In Uncategorized, What's Holding You Back?

How could this have happened?  How can he be ahead of me?  He was so far behind, and now he’s caught up and passed me?

I feel terrible.  I am a failure.  Maybe I should just give up.

Have these thoughts ever rushed through your mind?  That sense that compared to someone else, you haven’t done as well?

I just heard about another writer who has gotten a book deal.  We had met through the editor we both use.  I knew he had struggled getting his book together and now HE has a book deal while I slog through putting the finishing touches on mine.

I had been so diligent.
I had done this and that.
I felt like crying and collapsing in a heap.

My always wise editor said:

STOP.  You are not behind, you have done this and that, and she reminded me of all the pieces I had put in place.  He got a deal yes, but he hasn’t written the book!  You have “lapped him”.  You are coming up on your second or third time around the track, and you think it’s your first!  You are not behind.

Comparisons are a waste of good time and energy!  It’s too easy to compare based on a partial view of someone else’s situation – and all of our situations are unique.

As my dear friend Lisa says, “Don’t compare your insides with someone else’s outsides.”

AND yet sometimes we are “behind”.  AND it’s still a waste of good time and energy to be overwhelmed by self-recrimination.  Here are some questions that can be useful:

  • What are MY outcomes for this situation?  (The person you are comparing yourself to may have had a different set of outcomes than yours.)
  • Knowing MY outcomes, what are the actions I must take to achieve them?
  • When am I going to take the actions?  (Put them on your calendar.)

I’m working on my outcomes for the week, are you?   Let me know how it goes!

Until next Tuesday.



Showing 2 comments
  • Pat O

    Your wise words always appear when I need them most. I am so happy living in my own word and so very unhappy when I am living in the world of comparing MY insides to someone else’s outsides. We never know what others may be going through and just because we are no further along than we want to be doesn’t mean we are failures.
    All it means is that we have chosen other things as priorities.

    • elizabeth

      Thanks Pat for writing – Yes it is all about priorities and choice.


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