When you think about fairness, you might imagine a situation where no one has more or less than anyone else. To most people, fairness is something positive and should be sought out. But there’s another side to fairness. For fairness to exist, uniqueness can’t. And entrepreneurs, more than any other type of person, need to recognize the dangers of fairness.
A recent concept.
The word “fairness” is a fairly recent creation in human history—it’s been around for 700 years or so—and it used to refer to a person’s good looks. The current understanding of fairness involves the idea of equality. It’s a social term, not a descriptive term. It’s come to have its current meaning because so much in the world supports the idea that things should be fair.
We all need to find opportunities to improve ourselves, gain capabilities and advantages, and produce results. The more that’s possible for some individuals, certain others who feel they’re not succeeding will bring up the issue of fairness. They’ll say it’s not fair that one person should have something while others don’t. There’s a touch of envy about it.
Making unfair comparisons.
In a certain sense, the world has become more competitive. You can spend your whole life on social media, comparing your situation to what you see other people sharing and posting about their lives. It’s easy to believe that other people are doing better than you are.
But you don’t know what it’s like to be anyone but you. Someone’s online presence doesn’t represent who they really are, and when you compare yourself to others, what you’re doing is comparing how you feel on the inside to how someone looks on the outside. You’re comparing two things that are radically different.
Understanding who you are.
When you see someone on social media and think to yourself, “I wish I were like that,” you’re imagining something that has no reality to it whatsoever, and doing that immediately takes you away from knowing who you are. It prevents you from looking inside and discovering what’s unique about yourself.
If you’re focused on fairness, you can’t find out who you are because you’re always engaged in self-comparison. Uniqueness, on the other hand, is looking inside and knowing who you are. You’re not thinking about anyone else and what they can do. You’re simply looking inside and recognizing the things you do uniquely well.
Reactive vs. creative.
When you’re focused on self-comparison, you’re in a state of perpetual reaction. Reactive and creative are two words that have the same letters and opposite meanings. If you’re always reacting, you’re not creating and innovating.
I know who I am. And who I am can be modified by who other people are: My uniqueness gets multiplied in personal relationships and business relationships. But I’m only looking for relationships with people who are very different from me. I’m not looking for people who are the same as me—I already have that covered. And I don’t put myself in situations where people are valuing something about me outside of my uniqueness.
The uniqueness of your creativity always comes from the uniqueness of who you are. At Strategic Coach, we help entrepreneurs recognize the unique qualities they’ve always had and encourage them to value their uniqueness. Join us at an upcoming workshop and start finding opportunities to improve yourself, gain capabilities and advantages, and produce bigger and better results.