I wanted to write to you today and, fair warning, it’s a fairly long one and for good reason.
A New Year can deliver a massive case of the ‘Self Nasties’ when we least expect it.
In one corner of your mind you’re all sweaty from the gym and blending your green juice like it’s going out of fashion with a determined and beautiful smile on your face, and in the other, there is your comparison mindset.
For me, I can see that mindset clearly. She’s the Duchess of Self Doubt, stroking an evil looking cat with a wry smile that’s slowly and boldly whispering to me:
- “Oh come on love – as if you’ve got what it takes? You’re not as pretty, as bright, as connected, as rich or as strategic as THEY are. Give it up now and just know your place (which is nowhere)”
- “Do you really think you’re cracked up to actually do your own thing and make it big like THEY have?!”
- “You haven’t got what it takes and they’re all much better than YOU could ever be”
- “Face it this is your life – at this body shape, on this salary and in this place”
ARGH it’s horrible to even type out these words without my lip wobbling a bit – I hate that bitch!
I can feel my tummy tighten as I remember the power that my comparison Duchess used to exercise over my life and how it kept my vision and ambition small, but also, if I’m really honest, feeling a little bit sad, like all the time. YUK! (Here’s the full gore for those that missed it.)
But let’s cut to now and what I know for sure when it comes to beating comparison and getting back on your own side.
What I recognise as different between the on-the-whole-pretty-happy-lass I am now, and that desperate, jealous, unhappy girl back then, is that today I don’t pit myself against other people or dream up an imaginary check list of 'success'.
When it came to other women especially, I used to think it was them against me (check out my conversation on Oprah on this very topic on my homepage)
I used to think there was a benchmark in this game of life, and rather than linked with my peers, I was ranked against them – in some ugly cases even with my friends! I used to suss out and judge their weights, their boyfriends, their salaries and wardrobes.
It was **exhausting** keeping tabs on them but I wanted to get into the detail, y’know, just so I could be reeeeaaaally thorough about how sh*t I was in comparison.
There was the belief that it was a race to whatever the end was – getting the interview, the Mulberry handbag, the luxury holiday, the flat, the adventure and so on.
I used to think there was scarcity – that I must get that job, that opportunity, that magazine piece, that book deal – because if THEY got it then I was out of the race.
I basically believed that success in life was a ZERO SUM GAME, that is, a situation where a gain or success by one person must be matched by a loss by another person i.e. ME!
So many times, when faced with an opportunity, I have thought to myself “This is IT - it’s make or break and I better not f*ck it up!! Swiftly followed by “or else!”
And yet, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
If you’re finding yourself comparing your current situation to other people’s lives this month I urge you to, in the words of one of my positivity mentors Mr. V. Ice, STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN! (Optional dance break here for you love – how has this only got 7M views, btw?)
Unless I’ve missed the memo from the cosmic equivalent of the ‘Ocado of opportunity’ we NEVER have ONLY one chance… even if sometimes it feels like that because we're so attached to an outcome.
- There will never be just one person for you and if they marry someone else in a ‘Four-Weddings-and-a-Funeral’ style, then celibacy beckons and you’ll be marooned in singlehood (If you’re feeling that way, can I urge you to talk to my friend Laura?)
- Your chances of promotion or career happiness are not dependent on THAT interview even though you’re going to prepare so much you’ll have memorised the inside leg measurement of the guy asking you the questions.
- There isn't a single, solo chance to get a client or a piece of media coverage and if you're passed up then basically, take down your website and go back to your old job because you're OVA!
Your comparison nasties don’t want you to know that though!
When we believe that by someone else scoring a success, that we lose out, or that there is one less for us, then we’re on the high road to nowhere and, to be frank, ignoring the facts in favour of our own “disaster daydream”. (More on this coming soon to the blog.)
What you know deep down, but choose to ignore, is that there will always be another option or a little wait for the right thing to come along in its own perfect timing and beautifully formed result.
If I were to challenge you right now… to think back on what’s brought you to where you are… when things haven’t gone your way or you have seen someone else ‘run off with your prize’, it will have, more often than not, made space for something that suited you better, felt more authentic and bridged you to something waaaayyy more exciting and expansive.
Sometimes we’re so obsessed with, and attached to, the way we expect and want something to turn up in our lives that we miss the fact it’s showing up in another way and is ripe for the picking.
For example - imagine you're wanting some new Marc Jacobs pumps and you're waiting for them to come on sale on Net-a-Porter and you check and check the website and they're not in the sale. You resign yourself to the fact they'll never be yours or you'll have a loooong wait.
But hold up sister - they've been on the Matches website at half price for ages... but you can't consider or imagine an alternative to your 'shoe achievement plan' you're attached to so you can't see them show up! Gah! Those shoes could have been yours!
Success is not a zero sum game and my tip to make 2015 amazing, expansive and feel like you’re running IT, not it’s running YOU, is notice what you notice and be OPEN to possibility in your own life.
Forget the outside glare of social media, pitting yourself against other people and being distracted by what you THINK they’re doing and achieving.
YOUR own unique flavour of success, that will fit you better than anyone else, is on its way to you right now… and it may even have arrived and is awaiting your acknowledgement.
Your winning streak starts when you look at what's showing up for YOU!
Has this struck a chord? Have you experienced the feeling of ‘missing out’ to someone you’re competing with only to land a better opportunity? Have you been jealous of a friend achieving something and have been relieved to realise months down the line, it would have been the most hellish mis-match for you? Or do you obsess about a certain person that you feel directly competes with you or is trying to beat you in some way?
Meet me in the comments to share your perspective!
Love Lucy xx
(Gifs from http://giphy.com/gifs/laughing-disney-evil-HfTUKCfYsP6mI // http://giphy.com/search/the-hunger-games-gif/31)