Episode 1

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Published on:

28th Sep 2023

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

After a short break we are back with Season 7 of the podcast, and this week's episode is all about why we need to stop comparing ourselves to others, and what we can do instead.

About 'The SEO Mindset' Podcast

Build your inner confidence and thrive.

The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that will give you actionable tips, guidance and advice to help you not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Each week we will cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics too including professional and personal development.

Your hosts are Life Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years of experience working in the industry.

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Transcript
Sarah:

Hello and a very warm welcome to the SEO Mindset podcast, where your hosts are myself, Sarah McDowell, and the ever so wonderful and delightfully amazing all of those wonderful words, Tazmin Suleman. We are back for season seven. I'm so glad that we're back. I'm glad that me and Tazmin took a short break. It's important to recharge those batteries, come back all recharged. But it's been so good to take that short break and come back with another season. And we've got such an awesome one planned for you. We've got awesome topics, awesome guests. So it's great that we're back. Before I get Tazmin onto the podcast, we'd just like to remind you of the ways that you can support me and Tazmin so you can donate. So we're set up on Buy Me A Coffee. So if you head on over, there'll be a link in our show notes, you can give us a one off donation and be like, hey, love what you guys are doing. Here's a cheeky five pound donation that would be much appreciated. And would also like to remind you about our single subscribe link. So, yes, that's also in our show notes. So with this link, you can subscribe to the SEO Mindset podcast wherever you subscribe to your podcasts. So click the link and it will take you to everywhere that we are. So then you don't have to do that yourself. Tazmin, hello.

Tazmin:

Hello, Sarah. How are you?

Sarah:

We are back with season seven.

Tazmin:

I know. Do you know what? I agree that we needed the break, and in the break it was nice because we actually met up, but I have missed this. Yeah, I have missed it.

Sarah:

What's the biggest thing that you've missed?

Tazmin:

I feel even though you and I talking and it's being recorded, I feel like there's people listening right now, live. I feel connected. I feel connected with everyone. I think that's what I'm trying to say.

Sarah:

Yeah. I mean, I do miss it as well, because I just think back to all the wonderful guests and conversations that we get to have, and I'm going to use the word enriching. It feels quite enriching that's a good one, isn't? So obviously brightonSEO happened. The SEO Mindset partnered with Search with Candour. Candour? That's not how you say their name, is it, Candour? There we go.

Tazmin:

Say it properly. Jack will not be impressed.

Sarah:

Jack will not be impressed at all. But yeah. So, Jack, our wonderful friend, we did our live podcast and we spoke about managing your energy levels. That's what we were talking about before brightonSEO. So it was a great turnout and we did have some technical difficulties, didn't we, Tazmin?

Tazmin:

We did. What to do?

Sarah:

What can you do? So, unfortunately, the live recording, we can't share because we don't have that, unfortunately. However, we did promise you a podcast episode. So me, Tazmin and Jack have recorded something, and that will be going? Well, it's already out on search with Candace feed. They're a step ahead of us, aren't they? But yeah, we'll get it on our podcast feed in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that. So Tazmin, this week we are talking about why you should stop comparing yourself to others.

Tazmin:

This impacts so many offers in every area. I mean, definitely for me in so many areas of my life. So it'd be interesting to hear what you have to say about it.

Sarah:

Sarah wow. To kick things off, question to you, Tazmin, do you compare yourself to others?

Tazmin:

I do. So in the coaching space, obviously there is a lot of visibility LinkedIn posts and you see other coaches doing all of this stuff and you think, I don't have one of those, I don't have a YouTube channel, I don't have whatever. And you do compare a big part of that is being visible. So when they will be doing certain talks and being certain arenas, you think, I don't do those things yet. And that's the thing, I have to keep on reminding myself that they are probably a few steps ahead of me and that's okay, but it takes a conscious thought process to get me back on level ground.

