WHY YOU SHOULDN’T COMPARE THE BEGINNING OF YOUR JOURNEY WITH SOMEONE ELSE

  • AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Story

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    Apples & Oranges - They Don't Compare

    Who do you compare yourself to?

    That great blogger who has 1000+ followers?  The athlete who is in their prime, running ½ marathons without breaking a sweat?  Or perhaps it is the friend who is quite the chef and prepares elaborate meals without blinking.  Whoever it might be, isn’t it exhausting to compare where you are at next to them? 

    For me, I compare myself to writers who are well-established and have a following.  I look at people who seemingly have their life together financially, are debt-free, and are out of Baby Step 2 (see Dave Ramsey).  Sometimes I don’t like those people, and if I was honest with you, I would say that I become a jealous, bitter person because of this game.

    Then someone spoke wisdom into my life.

    They said: don’t compare your beginnings to the middle or end of someone else’s journey.

    Wow.

    If there was ever a prescription of me, it’s that right there.

    I constantly compare who I am next to that other person.  I constantly compare my beginning blog site to the sites of people who have been writing for so much longer than I have.  I compare myself to the situations of others, when in fact my journey is so much different than their story.

    Admittedly, it’s tough to heed that wisdom.  I want to jump down the road to the middle of an adventure, but it is in the beginning of the journey that a character is molded and forged.  I have the privilege to write to a small audience, working on my voice, and not having the pressures that other established authors have.  If I make an idiotic statement, I don’t have to post countless apologies for what I said on Twitter and my site.  I get to retract it or fine-tune it with minimal destruction and move on!

    So today I encourage you to quit comparing your journey to someone else’s, God wants you to be you and not swipe someone else’s story.

    How do you not compare your journey with someone’s else story?

    Photo: TheBusyBrain via Compfight

  • I struggle with comparisons too, Jeremy. I don’t know that we are capable of fully eliminating comparisons because we like to know how we measure up, but we can sure give it our best shot. To reduce comparison, I continue to tell myself that no two stories are alike. After all, that is what makes stories so interesting to us.

    In addition, I am committed to succeeding as a writer, no matter what that looks like. Success may or may not include developing a readership similar to Michael Hyatt or Jeff Goins or John Eldredge. Success may simply mean that I improve my writing skills and engage a small community of friends who influence each other in a positive way.

    • Recently I have fallen into the comparison trap (hence the preaching to myself post), and a friend reminded me that I need to be faithful even to the small group of people I encourage on a somewhat regular basis. God wants me to be faithful in those small things, because maybe that’s exactly where God wants me.

      Your absolutely right with the story point, every story is [thankfully] different. Your tribe (to borrow from Seth Godin) certainly needs you, no matter if it is 10 or 10,000!

      • I know what you mean about writing to yourself. I do it quite often. 🙂 One other point that helps is that we don’t always know the back story of struggle that “successful” people have gone through. We don’t see the years of labor and pain. We usually just see the polished product and big-time success.

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