Ever felt that ego-fuelled desire to be acknowledged? The crippling fear of not being good enough?
But of course. We all have. And much to (what I presume is) our collective dismay, it turns out this paralysing pair are going to rear their heads every once in a while, so I thought it was about time we chatted a little about the ‘competition and comparison trap’ – the times when you lose sight of ‘you’ (glorious, brilliant, you!) because someone else’s glittering lights seem to be outshining and out-twinkling the ones lighting your own backyard.
The Seedy Underbelly of Comparison
When you’re pushing to run someone else’s race – and you’ll know when you’re pushing because there will be this booming echo that tells you you’re not even close – you stop believing in your own delicious worth.
You neutralise your power.
You spend so much time keeping up and trying to be seen that your energy is maxed out on what the competition is doing rather than what you want for yourself. Rather than igniting your greatness, you cede your creative energy focusing on the moves everyone else is making and forgetting that you have these gargantuan, outrageously beautiful qualities inside you that are literally begging to be released.
Confidence Zapping, Limited Living
If that’s not enough, another disastrous thing about using others as your yardstick is that it automatically places a limit on your success.
Think about it for a minute. When you’re hell-for-leather running someone else’s race, is it Obama or Madonna or Oprah you’re comparing yourself to? Not likely. Sure, you might draw inspiration from these (essentially) untouchable idols, but you’re rarely wedging your success right up against theirs by means of comparison.
What’s more likely is that you’re comparing yourself to the girl in the office that just got the promotion you were certain you had in the bag, or the blogger who has you sea-green with envy because they’re freakin’ eve-ry-where, or the skinny girl at the gym that always gets the guy/ the friend that only buys designer/ the one who’s running an ultra-successful business while you’re stuck hammering it out in corporate cubicle hell.
Whatever the dilemma, every time you compare your life to someone else’s life or hinge your happiness on the approval of others, you’re giving away your authentic power to consciously create more splendour in that exquisite life of yours. And it’s a vicious cycle – the more you give it away, the more insecure you feel.
Enough is Enough!
I want you know that you, my darling, are a precious flower and your gifts are
needed longed for in this world. PLEASE: never, ever forget that the world is gunning for you to succeed.
I have a little wish – well, actually, it’s more of a hope – and it is that, starting now, you will:
Be a leader, not a follower. Focus on your own self-improvement, show up and give it. Give them you – delightful quirks and all.
Focus on what is astounding, unique, revolutionary, downright awesome about you and the super special way YOU do it. Your own power is already there. That certain j’ne sais qoui you have? All yours. No one else can share this genius with the world. We’re all counting on you to innovate and unleash… so please – go do it.
In your saddest and most triggered moments, you might feel you have nothing to offer the world, but this ain’t true sista. Look at feelings as messages from your soul. Your feelings tell you where you need to make adjustments, to love yourself or to flip your perspective to uncover the lesson in the situation. Dig. And dig some more.
Celebrate other people’s “bigness.” William Hazlitt said: “Just as much as we see in others, we have in ourselves,” so tuck that thought in your pocket and remember that as you applaud the achievements of others, you’re inviting that same energy into your own life. This is a glimpse of what can be possible for you. From a place of gratitude, count your blessings that the world is filled with so many talented people that continually inspire you to rise up and S H I N E.
And above all, remember that the only real competitor you should ever have is yourself.
There’s room enough in this big, wide world for all of us to shine brightly and boldly. Take a deep breath and stand in your power. There’s only one YOU and let it be said – you are perfect just the way you are!
A couple of q’s (let’s get share-y!)
+ Have you ever come up against feelings of jealously/ resentment/ wishing your life was as perfect as (what you perceived) someone else’s to be? What triggered it, and what did you do to move past those feelings of ‘lack’ or ‘inadequacy?’
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this. These feelings are universal, affecting every one of us, and as I said above, they often act as mirrors, reflecting back at us any changes we need to make. What advice would you give someone feeling the burn of comparison? Share the lessons you’ve learned and how you started running your own race again in the comments below!