From the shape of our cells to the swirl of our fingerprints, each human is profoundly, almost incomprehensibly unique. In all the eons of time, amongst trillions of human eggs that have been fertilized and hatched…there is only one you: microscopically remarkable, positively unrepeatable, original, and…beyond compare.
Role models are useful. They are lighthouses when dream-chasing gets cloudy, they are proof of stamina and magic. But emulation is tricky terrain. I have a friend, an aspiring novelist and brilliant writer in her own right, who said to me once that she wanted to be the “Canadian Anne Lamott,” I said, “Why don’t you just be the global You?”
We must have the daring to be nothing but ourselves if we are to know what true power is.
Comparison is crazy-making. It stamps on potential and truth and all the good things you might already have going for you if you weren’t so busy shadow-boxing with the people who you think have it better. Would you compare a snowflake to a snowflake to decide which was more beautiful and unique? No two snowflakes are the same.
Comparison is a slippery slope to envy and for the most part, envy wastes energy that could be put towards getting what you want or optimizing what you have. It’s a trap. I used to envy trust-fund babies and my friends with rich parents. “Poor me…no leg-up, born into an average family, gotta be self-made…” Yack. Whatta waste of mind space – space that could be filled with creativity and ingenuity.
So here’s the freedom-generating habit to stop comparing and to melt envy:
1. Rather than comparing, imagine. Imagine yourself feeling the way you want to feel – successful, brilliant, artistically free, earthy, healthy, connected. That’s it. You’re not making yourself less than or more than anyone else – you’re simply giving yourself permission to want what you want.
2. Bless the people you feel envious of. The rich, skinny, in-love, confident, powerful people. Quicker than you can say “I wish I had that…,” say to yourself, or even better, to them, “Way to go…you look great…I admire you.”
With envy out of the way, you’ll have more space for your own greatness to step forward.