It’s easy to compare yourself with others, whether it’s building a business, launching a side gig, or rushing up the ranks in your company.
“I’m not making them like that.”
“They have thousands more followers than me.”
“I’m not nearly as qualified as that person.”
These attitudes lead to self-doubt, but a lot of self-doubt arises from a deep-rooted competition. A competition with ourselves.
Someone recently wrote to me about this issue, as I learned in a recent personal branding workshop.
My biggest rival is myself. I constantly feel like I can do better in all areas of life.
If you have a hostile spirit, I know you’re doing this because you’re reading this, You feel like you’re constantly in the trenches. It can be really hard to take a step back and acknowledge your performance and accomplishments.
When you are deeply focused on something It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing that you feel like you’ve done nothing. But if an outsider looks at you, they will say, “Curse that boy nonstop!”
The problem is, when you’re hustling, you always feel like you haven’t done enough. There is always more to work on, more to chase, more to grind.
I call it Hamilton Drive.
If you’ve been under a rock for the last eight months, you haven’t heard of Broadway Musical HamiltonAbout the life of Alexander Hamilton.
Across musical instruments, the front and center of Hamilton Drive. He is always hungry, always wants more. When he sought public approval of the US Constitution, he published fifty essays in six months!
This is what I call Hamilton Drive.
He was so nonstop, during a musical song, his wife asked him, “Look around, isn’t this enough?”
So what do you do when you feel nonstop? When do you feel like enough? When will you have Hamilton Drive?
Here’s what I do to make sure I feel good about what I’m doing when I’m hungry for more.
I implement the feedback loop. Here is the most basic image of a feedback loop
In a response loop, You deliberately create situations and environments that enable feedback. For example, in a recent personal branding workshop I taught, I realized that my co-founder and I were not our best. There we were in a room of about 40 people, and I thought, “Well, we’re bombing it.”
I could only hum with my own thoughts. But remember, this is a response loop.
After the presentation, half the house came to us to tell us how much our presentation moved them, inspired them to think differently and take action in their careers. I listen to that response closely so I know which one is working best.
This feedback loop lets me know that, despite my worst days, I am still able to help others, and in certain areas where I am strongest. Things that are not mentioned I know I need to improve. It pushes me out of my head, makes me feel good, but pushes me to keep going.
There are days when I think we are not doing enough for our students. But since we designed the class there is constant interaction, the thought goes away when a student sends it to me:
This is a response loop. It lets me take a step back and say, ‘Yeah what I’m doing is working!’. I can score this in contrast to other responses, to know again, which one is most valuable and which one needs improvement.
My email newsletter is another feedback loop that I created. I encourage readers of my tribe to write to me by answering a specific question. Wherever I listen to cricket, I know the email didn’t really hit me as much as I thought it would, which makes me crave a response loop even more, and pushes me to keep going so I can get it next time.
I have some kind of feedback loop on almost everything where I aim to improve.
The great thing about feedback loops is that they’re just a loop. This is not a response line, which means you don’t start and then stop. You make it constant. You do not always struggle with the competition against yourself, but You still hold your Hamilton drive to generate more feedback loops.
How can you implement feedback loop in your life?
There are 3 ways you can implement a feedback loop
On the smallest scale, do this …
Today-yes, today-ask a coworker / classmate what you work closely with they think you do best. You don’t know what to say, say this
“Hey I’m practicing a professional development that I read, and want to get your input. Do you think I do the best job here? “
After they tell you, give us your feedback on what they do best.
Then, ask if they want to practice it on a weekly basis.
“The exercise I read mentions that creating a consistent response loop can help us go HAM on our strengths and work on our weaknesses. Would you like to have a weekly check-in where we respond to what we see each other doing best?
Boom feedback loop created.
On a slightly larger but still smaller scale, do this …
Write a blog post. If you do not have a blog, publish an article on LinkedIn or Medium. Then send it to 3 specific people who you think want to read it and ask what they like. You don’t know what to say, say this
I published this article on my blog / LinkedIn / and I think you will enjoy it. Would you mind reading this and answering with what you think is most helpful? This will help me to publish an article next time.
Thank you! ”
Next time you write an article, send it to 3 new people and ask the same question. And so the announcement.
Boom feedback loop created.
On a larger scale that may actually be big and scary but not really, do it …
Turn your blog / LinkedIn / Medium posts into a newsletter and get feedback from your readers, just like me.
Boom feedback loop created.
If you have a Hamilton Drive and feel the pressure to compete against yourself, apply a feedback loop to reduce stress and move Hamilton Drive forward.