Sarah:

Yes, that is good. Checking in with yourself there, Tazmin? And yeah, we all do it. I compare myself to others. It's human nature. Everyone who's listening to the podcast right now, we compare ourselves to others because you see someone who's in the similar field as you or does, I don't know who you look up to, or who you're friends with or who you surround yourself with. Friends, family, whoever that is, and we all compare ourselves. We all compare ourselves. It's part and parcel of life. Now, what I want to say here is, yes, it can help. Okay, so I'm aware that this podcast episode is called Stop Comparing Yourself to Others, but I just want to start by saying how it can help. So if you do compare yourself to others in a positive way, you can help foster this belief that something better is out there for you because you're seeing that person do it. You have a role model to follow and you're witnessing someone else doing what you want to do. So, yeah, that's how it can help, because it gives you a target, it gives you something that you can follow. However, it is harmful if we don't do it in a positive way and we compare ourselves in a negative way, you get these feelings that you're not as good as someone else. You doubt your own wins and your own achievements. It fosters a negative mindset. So those are the two caveats. So, yes, on one side of the coin, it can definitely help because it can strive you to be better, because there's this idea of surrounding yourself by positive people to push you to do stuff, but we've also got to be careful of how it can be harmful with all those ways that I've just said. I mean, what are your thoughts on that, Tazmin I think that's a really.

Tazmin:

Good point, because if you look at that person that you're comparing yourself with and look at what they're doing so remove the emotion, remove the negativity that you have in your mind. So, okay, they're going around the country doing training. What is it that they're doing? Who are they talking to? How are they presenting? And use it as a learning, then it can be really useful. I think it's also something that I've been doing more and more now is, do I actually want that? Do I want to be running around the country delivering training? Actually, no, I don't. So it's that if envy is the right word, but it's with being mindful, do I want that lifestyle for me, what is it that I'm actually comparing myself with? What is it that I am striving for? Because maybe it's not that. It's the fact that they are able to train that many people well, I could do it, but in a different way.

Sarah:

Yes, 100%. And after the break, what we'll do is we'll share lots of other ways of how you can stop comparing and what you can do more positively. But I think it's such a valid point that you've brought up about knowing what it is that you want. Because I think when it comes to let's take social media, for example, I think that's where we tend to compare ourselves a lot, isn't it? People posting stuff on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, wherever they are, people only post the positive stuff and all the positive things that they're doing. You don't know the whole picture. You don't know everything that's going on. So it's about being a bit realistic and stuff. And I suppose it's all about balance, isn't it? Yeah. It's good to have role models. It's good to have someone in mind that you can strive to being more like. But I think it's all about that balance of, okay, when does it get negative and starts being hurtful and not helpful anymore?

Tazmin:

Completely agree with what you're saying.

Sarah:

Yeah. And I mean, it's a tricky balance. It is a tricky balance because as we are comparing ourselves, then that's when the self doubt comes in and yeah. It's just part and parcel of life, isn't it? Yeah.

Tazmin:

And even if it's not in social media. So I have a really dear friend who is so organized, and we went to her home a few months ago for a meal. She'd invited all of the friends over. Oh, Sarah. The spread she had put on and everything, the table was set beautifully. It was stunning. And I was thinking, I don't entertain like this. I don't have 18 different matching plates. I wouldn't be able to do this. And I enjoyed it. And then I came back and thought, actually, I don't want to do it like that. I don't have the capacity to be really honest. I don't have the capacity. I don't have the space, I don't have the dinner sets, and I don't want to be spending three days cooking for one dinner party. Yeah, I love her, and I love that she can do it. And I would happily enjoy it and help as much as I could. But if somebody rang me and said, we're coming for dinner tomorrow, or if I was entertaining so I've got a few people coming for lunch on Sunday, I'll think about what I'm going to make on Friday, and I'll just make some stuff. And that's my style. So it's okay to compare. It's okay to say they've done a really great job, and that wasn't even social media, that was real life. But then it's okay to say, but.

Sarah:

That'S not for me 100%. It all comes down to what you want out of life and what you want to spend time doing. So if I think about it in more of like a work setting or taking examples from SEO being in Brighton SEO, right. That conference was amazing. And every time I saw an amazing speaker on stage yourself, you nailed your talk, Tazmin. So wonderful, so wonderful. But anyway but I remember sitting there watching all the wonderful speakers, and I ended up comparing myself like, oh, why am I not up there this time? Do you know what I mean? And I kind of forgot about my achievements and other bits that I've done in that setting. Because when you're there and you're witnessing something amazing that someone else is doing, you get that, like, oh, I should be doing that. But it wasn't right for me this time around, whereas it was right for you and it was right for the other speakers and stuff. And it's the same with so in SEO, when people are contributing to articles or appearing on a podcast episode or they're sharing bits and bobs and stuff. I remember when I first got into the industry, I would compare myself to all of the fabulous people doing all the fabulous things, and I used to beat myself up because I was like, I'm not doing that stuff. But I just wasn't there yet in my journey. Do you know what I mean? And I think that's what it's all about. It's not about beating yourself up. We did a previous episode, and I'll do a link in the show notes, if I remember. But yeah, we did a previous episode about celebrating your wins, didn't we? So, yeah, it's all very important. Okay, so part two, after a short break, is all going to be me and Tazmin sharing what you should be doing instead of comparing before we take that short break. Tazmin, is there, like, any more wise words of wisdom that you want to leave people with before.

