My eyes crack open. 7am. Roll over. Grab my phone. Start scrolling…
Check Product Hunt. Ahh, shit. Someone just launched an app similar to my product (and we’re still in beta).
Scroll through Twitter. Shit! This person I’m jealous of just announced a another success.
Read Medium. Fuck. Someone wrote a post almost identical to what I wrote months ago and they’re getting more traction.
My envy grows large, my blood pressure goes up. I feel like I’m waking up in a heavy cloud; an agitated haze. Already on edge, and I haven’t even made toast yet.
Stress is our body’s defence against bad news. It was useful when our ancestors were running around the jungle about to be eaten. It’s much less helpful now.
The problem is that the worry itself can harm you as much as the outcome you’re worried about. While you’re stressing over what might happen, your body is releasing adrenaline and cortisol as if you were actually in danger.
– Under Pressure: Your Brain on Conflict, Psychology Today
These hormones are what cause intense feelings: jealousy, anger, sadness, despair.
But even worse, they reduce your ability to make great stuff. Instead of putting your energy into creating, you’re obsessing about things you can’t change.
Here’s how to get out of that negative download spiral:
Quit worrying about what everyone else is doing. Focus on how you’re helping people.
Agonizing over your competition doesn’t help you serve your customers better. Being jealous of your peers won’t improve your craft.
There’s only two things that will improve your situation:
- Concentrate on your users, audience, customers, fans.
Figure out what they want. Develop a deep connection with them. Build trust.
- Improve your skill, expertise, competence, product.
How can you get better? How can you make your product better for the people who use it?
Focus on your own shit and ignore everything else.
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Originally published at justinjackson.ca on Feb 29, 2016.