It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, to imagine that they had it easier, better, or a more privileged way to success. And sometimes that’s true, but really, it doesn’t negate or disprove their hard work.
I’ve been thinking about our inability to root for others. It’s a problem.
We so frequently tell others that we wish them the best, yet secretly feel as though if they are doing well- then it means we can’t be doing well in turn. Or somehow, some way, they are taking the one and only spot for success.
Now, I have had prosperous moments with my work and horrendous moments but I generally always rooted for others. Even when I was in competition (hi, project runway) I honestly cared more about the other designers respecting me than the judges (not a successful strategy)â€¦ But I think, this is and should be rewarded in the real world.
There is a balance. I’ve been a pushover before and I don’t think that worked. But to champion others, while having faith in yourself is important.
There’s that old adage of don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. And it is so true, comparing yourself to others who are farther in your journey will only discourage your enthusiasm. And what is success, but enthusiasm and hard work!
One of my favorite bloggers posted a carousel of images containing the past 4 or so years of her progress in the blogging world. I had no idea she had been working so hard and for so long. I would have considered her an overnight success by the quality and beauty of her work now. And I think she deserves everything that has come to her.
Instead of wishing I could be at that point, I recognize she is hope for my journey. I haven’t put in that amount of work yet, so I can’t realistically feel as though she’s anything but an inspiration for my journey and goals.
It has helped me so much to reframe things this way.
I have to say, I was never someone who looked at others with jealousy. In fact, I usually turn it back on myself and say I COULD be doing more, I SHOULD be doing more, and why can’t I ACCOMPLISH it all NOW.
Yes, that was a lot of caps- we were in my internal dialogue there and I tend to be rather harsh with myself.
So, while jealousy is not my issue. Comparing myself is and was a problem.
Understanding that everyone’s journey is unique, and the twists and turns are there for very specific reasons, is everything. It means that you can’t want or try to be like others. You have to embrace your missteps, your hard work, and everything that makes you, you.
Because that is what will get your beginning to the middle you actually need. Compare yourself to others and you’ll end up lost, confused, and down on yourself. In turn your ability to move past your problems will seem insurmountable and greater than you can tackle. Because when you do compare yourself to someone you view as better, it’s a confidence crushing move.
So champion those who do what you want or admire around you. They are helping to pave the way for you, and if you respect their work, you have to respect that their journey was most likely so much harder than you know.
So don’t judge a journey by its accomplishments… Judge it by its’ struggles. That tells you more about a person than you will ever need to know.
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