Tazmin:

I mean, it might spill into afterwards. But the bit that you talked about, the talks at Brighton, that really resonated because I saw three speakers back to back on the big stage. So Alice Rowan Chima and another lady, I've forgotten her name, but she did a talk on storytelling and I was a little bit like, I would love to do a talk on the big stage. Brighton SEO people, if you're listening, somebody said, I'm freaking out and thinking this is my dream. I want to be here one day. Another plug. Somebody did say that it was keynote worthy, my talk. So, again, Bright, there you go. It's not quite what you wanted, is this Sarah? But I listened to these three talks and they were masterclasses in how to deliver a talk. Different styles, but brilliant. And I just end up taking tips and I went and changed my talk slightly off the back of the advice given by those three ladies. Yeah. Learn, learning, learning. That's what Tazmin talks about, self development.

Sarah:

Yeah. So when you're comparing yourself to others, it's definitely a learning. And I love how practical you were in okay. I love these styles. I'm going to now go and tweak and refine my talk. And obviously it worked because what you delivered on stage was keynote worthy. So listen up. Right in Sea, right, let's take a short break and, yeah, join us back for part two. And, yeah, we'll help you know what to do instead of comparing yourself to others. We shall be right back. We are back with part two. Did you enjoy your break, Tazmin?

Tazmin:

I did. I did. Swiggle for cheeky Pepsi Max. Not on the vimto tonight.

Sarah:

I mean, who am I even talking to if you're not on the Ode vimpto? It's an imposter. An imposter in front of me right now. Right, so first half, we've covered why we do compare ourselves and why it can be helpful, but more often than not, harmful. Okay, so, Tazmin, I bet the question on your lips is, what should we do instead of comparing?

Tazmin:

Sarah, I was just about to ask you that. What should we do instead of.

Sarah:

Now? So slick, this podcast, isn't it? Well, I'm glad you asked me that question, Tazmin. I have an array of different things that we can be doing instead of comparing. Okay? So first things first. Be aware of your triggers or situations when you are being cynical about yourself. So we already said earlier, like scrolling through social media, for example, that could be a trigger. So just be aware of those situations where you are being triggered, because then you can be more mindful about, okay, so if I'm scrolling on LinkedIn and that's when I'm getting all doom and gloom and I'm beating myself up, maybe I need to limit myself on LinkedIn or something like that. So, be aware of your triggers and, yeah, once you are aware of them, then you can better manage them. And yeah, maybe limit your time on social, because I think that would help everyone, wouldn't it? Because we all compare ourselves when we're scrolling on social media, not just in the work capacity, but in work, hobbies, all of that stuff. So that's always going to be a useful thing to do. Remember that you don't know what is going on in someone else's life. So something I said earlier, but I just want to stress this point again. You don't know what is going on in that person's life that you're comparing yourself to. And I think Tatum said it earlier, you might not want that life and everything that it entails. Okay? So the next time you feel yourself going on a bit of a downward spiral of that, just remember, you don't know, you don't know what everyone is up to, what their day to day kind of entails. Remember that money and social media likes don't always lead to happiness. You can find other ways to make yourself smile and other ways to bring joy to yourself. So, yeah, there's lots of what's the saying about the best things in life are free? Do we believe in that saying, Tazmin, going for a walk, that's free, isn't it?

Tazmin:

Yeah, wonderful people in my life, that's free.

Sarah:

They're free.

Tazmin:

Yeah.

Sarah:

Having a chat with your loved one, getting a hug from a loved one, that's free.

Tazmin:

Me and my hugs, I need my hugs.

