Balance purpose, relationships, and self-care

Empathy works. It always does.

Building a business (1/3)

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“If readers have a sincere desire to make life miserable for themselves, they might learn to compare themselves to other people.” (Dan Greenburg in: Rosenberg M., Nonviolent Communication, a language of life, 2003, p. 18)

Did you ever do the comparison game?

It is very simple. You look at the results you created in your life and compare them with those of others. I am very good at that game. I compare myself a lot. With siblings, community members, colleagues. With Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Thich Nhat Hanh. I look at my life and at theirs, and I always fall short. At a bad day, I take it personally and start to think that there is something wrong with me. That I am a loser. A failure. That I am unworthy.

In the (perceived) absence of results, I come up with reasons.

“I had a challenging childhood. Now I suffer from low self-worth.” “I’m too insecure to get the word out about my business.” You probably have your own reasons to soften the pain of the comparison.

What if it is true? What if my life circumstances didn’t give me a head start? Does that mean that I can’t move forward and take a step on my path of aspiration?

Imagine a marathon. The winner has it all: perfect age, support team, running shoes. And then, 20 hours after the winner crosses the finish line, comes in the man on crutches. One leg. No coaches. No fancy shoes. He didn’t win the race. Wouldn’t he be your hero? Wouldn’t you be in awe that he dedicated his life to fulfill his dream? That he started practicing? Started running? With all he got? I know I bow to the ground for him. He is my inspiration to give life all I have, however much it is.

We all have different starting points in life. And we all can move forward. One step at a time. We might not have a clear end result in mind, we might not have a clue what we want our business to look like 12 years from now. And we know what our deepest values are. Who we want to be right here, right now. Empathic, compassionate, mindful for me. Something else for you.

Building a business starts with being. Building a business is building our character. Then we naturally start doing. And from the doing comes the having.


You want to learn to Build a Business? Contact me, 512-589-0482 for a free, discovery session.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping professionals schedule time for relationships and self-care. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

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