A couple of months ago, I was sitting in a room full of writers. They were all in different walks of their careers, some were not published, some were independently published (22 times), one was even signed with two big five publishers. There were at least ten different writers at their table and no two writers were at the same place. Everyone there had an idea of who was most successful…
Before that meeting, I had a premonition that I would be tempted to feel insecure, that in a situation where you feel inferior you put yourself down, to meet other’s ideas of what success is. I felt exactly that. I wanted to put myself down, I chose not to… I wanted to belittle myself, it’s what I felt I should do, to fit in. To affirm the inferiority of where I was compared to other’s success. If I would have done that, then I would give permission to their warped of idea of who was successful and who was not.
There are a lot of things telling us externally and internally that we are not good enough that someone else is doing it better. Sometimes those “doing it better” are the ones telling you that you aren’t good enough because you are not where they are at. The sad thing is it resonates with what you have been telling yourself.
Today I want to address our need for conformity at the expense of our own selves. Simply… Don’t do it. I see this in the blogosphere. My blog is not as shiny as their blog, I don’t have as many followers as this person, and it goes on and on. We put ourselves down when we desperately want to be lifted up. I know this principle is pretty universal in any facet of life.
I could say the old cliche don’t care what people think. You will care what people think. It’s human. It’s okay to deem others at doing better, to better ourselves. It does not lead to the conclusion that they are better than you.
Unfortunately the lines of Lifehouse’s song “Simon” ring true. “The fearful always prey upon their confidence, leaving you with no defense, just another crown.” I feel to best explain this is a little science experiment that was run with some monkeys. They put a banana just out of reach of the monkies and when one tried to reach for it the whole group got punished. This happened again and again. Eventually they introduced new monkies into the fold and when they went for the bananas the conditioned monkies pulled them down. So eventually nobody went for the banana. There is something that is telling all of us to not go for the banana. Other’s are keeping it from us to. I say go for the banana, though everything may be telling you something different.
The takeaway whether you’re a writer, reader, blogger or other (is there more to life than that?) Do what you do, take confidence in it, and if you see a banana grab it and eat it!