Sarah:

Taking some time out to, I don't know, just be in nature, sit on a bench, sit on the floor, do whatever. But, yeah, just a reminder that there's lots of things out there that aren't orientated around money or social media, because I think money and social media, that's where lots of comparisons happen. Or sort of like job titles as well, like, I should be this by now, this person is sort of thing. So just remember, bit of self awareness, where else can you get happiness from? I'm going to bring up the wind jar as well. We spoke about this, didn't we, in our previous Celebrating Your Wins no matter How Small episode. So just a quick recap. So with a win jar, you have a see through jar. And every time you have a win, no matter how small, write it on a piece of paper, fold it up, put it in your jar, and then it's the idea that you'd visually be able to see all those wins that are happening. And then after a few months that you've been putting into this win jar, why not open up the jar, pick a random note out, have a look at what's on there, and remember all the awesome stuff that you've done in the past. So that's another tip. Another thing about how we can stop comparing is remember that we all have our own insecurities and we're all comparing ourselves to each other. So that's another thing to remember when we're next, comparing ourselves. You don't know the people that are comparing themselves to you. Do you know what I mean? I imagine loads of people were comparing themselves to you, Tazmin, when you were on the stage in Brighton SEO. So, yeah, it's just a reminder that people are comparing themselves to everyone, and people have probably compared themselves to you. And my last tip is using your own growth as a benchmark. So we're all on our own journey, however that may look, we're all on our own path. So, yes, whilst it's good to have someone to follow as a role model, have your own growth and set your own benchmarks and your own targets, and then you can use that. So maybe you've got a big goal in mind, so where you want to be. So maybe it's getting a promotion at work, maybe it's getting, I don't know, working on a particular project or specializing in a different area of SEO. Maybe it's doing a talk at the Netsbright and SEO. Whatever your goal or whatever you want to do, have that as a benchmark and then set yourselves smaller targets so then you can make this bigger goal happen, and then you've got these smaller benchmarks and these smaller targets that you can kind of work towards and you can tick off when you've done it. So that's another way of stop comparing yourself to other is by, okay, where am I right now? It's about having that self awareness, isn't it?

Tazmin:

Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah:

Tazmin, anything that you'd like to add.

Tazmin:

To build on that? You were saying? Some people may have been comparing themselves to me when I was on stage. Brighton is always, for me, a place that I love going to, but it does resurface some insecurities, because by and large, it's a young crowd, and you go at this age and you're thinking, I'm older than all of them. But I think what I'm trying to say is I can't do anything about it. There isn't anything untrue about it. There's no social media. They're not certainly older in real life and younger on social media. That is their age. What about if I embrace what my age brings to the table, rather than saying I want to be like them? Actually, you know what? Do I really want to go back to my 20s? Actually, no, I do not want to go back to my twenty s. I like where I am. I like the age I am. I like the maturity and the insights that that age has given me. So it's reframing it like that. And I think another thing to add to it is you have the power to break the cycle of toxic comparing. We're talking about me comparing myself to somebody else, but then that becomes a habit, comparing I may, without realizing, compare my child to somebody else's child. Well, that's not very nice. Or if I'm in a position of leadership, I may compare one direct report with another. Or suppose I have a member of my team who's really good at doing task A, whatever that is, and then they leave, and somebody else takes that role, and they're not so good at Task A, and I'm thinking, oh, well, so and so was better at it than that. That's not helping anyone. So you have the power, with some insight, with some reflection, to break that toxic comparing habit, and it's good for you. It's good for everyone else.

Sarah:

Yeah, because you make a really good point there. It's like, we don't just compare ourselves to other people, but we can fall into that trap of comparing other people to other people as well. So if we just stop that cycle and because at the end of the day, we all have our strengths and weaknesses you have strengths that are different to my strengths. You have weaknesses. Sorry, Tazmin, I'm sorry to say. Yeah, I just realized you have weaknesses, and I was like, oh, that sounded a bit harsh. But I just meant, like, you have different weaknesses to what I have different weaknesses in. Do you know what I mean? We're not all superhuman. We're not all Mary Poppins of the world who are practically perfect in every single and yeah. Like, I just think that we see what everyone has weaknesses. And I suppose it's scary that we do have those weaknesses because we're going to get caught out or we're going to I don't know, whatever that is. But of course, there's going to be things that we're not so good at that other people are. But then remember, okay, these are my strengths. These are what I can do.

