Shine Squad Feature: How I Stopped Comparing Myself
I’m 29 years old and I feel like I should have it all figured out by now. You could blame this thinking on a few things:
1 - The Mark Zuckerbergs of the world who start and do cool stuff at young ages. I can just see my self-esteem melt away after every 30 before 30 list I read.
2- All this potential I have that people tell me about.
3 - There are so many things that need improving and fixing in this world, and I’ve finally accepted what my strengths are. So, now I’m like: “Let’s do the darn thing already and make this huge impact I’m supposed to make.”
Do you feel out of place no matter where you land?
Can you relate to any of this?
Do you feel like you have the resources, skills, talent, insight, and energy to help others, but feel frustrated because you’re not Oprah, the President, or in the position you feel was created for you?
Perhaps your negative feelings stem from elsewhere. Maybe you’re in deep with imposter syndrome. Do you feel out of place no matter where you land? You get the promotion or the new job, but you don’t feel like you deserve it. People come to you for advice and perspective, and all you can think to yourself is “Who do these people think I am? I don’t have what they think I can give. I’m just average.”
“Who do these people think I am? I don’t have what they think I can give. I’m just average.”
You find yourself wishing that you were there. You cross your fingers and hope for that time machine to be invented, so you can be the person you’re meant to be - whoever the heck that is. This struggle is too much. The feedback you get on the work you do hurts. You’re supposed to be good at all this. The feedback hurts a little more when you take on this thinking.
Some of your friends are living the life you wish you had. They’re going places you wish you could go, but you’re not. Success feels like a word only reserved for everyone else. You’re upset with yourself.
Truth is: You’re not alone.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve had people telling me that I’d be an influential leader one day. I was sure I’d grow up to be a pastor, teacher, or well-traveled person who touched lives. I didn’t know how I’d get there, but that didn’t matter in my childhood mind. I had some real rough patches as a kid, and one day I decided that I’d take those hardships and use them to help others with their hard stuff. I was content with this thinking, I knew what my purpose was and what my impact could be, and I left it alone.
I’m 29 now, and I feel like a failure on some days. I’m so thankful to be able to do things like write my Sinclair.ity weekly emails and I appreciate the ability to be able to share messages on social media. But, I get upset when I see others my age (and younger) blow right by me. How are they getting booked solid for gigs? How are they starting these amazing things that end up on the TODAY Show or Ellen? How is it that they seem to have their dream job already? What’s their secret?
You know what, that last questions has been tripping me up for far too long. And, I’m over it. I have a new focus and I’m going in a new direction. Now, I want to:
See who I am and what I can offer more clearly. Appreciate the impact I’m already having. Identify the fears that are keeping me from stepping up my efforts.
You are already enough.
I'm exactly where I need to be. Are you?
I’m confident that you or someone you know is going through the exact same thing. It’s as if some unspoken charge was put out into the world for everyone to measure up, step up, and do more. That’s all well and good, but if you’re already doing the best you can, if you’re already trying to improve some parts of yourself, and if you’re showing up a little braver each day, it’s enough. That’s right it is enough. You are already enough.
It’s a myth that our efforts need to viral. You don’t have to create the next trillion dollar app, have your PhD, or be the CEO even the director. You don’t have to do it right now. You don’t ever have to do it.
You still matter. Right here. Right now.
Now, if the time comes when you’re called to do it, that’s a different story. But, if that’s NOT where you are right now, there is so much richness and opportunity right here where you are. You could be working at the worst job in the world, and you still can be making something better or someone's life better. You could be surrounded by the meanest people in the world, and you could still hold fast to what you believe in and show up as who you truly are. You could have only five people who know about the good you are doing, and it still matters. You still matter. Right here. Right now.
It’s hard for me to believe all this myself. But it’s imperative that I do for the sake of hopefulness, gratitude, and every person in my immediate circle who is counting on me to be who I am. People are counting on you too. You might be aware who some of those people, and I guarantee that you have no idea of the other people who adore who you are and what you do. They could care less that you aren’t there yet. They are happy and supported just because of who you are and what you bring.