills to check in with yourself and A, look at, is this worth my energy? But B, what is this really about?


Yeah, and like we said, this can be applied to almost every situation in life. If it’s social, business, personal, financial, like you can apply what Rai just said to any stage of life, anything in life. And it’s really about being able to kind of give yourself that tough love and call yourself out when you need to because that just shows how much work you’ve done which you can then take that little moment be like I’m really proud of myself for the work that I’ve done and how hard I’ve worked to get to this spot and it’s okay that my journey doesn’t look like someone else’s because it’s my own and that’s amazing 


And also acknowledging what you have in rather than where you’re falling short. I’m so guilty of that and I too need to remind myself like, hey, like look at everything that you have created and also that it takes time. Like where I was at three years ago is not where I’m at today. And to circle this around to food and body, like if you are just starting your journey and you’re struggling with jealousy and comparison a ton, think about if you continue, where you’re gonna be in three, four, five years from now. 


I celebrate wins on Fridays with my clients, so it’s big or small, it can be whatever, so do I need to start texting you on Friday.


Yeah. Totally. Totally. I need to take my own advice and make my own wind jar for all of the business winds that I’ve had. And I know that this was a little bit different of a topic than I usually share on here. But I know a few of you, actually quite a lot of you, have been asking me about business stuff. So if this is something that you’re interested in me talking about more, Lisa and I talking about more because Lisa and I work together. Let me know, let me know. And this is, you know, something that I would love to talk about more because just like Lisa said, you know, I went to school to become a therapist, just like she went to school to become a dietitian, not build a business. And let me tell you, there was a lot of trial and error along the way.



Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.