Tazmin:

Yeah. I think self acceptance and acceptance of others is key here. If you want to take it to a really deep level, you are who you are, and it's okay to be who you are, and it's okay for them to be what they're like. Comparing isn't going to do anyone any good.

Sarah:

Exactly. And if you stop comparing philosophy and if you stop comparing, you can actually put stuff in place to get better or just build and develop on yourself or help that person build and develop themselves as well.

Tazmin:

Or just think, okay, I am Tazmin, and you can come to my house. You'll have a good time, and you'll be well fed. But the plates might not match, and that's just who I am.

Sarah:

I'm with you on that. I'd put my effort into the food itself and not so much the presentation.

Tazmin:

Yeah.

Sarah:

Wonderful stuff, right? We are running out of time. That's it. That's our first episode of season seven, I believe. We're going to hope it's season seven.

Tazmin:

We are definitely it is season seven.

Sarah:

Okay, Tazmin, main takeaway. So what is your main takeaway? From my session or this talk?

Tazmin:

I think it's been really good reminders. I think you've just got to catch yourself. You have to pause and catch yourself. Like you mentioned, the triggers. What are the triggers going to be if you know those? Or even just be present and think, oh, I want to be more like that. Something's telling me that I want what they have. Do I actually want what they have? And be curious about what you're feeling. Be kind about yourself. Don't give yourself a hard time for having compared yourself in the first place. So it's all a journey about understanding who you are, what you want and how you are built.

Sarah:

That is your takeaway, one of my key takeaways. And this is from the stuff that you've added. Is it's okay to be the person that you are? And yeah, that's absolutely fine. You do you you go through life and you know what you want to do to get deep, I suppose. But, yeah, it doesn't matter. Whatever your strengths or your weaknesses are, harness them. Nourish, them. It makes me sarah there you go. It makes Tazmin. Tasman? It's what makes the SEO mindset work.

Tazmin:

Yeah. And if anybody ever comes for dinner and all the plates are matching, you know, something's not quite right with Tazmin.

Sarah:

Today, we'd be like, oh, Tazmin's been comparing herself too much. She's put pressure on. No, go.

Tazmin:

Sorry.

Sarah:

You were going to say something?

Tazmin:

I said, either that or there's been a sale and Tazmin's been bargain hunting. Got lots of plates in.

Sarah:

Tazmin loves a good sale. There you go. That's my key takeaway. Another key takeaway as well. Right, shall we say goodbye for our first episode of season seven? Before we do, just a reminder that there are lots of ways that you can support us. So in our show notes, there is a link to donate. So we're set up on Buy Me a Coffee so you can give us a one off donation to support what me and Tazmin are doing. If you want to subscribe and I mean, why wouldn't you? If you subscribe to the SEO Mindset podcast, you'll get notified of whenever there are new episodes for you to listen to. So definitely do that. So there's a link in the show notes for you. Be able to do that as well. All righty, then. Let's say goodbye and until next time, Tazmin goodbye.

Tazmin:

Sarah goodbye, everyone. Take care.

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About the Podcast

The SEO Mindset Podcast
Personal growth tips to help you to optimise your SEO career and not just the algorithms!
The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that gives you actionable, personal growth and development tips, guidance and advice, to help you to optimise your SEO career and not just the algorithms.

The podcast is dedicated to talking about important topics that aren't often spoken about in the industry such as imposter syndrome, burnout, anxiety, self awareness etc. Sarah and Tazmin, along with their special guests highlight important topics, share own experiences as well as giving actionable solutions. Basically we have open, honest and frank conversations to help others in the industry.

Each week we cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics. We will help you to not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Your hosts are Mindset Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years experience working in the industry.
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About your hosts

Sarah McDowell

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I've been in Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for around 10 years, currently working as the SEO Manager at Captivate (part of Global), the world's only growth-orientated podcast host. I am a self-confessed SEO nerd (I find the industry fascinated and love learning how search engines like Google work) and a bit of a podcast addict (with this being the fourth podcast I have hosted). I am also a speaker and trainer. I hope you enjoy this podcast!

Tazmin Suleman

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I am a Life Coach, helping people grow and thrive, however my background has included careers in Development, Data Integrity and SEO. Through coaching, mentoring and teaching I help people build happier more fulfilling professional and personal lives by changing their mindset and habits. I teach courses on these topics and have incorporated a lot of the teachings in this podcast. I hope you find it useful.