I am one of those people who literally can’t seem to stop pushing myself.
I have to be getting better; I have to be improving all-the-time. Standing still feels nearly impossible for me; in fact, it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
But there is a difference between trying to top my own best and trying to top someone else’s best. When we try to be our own ‘best,’ we are welcoming growth and possibilities. We are giving ourselves permission to be our own ‘enough.’
But when we compare ourselves to others, we demoralize our confidence and stunt our own opportunities for growth. It’s an ugly cycle; uglier than you may realize. Let me show you what I mean…
When I decide to compare myself, I don’t play fair. I choose someone who is playing their personal A-game, and then I continue to measure us against each other using their absolute best attributes and my merely so-so attributes. It’s like comparing a Victoria Secret Angel to my “just-got-out-of-bed” look. So – Not – Fair. Even the Angel didn’t stand a chance when she first woke up that morning.
The point is, we are typically very unfair when we compare. We consider only all of their very best attributes and pretend that they don’t have any of their own insecurities or trials […or white primer all up on their eye lashes during all their errands, because they ran out of the bathroom before they remembered to apply the actual mascara. (Was that last one just me?)].
We see only the perfect, usually through very rose-colored-glasses I might add, and we then compare ourselves, not ever considering that we are usually in the midst of our own struggles… And then we can’t figure out why things aren’t coming together the way we want?
Even your own Instagram feed probably over compares to your real life. And that’s okay. That feed (and the ones you’re comparing yourself to) is a brand, a persona, and a message based around the best version we each want to convey. And I have no problem with that. We are business owners. What I do have a problem with is you comparing your yoga pants wearing (even though you didn’t work out), make-up free, perfectly imperfect you with anyone else’s well curated feed.
Give yourself permission to be authentically and genuinely you.
You hear it all the time: the advise of the “already made it’s.” And they are constantly advocating, “Be yourself,” “Be authentic,” “Find your own voice.” There is a reason, and it’s not just because they are sick of all the copycats. It’s because they know that it was only by staying true to themselves that they were able to stand out.
There already is a _______________ (insert whoever you secretly wish you could be). The world doesn’t need another. And the world won’t make room for another, either. But you. Of you, there has never been another. There is room in the world for you to shine.
Now I’d like to bring this back to where we started. I’m not suggesting that you stay exactly as you are. We should always be growing, always be learning, and always striving to be better. But be your better, not someone else’s.
You have your own unique voice, your own incredible talents and attributes. You were not left out in the predetermined talent show; God didn’t forget you.
Give yourself permission to be all that you need to be to succeed, and then push and mold and train yourself to be your best. You are enough.