Remember hearing that in school? “Keep your eyes on your own paper”.
Back then, it was to prevent cheating in class. In this phase of your life, it’s an important message to get some self-esteem help. Our world becomes more competitive as we age, and it’s easy to become insecure. So right now, this very minute, I want you to stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others is a natural, but at times deadly, thing to do.
Here’s why: you will ALWAYS find someone younger, better looking, more wealthy and more intelligent. ALWAYS. Life is a numbers game, in this regard. There are billions of us on the planet, and more are coming along. No matter who you are, there will always be someone else who has what you want.
Wait–don’t get discouraged. You, and everyone else, are simply looking at all of this backwards.
Here’s the mistake. Many times, we look at the finish line. We see the pretty girl or the handsome man. Around us we see great clothes, super jobs, fancy degrees and important titles on someone else’s letterhead. Surrounding us are all of the trappings of things that we want, or more importantly–what society has told us we want. So we focus on the final product.
That’s a fatal error.
Instead–for real self-esteem help–we need to look at the starting block.
If we really want to measure progress, we need to focus on where a person began, and the tools he or she had at their disposal. Sure–the person you are jealous of may have a fabulous business of their own, and live a great lifestyle. Oh, yeahhhh…that business was something they inherited, wasn’t it?
I’m not impressed. I’d rather applaud the woman who, despite growing up in poverty and abuse, managed to get an Associate degree and is now in a management position in a restaurant. THAT, my friend, is something to admire. Sure. She drives a crappy car, doesn’t make a lot of money, and ‘only’ works in a restaurant.
But she did it.
She was given completely different tools, and has achieved wild success, if you look at her starting point. Compared to the guy driving the BMW and living in a big house, who just happened to be born into the right family, she is a beast who can’t be stopped. So give her some slack. More importantly, give her some respect. Stop comparing the final product of these two people, and look instead at their starting points.
Here’s an important part of receiving self-esteem help: being willing to look at yourself from the outside.
Many times, we get stuck, and only see ourselves from our own perspective. We only see our failures, our short comings and our unmet goals. We get stuck because we can only see our own point of view, instead of how we appear to others. This is another big mistake.
Everyone, everywhere, is scrambling for a lifestyle we are all told we should have. This is why we need help with self-confidence.
We are told that we should make a certain amount of money, have a certain amount of free time or possessions, or imitate a lifestyle glorified on TV. Ignore all of that, because it is simply Advertising 101 in real-time. Here’s the hard truth: Someone in an office somewhere is getting paid to make you feel inferior, so that you will be compelled to buy a product, based on the promise that this thing will make you feel better. That’s what all of this boils down to, if you strip everything else away.
I call BS.
Don’t get caught up in this cycle of comparison, strengthened by corporate America. Stand strong in yourself, and your dreams. Work like hell, and never lose sight of your starting line. You are a unique individual, with a finish line completely up to you, and to you alone. You know what you want out of life, and by that, I don’t just mean material goods. If your big dream is a Porsche and a crazy house–go for them with everything that you have. BUT. Go for those things only because they are genuinely what YOU want, and not what society tells you should desire. It’s okay to have goals that don’t align with what the world . It’s okay to wish for things that might not make sense to other people. You have one life, so make it what you want.
Comparing yourself, your success, or your lack thereof is a sure-fire way to lose focus on what YOU can bring to the world.
You can’t do what someone else has done because you are different people. You have a different purpose than anyone else on the planet. So why take energy away from your purpose, by longing for someone else’s?
Yes. Finding this purpose will be tough. Tougher than anything else you have done, because there will be many distractions along the way. Friends, family, bills, deadlines, emotions and fears will all jump in front of you, anytime you try to whittle down what you are created for.
Come close–I want you to really hear this: You, my Friend, are a completely extraordinary human being.
You have skills, talents and ambitions that are totally unique to you. Your scars, experiences and battle stories are absolutely yours and no one else’s. Before you are unique dreams, goals and choices. Your own starting point is completely different, so it only makes sense that your finish line will be, too.
Drill down into your soul, Beautiful. What do you have that is unique? Something you are passionate about, way down deep, alights your spirit. What is it?
THAT, my friend, is your starting line. Congratulations–you’ve found it.
The finish line is now up to you, based upon your own heart, and no one else’s.
Stop comparing yourself to others. By doing so, you ignore the magic that is you, and will lose appreciation for your own journey.
Stop longing for what others have, because you will lose appreciation for the things right in front of you, that you should already cherish. Stop looking at what you think you should have, and instead, focus on what YOU can bring to the table, to enhance not only your own life, but the lives of others around you. Like magic, your finish line will become a beautiful thing that brings you great joy, even if others don’t recognize it for the magnificent thing that it is.
I’m not kidding.
Keep your eyes on your own paper.
And then report back to me. I can’t wait to hear what you have to share.
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**Chanler Jeffers is a woman who has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent, was a single parent for many years, has survived cancer and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.