Repeat after me.
Her success is NOT my failure.
Earlier this month I was asked to speak at quarterly event held by my company about overcoming comparisons. Over the past 5 years I’ve been building a virtual business in pockets of time, between naptime, and into the wee hours in the evening. I’ve spent countless hours reading personal development books, and attended a number of seminars including Tony Robbins and Dave Ramsey.
So the day before I was supposed to speak, I called my friend and gracefully attempted to back out. I was feeling less than worthy.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever looked at your personal journey- whether in business or weight loss or parenting, and thought,”I am doing awesome. I’ve totally got this.”
Until you see someone else doing it, well better.
Perhaps it’s a good time to go back and explain, why I almost backed out of speaking that day. And I think that it’s important to note too that as somone who’s spent a lot of time on social media- social perception isn’t always social reality.
The morning before I was set to speak, I got a private inquiry in response to an IG story I shared about the business success of a close friend.
She asked, “Katy, can you give me some tips on how you stay friends with someone so successful? It doesn’t seem to bother you. I find it hard to be friends with people in the business who are really good at what they do.”
It was a hard read, and was one of those that kinda skew the lines of social perception and reality. It was one that can really quickly send you into the downward spiral of, “I am unworthy” pretty quickly.
Surrounding yourself with successful people is not always easy. Consciously choosing not to compare is a skill. Acknowledging the wins of others while you feel like you are in a period of waiting, takes humility. Collecting joy instead of jealousy takes practice and a whole lot of grace.
It’s human nature to look at the lives of others and believe we want the same or that we deserve the same. But we are not created the same, and neither are our callings.
I’ve found in my own experience comparison makes contentment a million times harder. And through a lot of grace, prayer, and conversations with Big G, I am finding myself gracefully content far more often than burdened by comparsion.
Here are a few Conscious Contentment Practices I have applied in my own life.
1. Change Your Metrics:
You metrics can not measure up to someone else’s growth plan. The truth is, if we are busy comparing ourselves to someone else’s success, we are maximizing their success while diminishing our own. It stalls our progress and confuses our own calling. And Big G is all about clarity, not confusion.
Think about it. Have you ever found yourself window shopping, looking at all of the displays and confusing yourself over what you actually really like? You try everything on, but nothing seems to fit right. It looks awesome on display, but not so much on you.
When we see someone else’s success, let’s remind ourselves that it is uniquely designed for her. Her definition of success wouldn’t be worn well on you.
He’s got something designed just for you, too. Are you willing to continue working for that and be open to His calling for you? Are you willing to acknowledge her success without diminishing your own?
2. Journal Your Joy:
Gratitude changed everything. Taking time in the morning or before bed to review your blessings remind us all that we have success. Our blessings count as our success too you know.
3. Define Your Own Success:
Don’t be so busy looking at her success, that you forget about your own pursuit. So many people claim that they want to be successful, but very few people actually define what that looks like. About a week ago, I shared a story about successfully missing a company title. I called this process, “gracefully flopping forward.”
Success to me isn’t burn out, hustling or working an incredible amount of hours. It’s not about the cars or the house or the trips.
For me, personally, I’ve found success to be peace. I’ve found success to be undistracted attention with my children. I’ve found success to be making an impact on others with the words that God gives me to write or to speak. It’s the confidence I have to share my story, unapologetically, and leaving a legacy with my kids. It’s eating healthy but acknowledging that life is short and I will eat the cake.
My definition doesn’t fit most, because it’s uniquely designed for me.
Sweet friend, sit and ask yourself how you define success? What matters most to you? Be OK with that. No. Be excited about that. You owe no one an explanation for the calling He’s put on your heart. That’s between the two of you.
But can I make a small recommendation? Although it’s a calling between you and Big G, share it. Ask someone to remind you that you matter, and to keep working towards that calling. We need people in our lives to keep us focused on the things that matter most to us.
4. Learn from her Story:
I think about the timeliness of my relationships, and about the people who played a role for a season. The situations where I could have given more, or done more, but I find myself thinking about the purpose they play in my life. I don’t believe that successful friends are in my life because of coincidence, I think Big G says, “Katy you have an opportunity to grow. Be open to that. Learn and make peace with the calling I am giving you. Honor your pace. Be still. Be patient. You will know.”
Who are the people He’s placed in your life? Do you allow their story to be an inspiration for your growth strategy, and do you have a perception that isn’t available to others? Do you see the sacrifices behind the story? Are those behind the scenes perspectives shifting your own definition of success?
5. Pray for her Success:
I started doing this about a year ago after reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. As Joyce puts it, “This [jealousy] is a common trait of the insecure. If we are not secure concerning our own worth and value as a unique individual, we will naturally find ourselves competing with anoyone who appears to be successful and doing well.”
I put this prayer in my bible and when I feel that pull to be jealous or resentful, I turn to it to remind myself that her success is not my failure and that our callings are not equal, and that’s what makes us uniquely qualified.
|Prayer to Overcome Jealousy|
You are worthy of great things.
I am rooting for you.